Having done photography for some of the finest hotels in Kenya, from Nairobi city to the world famous Masai Mara, we have come to learn a great deal about what it takes to achieve quality photography that beautifully showcases a hotel to the world. While we understood the importance of photography in hotel marketing and branding, working directly with professionals in the hospitality industry, listening to their requirements, and having the privilege of implementing their branding ideas through photography has unequivocally given us a profound insight into the role quality photography plays in the success of a hotel brand.
In our journey through the years, we have worked with different categories of hotels all with unique brand identities, market positioning and target customers. We have engaged with a hotel targeting high-end customers, marketing itself as a sophisticated destination. We have worked with another which targets the adventurous soul, appealing to a more youthful demographic – and just recently, we finished working with a boutique hotel located close to a major international airport targeting business class clients. These three hotels, pushing different brand identities are really just a microcosm of the huge diversity in the hotel industry. And while these differences in branding are glaring, for us, one thing has remained constantly true across the board; Quality Hotel Photography is irreplaceable.
Every hotel would love to have quality images for marketing, branding, website and print. Seasoned hoteliers will immediately let you know that hotel photography, images of the Rooms, Restaurant, Food setup and other amenities – significantly and disproportionately influence opinions of prospective customers about your hotel. If they have never been there, they do not know how it looks or feels. Most people will therefore naturally depend on the photographs, images of your hotel to form an opinion for or against the facility. In the hospitality industry though, this is not a new phenomenon, people have been looking at images of holiday destinations, hotel rooms and their amenities before making a reservation for probably as long as photography has existed. The only thing that has definitely changed is the use of good hotel photography to stand out, to communicate more clearly, and to beat the competition.
And for a hotel to do this, in our experience, it has to pay special extra attention to the little things when undertaking hotel photography. Most hotels and hotel photographers assume, wrongly of course, that a good camera, arsenal of lenses, and lighting – alone – will get you the perfect desired results. Don’t get me wrong, these items are important to start with for a successful hotel photography. Of course, you need the correct lens, lighting and a quality camera for any meaningful professional work. The falsehood however, is in believing that these are the only things you need to accomplish a successful hotel photography branding assignment. Truth is, it is more than the technical gear.
Hotel Rooms and Suites Photography
Hotel rooms are the most challenging part of any hotel photography exercise. Partly because they are one of the most important features of a hotel which require excellent display to customers, but also because they are a technical challenge depending on size and outlay. The photographer might be required to change lenses more than once and to adjust lighting severally to capture different aspects of a hotel room. With all these moving parts it becomes easy to get lost in the technical perspectives and forget the little things that truly count. Things like; Is the bed spread out well enough with no creases? Is the bedsheet tucked in perfectly? How about the pillows and bed throws?
These are tiny almost insignificant little things that can turn out to be a giant drag if not done well. And it doesn’t stop there for rooms and suites, you have to keenly study the curtains, the position of furniture if any, cutlery, and even the most basic things like cables, tv remotes. etc. Regardless of the monster photography gear you have, if your hotel room is set up poorly, if the little details are not perfectly done, all you will end up with is a quality poor image.
Restaurant and Bars Hotel photography
For a professional team, or at least in our experience, restaurant photography is not a huge technical challenge. It is in fact the undone little things that can destroy even the most exquisite of dining areas. As little as ensuring the seats are well in line, the tables, the table cloth, decorations, and the setups themselves are in order can save you the pain of poor photography. When doing restaurant photography, always remember, you are shooting for both expert customers as well as for ordinary people who may not be able to tell apart a dinner fork from a dessert fork. But do not get carried away by this truth, it is important to have the correct setup with the correct cutlery resting at its correct place. Do the right thing, even when the number of persons likely to notice it are few.
Whether it is a swimming pool, a deck overlooking a river, gym, spa and just about any other area of hotel photography, attention to the little details can make or break the quality of your hotel photography. From obvious things like location cleanliness to easily overlooked items like creases on bedsheets – little details have never been more important.
Need to consult a professional Hotel Photographer for more detailed information? Talk to us today.