05Jul2017

Hotel Photography

What makes a potential guest choose our structure?

There are many factors that come into play when a potential guest is deciding on which property to place their bet.
Certainly, for many the price leverage is fundamental. But not for everyone: the services, the location and obviously the reputation are more than valid reasons to orient a choice.

But I think that the love for a structure, the spark that makes you press the mouse button, is an image: a photo that manages to tell, to transmit, to make you imagine a particular atmosphere.

So let's talk about a very important, often underestimated topic: hotel photography.

Important premise: I am not a photographer and because I am free from prejudices, I believe that the right photo is not the one that is beautiful or technically perfect, but the one that sells.

Often the choice of photos (and photographer) is the occasion of long diatribes with the owners because I can not always convey the absolute importance of presenting a showcase (the web) with the right image.

"There's no time, the rooms are all occupied, I don't have plants in bloom, the photographer is unavailable": evergreen examples of responses to my solicitations.
And so we have yet another season with those terrifying photos online.

Yet it's pretty easy to sum it up: you may have the most beautiful room in your location and the most exciting view, but can those photos tell the story?
Then, once they've been made aware of the subject, the choice of the artist who will take the pictures starts. Artist, because taking pictures of a structure is anything but easy.
Everyone has the really good passionate friend, the photographer who specializes in weddings, the one who is great with.... . Never mind: to take pictures of a room you need someone who knows how to shoot in a mostly confined environment and show a guest what their room will look like. All in the very few moments of attention we are given.

We don't need the detail of the lampshade, the tile, the bottle and glasses, the breakfast on the balcony.
We don't need photos where you can see the inside of the room but not the view from the balcony, just as we don't need artistic shots of the bathroom.
We need to be able to make people smell our structure. The light. The taste.
Taking photos all shot with flash is not a good idea either: we don't need to force someone to wear sunglasses to look at a gallery.
And we don't need a wide-angle lens that makes our room look like it's being viewed through a peephole in the door.

So take a look at all the images that should describe your facility to those who have never been there before and, with conscience and serenity, evaluate whether the time has come to invest in a new photo shoot.
Try to understand, in short, if your location deserves to be represented in a better way

Some advice dictated solely by lived experience.

Light

The use of light is perhaps what most characterizes a photographer, his signature in short.
Lately it seems to have become a fashion to take super-bright images, obviously artificial.
We need a warm photo and my personal advice is to use natural light: only in this way we will be able to faithfully reproduce the atmosphere of the photographed environment. Because we do not want to betray the expectations of our guests.
A good professional will study well the light and, also according to the exposure, will choose the most suitable time of day to make the shots.

Framing

Be careful not to lose sight of the purpose of our photo. The detail of the decoration, the personalized towels, the refined courtesy line. Yes, these are important details, but they must always be included in the general context of the shot: it's unlikely that someone will choose us for a particular lotion or a designer bedside lamp.
Let's avoid imaginative shots such as a room seen from above or below, through a glass: always remember that the time available to capture the attention is very little and we can not waste it in virtuosity.

Non-homogeneous photos

When we put together current photos with older ones, taken with a smartphone or even by different professionals, the result can only be mediocre.
As in the style of writing a book, in the same way, a photo gallery must be consistent, technically homogeneous and above all current.
And if you're wondering, redoing all the photos is not a cost: rather, it's an investment.
Would you ever walk into a store with sad, mismatched windows? 

Choice of Professional

Of course here we go to touch the budget: it will be quite easy to find a specialized professional having a lot of money to spend.
But, from our experience, it is not always necessary to use big name firms.
In addition to the price factor you'll have to evaluate only one thing: jobs already done for Hotel.
If your friend is one of the best paparazzi or portrait photographers in Italy, he may still not be useful to you.
Trust me: photographing a hotel room can be something incredibly difficult.
Unless you are lucky enough to discover new talent in this field, before deciding look at similar work he has already done and ask yourself if looking at that photo you would choose to stay in that room. 

Publishing the material

Even if you have a good number of shots available, don't underestimate their use.
We know that those photos will end up on various portals, metamotors and so on and so forth. And remember: what you put on the net is "forever".
Remember also it is fundamental to maintain your identity: that particular type of yours must always be recognizable in the same way as generating confusion in the choice process is not a good idea at all.

The Update

It is desirable that every season your facility is improved and modernized. However, it's unlikely that photos taken 4 years earlier will match the reality, even if it's just the linens, the TV or the new curtain. As with the website, in the same way, a photo shoot is something to be expected on a regular basis. Don't think of making the investment and then reconsidering in 5 years: you'll end up integrating the old photo shoot with other images of different quality, thus obtaining a result that is certainly not exciting.

If you would like an opinion, advice or simply want to let us in on your choices, contact us with confidence

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