"Picture is worth a thousand words" - expression that fits perfectly for the hospitality business.
In years when I've been working with accommodation providers, I've seen many examples of good and bad visual representation. Some times, after having a glimpse at the website of the hotel, I am wondering, if those pictures ended up there by a mistake or it was all intentional. Many times I saw dark, pixelated photos, or pictures that say nothing about the property. Boring, blank and uninviting view. After seeing pictures like that, we usually advise the property to upload professional photos or "fix" the ones on the website if possible. Fewer but high-quality photos can bring much more value than many and poor photos.
I would like to share a few tips and tricks when preparing a photo shoot at your property
📸 Think in advance, which room you want to use for the hotel photo shoot. If you have more or less the same looking rooms, then pick those, which have the best light conditions at that time. If your rooms are quite different and you would like to capture all of them, then also pay special attention to the lighting. This method is also known as Golden Hour - sunrise or sunset when any room can look nice in these light conditions. Avoid too bright light because of the room will look "washed out" and too blank.
📸 If you hired a professional photographer, then it is recommended even to remove the lightbulbs from those rooms, where you will hold the photoshoot. Interior photographers most of the times bring their own colour-balanced lightbulbs which help to create a better visual look. This, of course, applies in those cases if you are planning to shoot in dark light conditions.
📸 Make sure bed linen and pillows look flawless. The camera lens can capture even the smallest wrinkles, so you should iron the linen or put it on the bed while it's still a bit wet or steam it before the shoot. Fluff the pillows, add more throw-pillows to create the coziness feeling.
📸 Remove unnecessary items from the room, such as house rules, TV guides, Wi-Fi information, menu, special offer list and etc. The room should contain only furniture, decoration and appliances.
📸 Make sure that photo will represent the essence of the room. Guest should see all features that can be found in that particular room type or apartment: chairs, desks, glasses, cutlery.
📸 If your room is small, find the best angle for it to look a bit bigger. The best place to take a photo of a small room is an entrance (doorway) using a wide angle lens.
📸 Use people in your hotel photo shoot. Some rooms look better with actual people in them. This way your guests can easier see and imagine how they will look in the room themselves. However, be careful and don't overcrowd your photos with people or cars. Based on the recommendations, you should even limit the car parking next to the hotel entrance during the shoot. This way pictures will look cleaner and not too crowded. Therefore - more cozy and inviting.
📸 Do not forget to take photos of the common areas such as reception, corridors, elevator, restaurant or kitchen. Let people see the bigger picture, not only the room.
📸 Always keep in mind, what's your best selling point. Do you have a beautiful garden? Are you famous for wellness services? Maybe your location is unique? Keep all this in mind when taking photos and emphasise your unique points.
Professional photographers most of the times will take care of these mentioned tips. Their experienced eye can help the hotel to shine in a totally new light. However, if you are organising the photoshoot by yourself, keep in mind, that the most important thing is a good camera! Of course, you need a bit of imagination and a good idea. But with a good camera, you can work miracles. If you are not sure how to compose the the photo or how to prepare the room, you can always get inspiration from other hotels. Just take a look at some Pinterest photos and try to recreate the same good feeling. Oh, and use your new photos! Upload them to your website, OTAs, Social media and etc. Don't keep them just to yourself - share them with the world!