A Guide to Hotel Photography
Having a good set of photographs of your hotel or B&B is vital especially nowadays when potential guests like to see an image of every nook and cranny before they book. I thought it might be helpful to explain how we put together a day’s hotel photography including what to expect from the shoot, how to prepare and how much it will cost.
When is the best time for a shoot?
This of course all depends on the type of hotel or B&B. Spring and summer when the gardens are at their best – flowers brimming from every bed, the sun shining (it does happen), the pool looking particularly tempting – will always be a winner. But perhaps you want to attract guests in the autumn or winter when a ‘cosy’ shoot would be more appropriate – think roaring fires, walking boots and fishing rods at the door and crisp, frost-dusted exteriors. Once you’ve decided on the season, then think about a day when you can accommodate a photographer without too much disruption. Don’t forget too, to factor in such prosaic details as bin collection day or the fact that you’ve just redecorated and everything needs tidying up.
What happens on the day?
I usually start at 9am, and work through until late afternoon. You may prefer it if I arrive the evening before to do some dusk or evening shots. Maybe the exterior of the building with the lights on? Or a photograph of the fireplace in the drawing room with glowing candles? Early morning shots work well and can be particularly atmospheric if the place looks good in the dawn light. In a full day, you can expect a good collection of images. The usual would be four or five bedrooms, including general views and close ups, one or two of the bathrooms as well as the public areas. I am aware that bedroom shots depend on availability, so will work around your schedule as guests leave and the rooms are cleaned. Ideally, I would do as many as possible in one go to minimise the time spent moving equipment about. I can then move on to dining and reception areas. The chef will usually have a preference about when he/she wants to showcase their food to photograph (before lunch? or maybe afterwards if its a busy day), and while it’s being prepared, we can shoot the restaurant or perhaps afternoon tea by the fireside. It’s entirely up to you and it may be that you would rather photograph an extra bedroom or two instead of food.
Best Bits to Photograph?
As for the public areas, it’s a good time to think about your best assets – what will guests be most wowed by?. Do you have a state-of-the-art spa or stunning gardens? Are your wedding facilities a big draw? We could have a room set up as a wedding reception venue or perhaps a business conference. Maybe you have a much smaller place and a balcony overlooking the sea with a a couple of G&Ts would be more appropriate.
What do you need to provide?
I work carefully and quickly and as I’ve been an interiors and garden photographer for over 20 years, have become an experienced stylist. It always helps though if you have some props to use – newspapers, magazines, books, tea things, wine glasses etc and fresh flowers from the garden or shop (but not garage) – make a huge difference. I work on my own or on larger jobs with an assistant who is also a stylist. Having an extra pair of hands allows me to photograph more images as she can prepare rooms ahead of me as well as tidying up afterwards! I don’t normally do half days but do get in touch if you think that’s all you will need.
If you would like to discuss your requirements, please get in touch, and if you want to see more relevant images, please do ask!. I have just printed a new ‘magazine style’ portfolio that you may like to look at before deciding. Please let me know and I can post a copy to you.
tel 07779 997 831 or email mark(at)markboltonphotography.co.uk