Preparation is #1
Photographers often show up and very little preparation has been done. Some things can’t be “Photoshopped” out and it’s always better if they don’t have to be. The more prepared you are when the photographer arrives with bundles of equipment, the better your pictures will turn out.
When taking room pictures:
- Make sure the rooms are ready. This might mean a special housekeeping push that day.
- Try to schedule the shoot during a slow time of year and during midweek when less guests are on property.
- Most multi night guests are very understanding if you let them know a photographer is coming. Offer them a $25 gift certificate if they will let you move their items into the bathroom so you can tidy up the room and take pictures.
- Horizontal photos typically work best for website design, so the majority of your images should taken in landscape mode.
- Move unsightly items like trash cans out of the camera angle. Look around the room and identify what you don’t want in the picture. Hide cords. See the picture below. Notice the recycle can and the cords?
- Turn on all room lights, even bathroom lights that can shine out into the room. It gives the photos a natural glow to the room with or without extra lighting.
- Only take pictures of the bathroom if it’s attractive. Most bathrooms aren’t “amazing” and are a pain, not to mention a waste to shoot. Focus on your rooms.
- It’s easy to prepare a tray of food and place it on one of your beds. You get some depth of field effect and it’s all kinds of artsy.
When taking pictures of the inn:
- The weekend before do some serious yard work, no matter the season. Like the rooms, move unsightly items, make sure the trash can will not be in the picture, etc.
- Let guests know you are having pictures taken. Ask if they would be willing to park in a special place for their stay. Maybe offer some extra cookies or a special drink for their effort.
- Pray for excellent weather. Bright blue sunny skies look amazing.
Have High Expectations
We are our toughest critic. We notice what’s not perfect about our businesses. Most guests only notice the obvious. It’s ok to be nervous about having pictures taken and worry about how they will turn out.
However, it’s mind blowing what modern cameras can do. More times than not a professional digital camera can make any room or any inn look better than reality. Even some $100 digital cameras do so as well.
When we are on a shoot, there are times where we take a picture and it’s easy to realize the camera took a picture of what the room would look like in perfect or near perfect lighting; lighting that can’t happen without extra equipment. So prepare to be blown away because a good photographer will show you what your rooms and your inn would look like with better than natural lighting.
Enhance but don’t over cook
Taking the pictures is only half of the process. A lot of the time is correcting and enhancing the images afterword. And yes, there is even an app for that! Pictures don’t even have to be perfect during the photo shoot.
But be careful not to overcook the pictures. With all the modern software to enhance pictures, you want the picture to look amazing but still realistic. Saturation is one the most common photo filters that makes colors more vibrant (saturated).
Ugly | Unattractive | Attractive | Amazing | Unrealistic
Go for amazing through great preparation!
Some of our recent work: