If you want to hook potential guests from the moment they first come into contact with your hotel, you need lifestyle shots. They help your potential viewer take the next step when considering your hotel and feel what it will actually be like to stay with you. It takes them from “that looks nice” to “I want to experience that.” 

But what exactly is lifestyle photography, what should it do, and how do you prepare and get the best from your lifestyle photoshoot? Read on to learn everything you need to know, including example photos so you can see what this looks like in action. 

What is lifestyle photography? 

Lifestyle photography encompasses real people in real places, with everyday objects and situations. It doesn’t have to be all-natural – as in, not posed – but it should represent real-life moments in time. 

Lifestyle photography is all about reflecting the human experience of being there at the viewer of the photo. In the context of hotel photography, it should allow your ideal guest to step into the shoes of those in the image and experience what it’s like to be at your hotel. 

Your hotel lifestyle photographs should tell the story of what it’s like to be a guest in your hotel, whether it’s a photo of people laughing in the pool, relaxing by the bar, or even a folded towel and robe in a steamy bathroom. It’s photos like these that create an emotional connection between you and potential guests, it shows them the emotional experience they’ll have with you. 

For example, if someone wants to get away for a relaxing spa break, they’ll choose the hotel that shows them through their photography that the experience at their hotel is more relaxing than any of the others available. If your hotel hosts c-suite business people, your photos should show the sense of ease your hotel offers – how you provide places to work, meet with clients, relax, and take care of their needs (often) before they ask. 

What should your hotel lifestyle photography do? 

Your lifestyle photography should tell the story and share the experience of what it’s like to stay at your hotel.

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 As we discussed in the section above, lifestyle’s primary objective is to tell a story. If you’re a family hotel and you have a play area for kids, shots of children playing and laughing will convey to parents what staying with you is like. They don’t just see children having fun, they see their children having fun in an area where they won’t be worried about them being too loud, where they can make friends, and where the parents can take a moment for themselves because they don’t have to watch their children so closely. 

What does hotel lifestyle photography look like? 

So, what does this look like in practice? Here are some of my examples and why they are so beneficial: 

Hotel Lifestyle Photography

Hotel Lifestyle Photo shoot

It seems like almost every household has a dog these days, especially with puppy fever during pandemic lockdowns. If you allow guests to bring their furry friends with them, you can sell this point by using them in your lifestyle shots. 

Hilton London Metropole

Hilton London Metropole lifestyle shoot

Things don’t have to be serious or relaxing – these lifestyle shots show guests letting loose and having fun, optimising their brand colours and personality. It’s obvious who their ideal guest is! 

If your clientele are a little more “mature” (take that to mean what you will!), you can show guests having just as much fun but in a quieter way. Notice how these shots convey peace and quiet while the shots above convey loud music and raucous laughter.

How to Prepare for Your Hotel Lifestyle Photoshoot

Your lifestyle photography can be used in marketing campaigns to hook potential guests, increase brand awareness through social media, and increase engagement on social media platforms. Without them, you rely solely on the pictures of your hotel and your potential guest’s imagination to see themselves experiencing your hotel. The addition of lifestyle photography allows potential guests to see and, most importantly, feel what it will be like to be at your hotel. This emotional connection with your potential guests is what will get them to click the “Book Now” button.

If you want to find out what and how to prepare for hotel lifestyle photo shooting, simply download my FREE Guide and Checklist: