Ensuring your hotel looks its best in photographs is crucial for marketing and attracting guests. At CS3 Photography, we understand the importance of capturing the essence and appeal of your property. While our photographers are equipped to handle any situation on-site, there are specific steps you can take to maximize the impact of your images. 

Read on to discover 10 tips for enhancing your hotel’s visual allure and securing stunning hotel photography.

Tip #1: Showcase Your Property’s Appeal and Charm

Colorful and modern hotel lobby area

Every hotel has its own story and character that make it distinct from others. Whether your property is steeped in history, offers panoramic views, or features luxurious amenities, photography is your chance to showcase these elements compellingly. Think about the aspects of your hotel that you want to highlight:

  • Historical Features: If your hotel has a rich history, choose angles and settings that emphasize period architecture or vintage decor.
  • Stunning Views: For properties with scenic landscapes or cityscapes, ensure these are prominently featured in your images. Capture them during the best lighting conditions, perhaps during golden hour or twilight.
  • Exclusive Amenities: Highlight unique amenities such as a rooftop bar, a private beachfront, or a gourmet restaurant. These features can make your hotel stand out and attract specific market segments.

Consider consulting with a professional hotel photographer who can not only take high-quality photos but also suggest the best ways to represent your hotel’s unique features. These professionals can provide insights into the latest trends in hotel photography and help craft images that tell a compelling story to your potential guests. By investing in quality photography, you create a powerful visual representation of your hotel that can significantly influence guest perception and booking decisions.

Tip #2: Remove All Clutter

Visual clutter can significantly detract from the aesthetic appeal of your photos, potentially influencing how prospective guests view your hotel. To prepare for your photoshoot, conduct a thorough walkthrough of your hotel’s common areas, guest rooms, and amenities. Pay special attention to removing items that do not contribute positively to your space’s appearance:

  • Temporary Items: Newspapers, magazines, promotional flyers, and temporary signage should be removed or neatly organized out of the camera’s view.
  • Personal Items: In guest rooms, clear away personal items or housekeeping tools that may be lying around.
  • Decorative Clutter: Assess whether smaller decor elements contribute to or detract from the overall aesthetic. Sometimes, less is more, especially in photography.

Remember, items that might seem tidy or innocuous in person can disrupt the visual harmony of a photograph. Clearing these items not only cleans up your space but also allows the inherent beauty and design of your hotel to stand out. This creates images that convey a sense of tranquility and space, making them more effective for marketing and guest attraction.

Tip #3: Transform Bathrooms Into Picture Perfect Elegance

The bathroom often serves as a key indicator of cleanliness and luxury in hospitality settings, making it crucial for photography. While bedrooms and public areas commonly receive more attention, ensuring your bathroom is impeccably prepared can significantly enhance its appeal in photos. Here are a few steps to ensure your bathroom looks its best:

  • Spotless Surfaces: Ensure every surface is sparkling clean, from mirrors and countertops to the shower door to the flooring.
  • Soft Lighting: Use soft, warm lighting to create a welcoming and flattering ambiance. This can make the bathroom feel more inviting and luxurious.
  • Attention to Detail: Add elegant touches that communicate comfort and care. Fresh flowers, neatly folded towels, and a display of high-quality toiletries can greatly elevate the perceived value of the room.

By focusing on these details, you can transform your bathroom into a highlight of your hotel’s accommodations, portraying an image of elegance and meticulous care that resonates with potential guests.

Tip #4: Ensure Crisp Linens and Curtains for a Pristine Look

Modern tropical-themed hotel guest room

Crisp, ironed bed linens and window curtains are essential for presenting an immaculate and inviting guest room in your hotel’s photographs. While these details might not immediately catch the eye in online images, they greatly contribute to the overall perception of cleanliness and attention to detail.

Before your photo session, schedule time for your housekeeping team to meticulously iron all bed sheets, comforters and curtains in the rooms designated for photography. While our team can certainly help enhance photo quality and minimize imperfections, the natural look of well-maintained fabrics provides a level of authenticity that can’t be replicated digitally. Properly ironed fabrics help create a space that looks effortlessly tidy and elegantly simple.

Tip #5: Ensure All Lights are Turned On and Functional

Lighting plays a pivotal role in photography, directly affecting the mood and quality of the photos. Ensure every light source, from recessed lighting in guest rooms to table lamps and bathroom fixtures, is fully operational before the photoshoot. Conduct a comprehensive lighting check to eliminate any dark corners that can create an eerie or unwelcoming atmosphere.

