6 Things You Can Do to Guarantee You Ruin Your Hotel Photographs (& Drive Your Photographer Crazy!)
Photoshoot day is always a big day for any hotel, and with so much to do, it can be tempting to over-prepare. But too much planning and preparation won’t help you guarantee your photos are terrible and your photographer never wants to return. If you want to see them spending a week straight on Photoshop trying to patch images together, you’re going to have to let go of the planning and just keep these tips in mind:
6 Things You Can Do To Guarantee You Ruin Your Hotel Photographs & Drive Your Photographer Crazy
Walk into the Shot
The first thing you can do is wait for the photographer to line up their shot, wait for the lighting to be just right, and then walk straight into the shot. If you can, wait until they get behind the camera to do this to ensure you’re right in the shot. Ideally, do this with a beautiful smile at the camera. The photos will look better with you in, after all! Alternatively, let your guests wander aimlessly through the room.
Rearrange the Perfectly Positioned Furniture
Your next step should be to follow the photographer around and adjust all the furniture and props in the room they’ve left after setting up, or–even better–do it mid-shoot. Most of the final images I use are multiple images merged into one, and so if something has moved, I can’t do it and have to reshoot the scene. This is guaranteed to ruin your photos and drive your photographer crazy with zero effort.
Fuss Over Your Props
Try to fill your rooms with props if possible – the more the better. You and the photographer are the only two people who will really know the difference, but it’s worth all the extra set up and time, right?
Make Sure You Ask “Can You Photoshop It?” All The Time
It’s unlikely everything will be perfect on shoot day, so make sure you ask your photographer about every detail of what’s wrong and if they can photoshop it out. They likely won’t notice and won’t realise they need to offer an alternative solution if they can’t, so make sure you ask.
Make Sure It’s All About the Camera
Make sure you look at the camera your photographer has and make sure it looks professional. Ideally, the bigger the better, especially when it comes to lenses. Remember – it’s the camera that does the work, all the photographer does is press the red button.
Try to Get the Shoot Done ASAP
You just want a quick shot, right? So make sure you set a super tight schedule so there’s very little time to set up the shot to get that one photo. It should only take a few minutes to get each shot, after all…
All jokes aside…
Okay, okay–all jokes aside, you’d be surprised how many times photographers deal with the six above faux pas. Honest mistakes aren’t a problem, but they can add up and affect the final results.
Of course, it’s easy to avoid them with the following:
What You Can Do to Guarantee You Get Perfect Pictures & a Happy Photographer
Talk to your team before the shoot:
you should think about the locations and talk to your team at least the day before the shoot, if not earlier. You’re going to want to have any area you’re planning to get photos of ready to go before the photographer arrives. If you need to do a little tweaking once we’re in the room – that’s not a problem.
Make sure guests aren’t going to be around:
The last thing you want when you want to get shots of the restaurant is to be waiting for some of your guests to leisurely finish their breakfast because you didn’t close the restaurant in enough time. Make sure you plan ahead and communicate to guests where they can and can’t be and when, plus any alternative arrangements you’ve made for them.
Plan the shoot:
the best shoots go smoothly because there’s a plan in place of where we need to be and when. This doesn’t need to be a strict, to-the-minute itinerary, but knowing which rooms have the right lighting at what times of day and where we need to go next when we finish an area can help streamline the entire process. I’m always happy to help you put the plan together so we can try for shoot-day perfection.
Remember you’ve hired them for their expertise, not just their equipment:
Yes, the camera and digital tools photographers use are an important part of the equation when it comes to creating eye-catching results. But put those tools in the hands of someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing and they’re not going to magically get beautiful results. Your photographer has likely spent years (if not over a decade, like me!) honing their craft, so remember the magic comes from them, not the tech!
Be aware that “just one” picture may take an hour to shoot:
obviously not every picture you use will take an hour to shoot, but talk to your photographer in the planning stages so you know exactly how much time to allocate in each area that needs to be photographed.
A drop of coffee goes a long way:
Remember that your photographer is a human and some niceties go a long way! I’ll never say no to a coffee, especially when we start early or the day is a long one!
Your Photoshoot Checklist
To help you make sure you get the best results from your photoshoot, keep this checklist close at hand:
- At least a week before: plan the day with your photographer
- 1 week before: have a meeting with your team that will be helping or working on the day
- Day before: put up signage for guests so they know when rooms will be closed to them, if necessary
- Day of: keep track of the schedule but let your photographer work their magic
- Day of: offer a cup of coffee to your photographer, if you can!
While this blog post certainly is more tongue-in-cheek than serious, it’s a good idea to keep the latter tips in mind before your next shoot! Simply remembering to plan, keep out of the photographer’s way when they’re clicking away, and ensuring guests don’t disrupt the shoot can make all the difference. If you’re thinking of getting new hotel photography in the near future, I’m here to help. I can guide you from the earliest stages right through to the end of shoot day to ensure the images we capture are going to wow every potential guest that sees them – ultimately winning the booking. If you’d like me to give your hotel photographs a new lease on life, click here to contact me today.