TravelTriangle’s guide for hotel photography.
In today’s tech driven world more and more travelers are choosing their hotels based on the images and reviews they see on trusted websites. In many cases the photographs of the property becomes the final tie-breaker for travelers; the reason being — images would carry far more powerful information that reveals the character of the property. The basic and psychological human needs like food, warmth, rest, safety and security become underlining influences in making decisions at a subconscious level; especially when someone travels to new and unknown places.
Five important areas to cover and its guidelines when photographing a hotel property.
1. The Hotel (exterior view): A long shot of the building showing the surroundings that will give travelers a sense of scale and ambience of the property. This would be the unique element that will differentiate each property from the other. Preferably captured at dawn/dusk with warm and well-lit architecture.
2. The Bedroom and the Living Room: A combination of wide angle and close-up shots that would highlight the personality of the rooms. Avoid people inside the rooms to leave scope for your guests to visualise themselves in the space. Select images that suggest comfort, spaciousness and good service. Examples below:
- Wide angle/ fisheye shot of a well-arranged room in dim light that shows a comfortable bed and other furniture. Include windows with natural lights and nice carpets if possible.
- Picture of a well-done bed with comfortable pillows and carefully decorated items in the room (e.g., vase with fresh flowers).
- Do not miss an opportunity to show off if the room has a beautiful view from the window.
- Showcase the quality of some of the items used in the room with close-ups of pictures (e.g., good clean carpets, fresh linen and curtains, complementary items in the room especially for the honeymooners).
Photographs should cover each budget category of the rooms and if special arrangements are made for the family and the couple/honeymoon travelers, that can be additional.
3. The Bathroom: The cleanliness and luxury of the property will be judged by its bathrooms.
- A wide angle/ fisheye shot of the bathroom from one corner, which must be well lit. Try to include mirrors and other facilities available (like a jacuzzi, fresh towels, etc.). Having more white elements in the image is good to give it a more hygienic look. Choose the picture with the lid of the water closet shut if there is an option.
- A close-up shot of the clean bathroom fittings or any additional facilities available would be a great addition.
4. Restaurants/ Bar: Places for food are equally important and it will add value to the travelers’ hotel experience.
- Photographs of warm and friendly restaurants in the hotel.
- Can also showcase images of a table with fresh food and beverages.
If special arrangements are made for the family and couple/honeymoon travelers, showcase them as well.
5. The Property and Facilities: This is a chance to showcase the hospitality and vibe of the place, with the images of common areas and shared spaces like the lobby, swimming pool, the gym, the corridors, the outdoor garden, the meeting room, room service and the people at the front desk.
- These images could accommodate people in it but only if they look friendly enough in the picture.
- Use wide angle/ fisheye lenses for covering wide and well-lit spaces. Do not showcase any tiny and claustrophobic places here. (For example, use a front desk with amble space, a swimming pool with kids enjoying themselves, with safety gadgets in the picture.)
How to judge between good and bad photography
This guideline is made with inputs collected from hundreds of user reviews of hotels on booking.com, and valuable suggestions from my friend Maniyarasan- an architect turned photographer(an amazing one!), who is currently pursuing Ph.D in Architectural Documentation(photography) at IIT Hyderabad along with my understanding of photography, design, and visual communication strategies.
We’d love to hear your feedback on this post, as well as your experiences in design, storytelling or any kind of problem solving for that matter.