The hotel market, like so many others, is saturated. With the rise of Airbnb, guests looking for somewhere to spend the night are overloaded with hotel, BnB, and Airbnb options. They’ll define their budget and needs, and then browse through tens or even hundreds of options, and quickly, they’ll start comparing one thing: the pictures. 

There is no greater asset in your marketing arsenal than your photos. With a beautiful location to shoot and a skilled photographer, your photos can do much of the heavy lifting of getting new bookings for you. However, bad photos can make even the most luxurious location look dark and unappealing. To help you make sure you always upload photos that sell bookings, here are 6 types of bedroom photographs you should NEVER display on your website: 

6 Bedroom Photographs You Should NEVER Display on Your Website 


  • Dark Photos 

If nothing else is optimised or thought about, lighting is the one thing that can make or break a photo. You may have noticed that when you take a selfie, those taken facing the window come out beautifully, helping your eyes shine and skin look bright, and those taken side-on or even back-to the window come out dark and shadowed. Lighting makes all the difference. 

Of course, hotel bedrooms don’t always have perfect lighting and you almost always need your photos to include the window, which can cast the room in shadow. In rooms that are naturally dark, you may need to use additional artificial lighting behind the camera to help brighten the room. I often shoot using natural light and the artificial light in the room, but it’s not easily done. Bedroom lighting often has yellow and blue hues, which is less than ideal and often casts shadows around the room. These shadows are things we don’t notice when we stand in the room, but can highlight every bump in the bedspread or wash out the colours of the room. 

  • Blown-Out Photos 

  Equally, photos that are too bright also don’t work. If the photo is light but it has lost some definition, visitors will be able to see that the photo isn’t an accurate representation of the room and will move on. 

  • Loss of Atmosphere 

Last on our list in terms of lighting is a loss of atmosphere. Sometimes lighting problems aren’t as obvious, but you can see that they’re missing that “something”, that je ne se quoi that differentiates your pictures from the top hotels in your area or niche. This is much more difficult to notice and correct, but a skilled photographer will be able to capture the feel of your room. 

  • Poor Composition 

Photo composition basics can be easily learned, but if you don’t know that there are rules to follow, you’ll end up with images that look “off” or distorted. This often comes from failing to frame vertical lines properly, giving a funhouse-effect, or other odd angles. Taking the photo from too low a point or too high can also do this. 

  • Over-Edited Photographs 

You want your photos to give viewers the feeling that they’ve just stepped into the room, and they won’t be able to leave their spot behind the computer or their phone and envision themselves there if the images are obviously edited. Having unrealistic effects, being oversaturated, or using an old-style HDR effect will separate your potential guest from the room, and likely cause them to move on. 

  • Rooms That Are Too “Empty” 

You don’t often want to rent a room that looks like someone’s bedroom, but equally, guests are turned off by sparsely decorated rooms that look cold or unused. It’s a delicate balance, but look at a room before you take pictures and question whether it looks inviting to your ideal customer. If not, think about what you need to change to attract them. 


So now we’ve covered the 6 pictures you don’t want to display on your website, let’s discuss what you should be looking for. 


What to Look for in Bedroom Photographs for Your Website 

  • Quality Composition: look for photographs with quality composition, straight vertical lines, and bold colours.
  • Captured Atmosphere: make sure the image captures the feel of your hotel and the experience you want your guests to have there.
  • Focus on the Best Features: make sure your images focus on the best features of the room. Is it the bold furniture? The view? The decor? Make sure these features, even if they’re only small luxurious touches, are highlighted in your photos.
  • Infused with Life: Minimalistic rooms can look cold and bare in a photo, so consider adding some life. A few props, such as cut flowers, a handbag, or food can help immensely, but don’t be afraid to use adults, kids, or pets if it’s right for your hotel.
  • Include Behind-the-Scenes Shots: While these don’t take precedence over your bedroom photos, you need to make sure your supporting images are just as high quality. Many hotels include shots of the housekeeping staff making beds, but this is an overused shot that many clients will gloss over. Instead, consider photos of your staff putting food together or the little touches your guests can only experience in your hotel. 

 Your Last-Minute Photo Checklist 

If you’ve worked with a professional photographer, your images should be ready to upload when you receive them. However, it’s worth running through this list before clicking the upload button regardless to make sure you’re choosing the right images and don’t end up making a costly mistake. Before you upload, make sure the image… 

  • Captures the right atmosphere for your brand 
  • Has Goldilocks Lighting (isn’t too dark, or too light, but just right) 
  • Isn’t oversaturated (the colours look the same as they do in person) 
  • Everything in the image is clear (you don’t feel the need to squint or change your screen settings to see everything) 
  • Highlights the best features of the room 
  • Has a few different areas of interest to look at (isn’t too sparsely decorated) 
  • It doesn’t look edited 

Remember that a hotel bedroom photograph should capture the viewer’s attention for more than a few seconds, giving them time to envision themselves staying in the room, and then guide them to click the “Book Now” button. It’s vital to not just consider what your viewer is seeing when they’re on your site, but also what they may be comparing it to. Your image needs to sell the experience so they book with you and not a competitor. 

This can all feel a little overwhelming and high-stakes, but the truth is, the right bedroom photographs really can make all the difference. I help my clients capture the atmosphere and story of staying in their hotel to secure more bookings. If you’d like me to give your hotel photographs a new lease on life, click here to contact me today.