The following tips and information are geared towards helping hotel clients prepare for an upcoming photo shoot at their hotel. They are preparation tips to make the process run a lot smoother with the goal of producing higher quality images.

1. Step one will involve the hotel creating a shot list and sharing with the photographer and hotel staff. There are often brand guidelines to follow so we recommend reading the guidelines in depth and noting the brand requirements. Most brands require a minimum of three unique images per guest room category, how the online travel agents (OTA’s) require four or more to help boost the hotel up the natural search listings.

2. The hotel will need to block all guest rooms and meeting space in advance of the shoot and PhotoWeb recommend that the rooms are prepared in advance of the photographer’s arrival if possible.

The following notes are shot specific.

Guest Rooms – Usually best photographed during daylight hours with plenty of natural light. Night time shots rarely look good. Please ensure the bed sheets, pillows & bed skirts are crisply ironed & tightly tucked. The curtains may also require some attention and a steamer if creased. They should hang naturally but straight. If you wish to add some amenities or props to the room such as flowers, champagne, a book for example, it is recommended to only do so if these items are always in the room when the guest checks in, or if the brand has encouraged or approved it. Please remove all advertising tent cards, trash cans (rubbish bins), plastic cups and trays, door hangers, old telephones & wires. PhotoWeb will shoot with the sheer curtains closed unless there is a view to capture, which we will be added in post production.

Meeting rooms / space – Please set for VIP meetings. Linens should be crisply ironed, tables and chairs aligned and set with pens, pads, glasses & water bottles. Remove flip charts & trash bins. A coffee breakout can look good and add some interest and colour. If there are no windows, PhotoWeb can photograph at any time.

Ballroom set for Dinner, Wedding, Event or Meeting – Some hotels ask for our advice as to what looks best; an empty ballroom or a full one with all the tables set. PhotoWeb prefer a 90% full room. Some extra space leaves room to breathe and the room will photograph all the better for it. To prepare, please check all bulbs are working and chairs and tables are perfectly aligned. PhotoWeb can also shoot the Ballroom set as Theatre style, or broken down into smaller rooms and set as Classroom, Ushape or Cabaret style.

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

Outdoor Pool – We prefer to shoot when free of guests if possible. If this is a resort with a popular pool then it may be necessary to close the pool for 30 minutes or more. A pool shot with lots of sun looks a lot better than when shot in shade. The area should be tidy with no dirty towels in view. Lounger chair backs to be set to the same angle. No water marks or puddles on the floor around the pool.

Indoor Pool – The same as for the outdoor pool but it’s important to show the ADA access pool chair. We prefer to hide any life saving items purely to keep the area tidy for the shot. The windows or doors may need to be opened a little in advance to reduce misting of the inside windows if humid outside.

Lobby – Guests will 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. This shot often requires extra time for preparation.

Restaurants – Dusk is the best time to shoot as a dinner setting, however, this can also be the busiest time so it is worth considering shooting early in the morning to replicate the evening.

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. The breakfast should be filled to the top, and everything perfectly presented.

Bar – In the evening, free of guests and all items to be clean and tidy. This often requires the bar team to hide a lot of items.

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 or with a drone if possible. 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.

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

Any questions, please let Andrew Meli know at

Thanks for reading and best wishes with the photo shoot. It will be great.

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