How to prepare for a Photo-shoot at your hotel

The following points are focused towards architectural photography and can help with preparing for a photo shoot. We recommend the following:

1) Guest Rooms – Usually best photographed with natural light and some fill flash bounced from an umbrella or two. Ensure bed sheets, pillows & bed skirts are crisply ironed & tightly tucked. If you wish to add some amenities, it is recommended to only do so if these items are always in the room when the guest checks in. Remove advertising tent cards, trash cans (rubbish bins), plastic cups and trays, door hangers, old telephones & wires. We will shoot with the sheer curtains closed unless there is a view to capture, which we will add.

2) Meeting Space – Please set for VIP meetings. Linens to be crisply ironed. Tables and chairs perfectly aligned and set with pens, pads, glasses & water bottles. Remove flip charts & trash bins. A coffee breakout can look good and add some interest. If there are no windows, we can photograph at any time.

3) Ballroom – Some hotels ask our thoughts on shooting an empty ballroom to show the size. We feel it looks best if set for a dinner with round tables, full wedding or dinner setting with centre piece, candles, head table & a dance floor. To prepare, please check all bulbs are working and chairs and tables are perfectly aligned. We can also shoot the Ballroom set as Theatre style, or broken down into smaller rooms and set as Classroom, Ushape or Cabaret style.

4) Fitness – Ensure the room is clean & tidy. Remove trash bins, dirty towel baskets & any other clutter. We may move the weights bench and position to composition. Mobility balls look good & can add colour. TVs to be switched off. The best time to shoot is usually after the rush in the morning, and before the rush in the afternoon.

5) Outdoor Pool – We prefer to shoot when free of guests. Area should be tidy with no dirty towels. Lounger chair backs to be the same setting. No water marks or puddles on the floor around the pool. When sunny is best.

6) Indoor Pool – The same as for the outdoor pool but need to consider showing an ADA access pool chair if one is present. We prefer to hide any life saving items purely to keep the area tidy for the shot.

7) Lobby – Guests can make the shot look untidy, and we would also need model release signatures. For that reason we prefer the area empty except for the front desk staff who should be smartly dressed & in uniform.

8) Restaurants – Dusk is the best time to shoot as a dinner setting. However, this can also be the busiest time. Sometimes we need to shoot early morning but set for dinner.

9) Breakfast Area – We can either shoot before the first guest arrives in the morning, or after everyone has left and the breakfast has been fully re-stocked and cleaned. We prefer to shoot before the first guest, however, the breakfast needs to be set 30 minutes earlier than normal so we have time to shoot before the first guest arrives (which is usually right when we are still shooting). The breakfast should be filled to the top, and everything perfectly presented.

10) Bar – In the evening. Free of guests is best. The bar area needs to be tidy.

11) Exterior, daytime – The best time to shoot is when the sun is lighting up the front of the hotel. Our preference is to shoot from an elevated building across the road. If we need permission to enter then the hotel should see if they can ask in advance. In some cases we can shoot with a drone. Please block cars from obstructing the view, and hide any trash cans or ash trays. The grass should be cut and flower beds tidied. Hide the luggage carts so they are not visible through the entrance glass.

12) Exterior evening – the same as for he exterior day, but also switch on all front facing room lights to light up the hotel and look busy.

Any questions, please let me know?

Andrew Meli, PhotoWeb


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