You can tell when a great photographer has taken a photo. There’s something about the setup, the light, the look, the angle and the colors. It just looks ‘different’. That’s not a fluke.
If you’re tempted to take your own photos to publicise your hotel and you’ve never taken a photo before, then you’ll find it’s difficult to get started. Your photos won’t have that ‘look’ that makes the hotel gardens look their best or the hotel itself leap out at you, and you might feel deflated. You might even blame the camera and maybe buy another, more expensive one.
However, it’s probably not the camera.
You see all those settings on the top? Do you leave it on ‘auto’? Most people do, and that’s fine. Some of the best cameras on the market these days will do a cracking job of focusing, setting aperture and ISO etc. Just take a look at the screen when you point it at your subject and see what it’s doing, all in front of your eyes. However, that’s not creativity.
A great photographer knows how to get a scene right and take a photograph that will look fantastic, and he does this because he knows what all those settings mean. He doesn’t simply set it to automatic and then fix everything in PhotoShop.
Of course, doing it yourself is much cheaper, short-term, but you shouldn’t discount the benefits of getting all your photography expertly shot by a professional. Especially a professional who specialises in hotel and resort photography.
Both photos and video can ‘sell’ your resort. Think back to the last time you tried to find somewhere to stay. You checked out websites or flipped through brochures, and the chances are you saw some incredible photography. It’s probable that you chose your hotel because of the photography, too.
So many hotels fit into the ‘four-star’ review category that it’s impossible to use ratings to choose anymore, and so the resorts that make an effort are the ones that win the customers.
Great photos for brochures, incredible videos for websites and presentations, all of this adds up to a great investment that will reap rewards for years to come.
You’ve probably got a fantastic hotel that you want to show off. You’ve got all the lighting set up; the frontages are looking fantastic, and the gardens are superb. So, you get ready to start taking your photos.
And they turn out great. But there’s something missing…
Very often, the artistic flair of a photographer can mean that they miss out on the one thing that makes hotels what they are. They are missing people. People are the lifeblood of your hotel, without them you don’t have a business, and yet so many amateur photographers go out of their way to miss them out of photos.
There are many reasons, but one of the most common is that they are simply looking for a clean line. They don’t want it to be messed up by scruffy types or kids running across the grass. The thing is, your customers probably do want to see that.
So how can you breathe life into your hotel photography and still maintain a clean and professional look?
The easiest way is to stage it. You could get members of staff to dress as ‘civilians’ and set them in poses around areas of your hotel to show it off. It’s usually best to make sure they’re doing something such as drinking or eating. Otherwise it can look awkward. However, this can be a really easy way to give the impression of ‘action’ in your hotel.
This also means you can have complete control over how the photos look. You can’t order members of the public around, but you can ask your staff to stand here, move there, hold this, etc.
And finally, it gives you time. Patience is a virtue in photography and it pays to wait for the best lighting or for the wind to drop so hair isn’t blowing all over the place. It’s possible to add some lighting effects in PhotoShop, but nothing beats capturing the moment there and then.
You’ll need to get permission first from the people you’ll be photographing, but often the best way to capture motion is to photograph an event. Hotels are usually booked out with events, and it’s good to show that yours is too.
Weddings are ideal, as people will often be dressed up, no scruffy youths here!
You’ll also get your fair share of elegant dresses and hats in different colours. Choose wisely and you may be able to match clothing colours with certain areas of the hotel to create something really special.
However, be careful you don’t annoy the people you’re snapping. Be courteous and don’t ask for too much.
The final, and most expensive method is to hire models. Although this will cost you quite a bit, it does mean you get professionals who are used to being told what to do. They may also have some ideas themselves.
The result is the same with any of these options. Put simply, adding life to your hotel photographs can actually help you get more bookings, so don’t shy away from it.