Our photographers make it a standard practice to turn on all lights in a room to achieve a bright, inviting feel in the photographs. This is especially crucial in larger spaces like lobbies, and common areas and during night shoots where exterior lighting, such as signage and landscape illumination, becomes essential. Proper lighting not only enhances the features of your hotel but also instills a sense of warmth and welcome that resonates through the images.

Upscale hotel restaurant dining room

Tip #6: Master Angles and Compositions with Professional Guidance

Choosing the right angles and compositions is vital for capturing your hotel in its most flattering form. We encourage you to experiment with different perspectives to find the most scenic views of your property. Utilizing the rule of thirds, position key elements of your space in one-third of the frame, allowing the rest of the image to breathe and creating a visually balanced scene.

Don’t shy away from adjusting your vantage points. Try shooting from different heights and angles to best highlight the dimensions and layout of your rooms. Our CS3 photographers are here to assist you in exploring these techniques and will guide you through choosing the best compositions to showcase the elegance and allure of your hotel. For inspiration and to see what’s possible, explore our portfolio to discover how strategic compositions can transform your spaces into compelling visuals.

Tip #7: Capture a Wealth of Photos for Endless Marketing Opportunities

By taking numerous shots in various settings and at different times, you build a robust asset portfolio that can serve your marketing needs for years to come. Focus on capturing everything from the smallest details in your decor to the overall ambiance of your common areas and exteriors.

Each photo serves as a potential asset for different marketing campaigns, seasonal promotions, social media content and more. The more images you have, the greater flexibility you’ll have in selecting the perfect shot for any occasion or purpose. This surplus of choices will help keep your marketing materials fresh and engaging so you can appeal to a wide audience and adapt to ever-evolving trends.

Tip #8: Ensure There Are No Conflicting Activities on Your Photoshoot Day

To ensure your photoshoot proceeds smoothly and the resulting images are as clean and uncluttered as possible, it’s crucial to avoid any conflicting activities on the day of the shoot. Background distractions like landscaping work — such as leaf blowing and tree trimming — can detract from the aesthetic appeal of your photographs, especially during aerial photography sessions.

Plan to complete all outdoor maintenance and landscaping in the days prior to your photoshoot. We typically schedule sessions to start in the early morning, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., so it’s essential to finish any last-minute touch-ups well before this time. This helps secure a serene and controlled environment, which is ideal for capturing the perfect shots of your hotel.

Tip #9: Reserve and Prepare Guest Rooms and Amenities

Securing and preparing your guest rooms and amenities in advance is essential for capturing top-notch photographs. While reserving rooms specifically for the photoshoot might temporarily affect your revenue, the resulting images will significantly boost your marketing efforts and provide long-lasting benefits.

Hotel pool deck with folded towels on each lounge chair

For hotels experiencing high booking rates, we recommend beginning your photoshoot with these areas. This strategy allows the rooms to be promptly prepared and then quickly returned to your reservation system. Our experienced photographers typically complete their work across the entire hotel in just 2 to 3 hours, minimizing any disruption and ensuring your operations can continue smoothly for the rest of the day.

Tip #10: Enhance Your Images with Professional Post-Processing

After capturing all the necessary photographs, the next crucial step is the post-processing phase. Professional touch-ups can significantly elevate the quality of your images, ensuring they look polished and are ready for use in all your marketing materials.

Here are a few enhancements that can be made during the post-processing stage:

  • Color Correction: Adjust colors to reflect the true ambiance of your hotel, ensuring the photos are warm and inviting.
  • Brightness and Contrast Adjustments: Enhance the light and shadows to highlight the best features of each space.
  • Detail Enhancement: Sharpen details to bring out textures and elements that add to the aesthetic appeal of your hotel.
  • Blemish Removal: Remove any unwanted spots or imperfections that may have been overlooked during the shoot.

Effective post-processing not only improves the visual impact of your photos but also ensures consistency across all images, aligning them with your brand’s standards. This step is essential for producing high-quality visuals that attract more guests and set a professional tone for your hotel’s online presence.

Ready to Showcase Your Hotel in Its Best Light? 

We’re thrilled to have shared these essential hotel photography tips with you and hope they inspire you to prepare your property for a spectacular photoshoot. If you’re ready to take the next step or have any questions, our team is here to assist. 

Contact us to schedule your professional hotel photoshoot or to discuss how we can help enhance your property’s photographic appeal. We’re available Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Let’s capture the beauty of your hotel together!