CHI Photography Guidelines

Congratulations on being selected as a photographer to participate in the Choice Hotels International Photography program, through CS3Design Inc. Please adhere to the guidelines on this page, but note that ‘the important stuff’ is on this home page.

Legal note: All information on this page is strictly confidential and you are prohibited from printing or sharing any content on this page without the written consent from CS3Design Inc. All activity on this page is monitored and recorded.

Still Guidelines

  • No people can be in the shots
  • 60 POIs are required per hotel, no matter how small the property is.
    • Take at least 5-6 shots of each bedroom from different angles
    • All bedroom types, amenities and common areas are required to be shot
  • POIs must be shot in RAW (.cr2 or .nef) only
  • Do not shoot with a flash
  • Images must be crisp. No soft focus or grainy pictures will be accepted
    • We recommend that you shoot in Aperture Priority.
    • The aperture should be anywhere between f/8 – f/11 (the higher the f-stop, the more in-focus the rest of the entire room will be).
    • Your ISO shouldn’t be higher than 400. The higher your ISO, the more grain you will have in the images
    • You should always be on a tripod and either using a remote shutter or a 2 second self-timer. The settings listed above will mean that your camera must have a slow shutter speed which can cause motion blur. The only way to avoid this motion blur is with a tripod and not touching the camera while it is taking the picture.
    • Be sure to check your photos while shooting. If you need to adjust your exposure, use exposure compensation. This will make sure that only your shutter speed is changing instead of your aperture or ISO
  • Your lens must be spot and dust free
  • No vertical or portrait shots will be accepted, only landscape will be used
  • At least 1 bathroom shot is required for every room. Make sure toilet seat is down and trash cans are hidden.
  • Bracketing is required for all shoots. We recommend the standard -2, 0, +2
  • HDR images are not accepted
  • Post production or touching up prior to sending CS3Design the photos is prohibited. We have to keep a consistent look among all hotels. CS3Design will do all post-production
  • If using a wide angle lens, make sure there is no distortion on the sides
  • Photographs must not experience CONVERGENCE. This can be achieved by taking angles that are straight on, not angled up or down. Example 1 Example 2 Example 3

Pano Guidelines

  • No people in the panos
  • Your lens must be spot and dust free
  • You must connect the lobby to the exterior vehicle drop-off area
  • Approx 25-35 panos per hotel, split up among the amenities & guestrooms
    • Lobby: About 2-3 panos (connect to exterior)
    • Exterior: 2 panos under the canopy area
    • Pool: 2 panos
    • Fitness Center: 1 central pano
    • Business Center: 1 central pano
    • Breakfast Area: 1 central pano (If possible, connect to lobby)
    • Bedrooms: 2-3 panos each, including a pano with the bathroom door open, to see inside
  • Old school Standard Google Business View camera settings for panos
    • JPG
    • