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Things to Consider When Hiring a Hotel Photographer

Christine O'Kelly
Mar 28, 2008
Almost everyone owns a digital camera these days and can take pleasing photos. It can be tempting for resort and hotel owners to save money by taking photos themselves or hiring a local photographer that doesn't necessarily specialize in hotel photography. Pleasing photos and professional photos are not the same thing, however.

Hiring a professional resort and hotel photographer can make a huge impact on a business's bottom line. Oftentimes a brochure or website is the only opportunity a hotel has to make a first impression. Poor photography can turn potential guests away simply because they judge the quality of the resort based on the photos.

There are certain things to take into consideration when hiring a hotel photographer. By reviewing each of these points carefully with potential candidates, you can feel confident that your choice in the end will be the right one!

The Right Equipment for the Job

Striking hotel photographs start with the right equipment. It is imperative that professional resort and hotel photographers have the specialized lighting required to properly light large spaces such as hotel suites, ballrooms, lobbies and restaurants. Without proper lighting, the outside light may be burned out eliminating details both outside and inside.

Having a wide variety of wide-angle lenses is also required for properly photographing hotels and resorts. A wider lens shows the expanse of the room and can make even the smallest of hotel rooms look comfortable and inviting.

Hotel Photography Experience

Obviously, photography experience in general is a must when hiring a resort and hotel photographer. It is important to ask to see samples of work similar to your hotel as well. If the photographer shows an entire portfolio filled with stunning wedding shots, they may not have the experience necessary to photograph resorts and hotels.

An experienced hotel photographer knows how to stage a room based on the clientele. A business hotel might have a newspaper and laptop on the table versus a tennis racket and romantic dinner in a luxury resort. They will also have a keen eye for pinning back the curtains correctly or making sure the bedspreads are folded down.

Hotel Advertising and Marketing Experience

Beyond experience photographing resorts and hotels, it is important for a photographer to have knowledge of advertising and marketing. Hotel photographs are generally used to market and sell rooms. A photographer with experience in this aspect of photography will be able to choose models of the appropriate age to represent the average guest. They will seek out potential settings with the best views and best representations of the hotel. And the fact that these photos will be used to sell is never far from their mind.

Business Practices

In the end, it all comes down to the photos themselves. Different hotel photographers have different policies about how their photographs are purchased, presented and used. The best scenario when choosing a hotel photographer is to find one that provides clients with all of the digital files so that they can use them in different formats (print, web, etc) Some hotel photographers charge royalty fees, so it is best to choose one who offers unlimited use.

As the photographer what happens if the photographs are not acceptable in the end? Most reputable resort and hotel photographers will offer a guarantee and re-shoot if necessary.
About the Author
Christine OKelly is an author for Earl Kogler, Florida Professional Photographer with 25 years of experience in the hotel photography industry.
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