Blog of a London Interiors Photographer

Blog of Interiors Photographer Ryan Wicks. Updates, projects and behind the scenes. 

How to Choose the Right Photographer for your Hotel Imagery

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With the plethora of photographers out there, it can be an overwhelming task to select one for your hotel photoshoot. Your hotel images are a key selling opportunity and creating them can be worthy investment or an expensive mistake. I want to give you three quick tips to help you cut through the portfolios and find the right photographer for you. 

Spoiler alert – it’s not necessarily me.

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1. Specialism

Jack of all trades, master of none, right? Choose a photographer that is a specialist in the area appropriate to what you need to shoot. Different genres of photography require unique skills sets and for the best results, you want to employ someone who is expert in their field.

Here are the main specialisms working with hospitality clients and what they will do for your hotel:

·  Interiors & Architecture Photographer - Showcases the rooms, spaces and facilities.

·  Food & Beverage Photographer – Works with your chefs and mixologists to make images of your bar and restaurant offerings.

·  Portrait & Lifestyle Photographer -  Creates emotive images of models in staged set-ups enjoying the experience of your venue - “sell the sizzle, not the steak” – and portraits of your team.

Some photographers may offer more than one of these services but they are likely to have invested most of their education and experience in one area and the others are secondary. Decide what’s most important to you and pick someone who you are confident can deliver on that.

If you are a new hotel or want full coverage, you might want to think about bringing in several specialists, rather than watering down the quality with a generalist. A good photographer isn’t necessarily the one who says they can do all of it but might be the one that admits they can’t.

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2. Style

Choose a photographer who’s portfolio demonstrates a style that you would like to achieve for your hotel. Look at the framing, lighting, prop styling and post-processing and try to imagine that treatment applied to your hotel. If you have brand guidelines, this is a good time to refer to this. Some questions to ask yourself which might help establish the photographer’s style:

1)    Does the photographer shoot tight crops, wide views or a mix of the two? Are they from a high or low angle?

2)    Does the lighting look bright or dark? Natural or enhanced?

3)    Does the photographer use shallow depth of field (blurred backgrounds)?

4)    Do the images have vibrant or muted colours?

Remember, there’s no right or wrong here. It’s what works for your brand and vision. 

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3. Price 

I’ve purposefully left this until last because a successful set of images will pay for themselves many times over in their lifetime but I understand the we all have marketing budgets to meet and cost cannot be discounted.

Photographers will typically charge either by the day, per image or a combination of the two. A day rate with all images included, might seem like the more economical option but be sure to find out what you are likely to achieve from each day. Some questions to ask are:

1) Is post-processing included?

2) What image rights are included?

3) Are travel expenses included?

Some photographers will include all of the above, other will charge these on top. Be sure to understand what’s included with each so you’re not comparing apples to oranges.

Ultimately, this comes down to what you can afford or are willing to pay for photography. Like most things, you get what you pay for and the most experienced an in demand photographers will come at a price. If the resulting images last 10 years and are used as the main visual communication to your potential guests, it might just be worth paying that bit more for.

I hope this helps you to find the right photographer for your next hotel shoot. If you think this could be me, send me a message and let’s discuss your needs.