Upcoming generations are traveling more than ever before, and in the age of social media, their travel desires are highly driven by inspiring visuals. As a resort or hotel manager, it should come as no surprise that the quality of images you use to market your hotel directly relate to the number of reservations that you receive.
As one of the premier hotel photography services in the greater Orlando area, Space Coast Media Solutions would be happy to meet with local lodging managers, whether they be for large hotel chains or smaller Airbnbs. We can discuss strategy for marketing your various rooms and amenities and the brand image that you want to portray. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when hiring a professional hotel photographer.
Establishing Brand Guidelines
Branding is one of the biggest components of marketing and making your facility stand out from the competition, and ensuring that you and the photographer are on the same page about brand guidelines from the very beginning will be a crucial part of achieving the perfect final product.
Details as small as what flag the hotel is flying out front and what staff members are wearing if they are to appear in any photos will need to be carefully planned to ensure that everything is branded consistently. If this is ignored, the photos may be denied by a chain’s corporate marketing department and may not be available for use on your website.
What Do Guests Want To See?
It is the photographer’s job to put together a shot list beforehand, but both parties should collaborate to discuss ideas of what a potential guest really wants to see when they are looking to book a hotel. More than anything, travelers want to see what kind of room they will be staying in, as this is where they will be spending most of their time.
Once the interior room shots are planned out, then you can move down the list of the next important things that guests desire in overnight lodging, such as a pool, breakfast area, lobby, etc. Some hotels receive a high volume of business travelers, and if you know that your conference rooms are what you want to market, those should also be at the top of the shot list.
If your hotel is popular due to its proximity to local attractions such as a public beach or amusement park, be sure to discuss capturing some photos of those places that your hotel staff typically recommends that their guests visit with the photographer.
Planning and Preparation
Planning and preparation is the most important part of executing a successful hotel photo session. As discussed above, planning a shot list with the photographer is a great place to start, because this will give you an idea of some of the measures you will need to take in order to prepare for the day of the shoot. This might involve blocking off certain rooms, organizing a catered event from your hotel kitchen, removing or adding different decorations to the hotel lobby, and more.
The photographer will likely want to discuss specific ways that rooms should be set up, down to the finest details such as lighting arrangements, pillow placement, and soap and towel type. Discussing these things beforehand will help save time on the day of the shoot.
Shot List Examples
Shot lists can vary between lodging companies, depending upon what exact things they want to market. That being said, here are some general shot list ideas that nearly every hotel or bed and breakfast can benefit from.
As stated earlier, interior room shots are typically the most important aspect of a shoot, as they are what potential guests are most interested in seeing. Room shots will use a combination of wide angle lenses, flash photography, and different lighting techniques to ensure that everything looks absolutely perfect. Depending on the size of the room, shooting interior room shots can take over an hour, and roughly 25 pictures per room will be edited for client approval.
Even if guests don’t plan on using a hotel gym or pool, they at least want to know that the option is there. Providing professional shots of the facility can show that your hotel is well-kept, and that guests don’t need to leave your building for entertainment should they so choose. This is also a great opportunity to grab shots of conference rooms or dining centers, and these can be staged with real people or be shown as empty as well.
A set of standard lobby shots are helpful to guests because it shows them what they can expect to see when they first enter your facility. In some cases, including a smiling receptionist at the desk can be a nice touch as well.
Food and Drink Shots
If one of your primary marketing points is free continental breakfast or a high-class bar, guests will want to get a look at these as well. Food and drink can be staged on tables for photography outside of normal business hours, or staff can be photographed serving guests.
Before requesting aerial shots from a hotel photographer, you will always want to ensure that they have the proper drone license to legally capture those shots. Aerial photos can do a great job of providing viewers with greater context of where the hotel is located and the beauty of the surrounding neighborhood or beaches.
Contact Space Coast Media Today
In a time where COVID-19 has likely slowed down your hotel operations temporarily, hotel managers are using this as an opportunity to pull marketing materials together and ensure that they are prepared for strong waves of tourism that are predicted to follow the decline of COVID-19 cases in the United States. If you are interested in learning how to better market your rooms and amenities, visit our site to view a portfolio of our hotel photography work, or give us a call today!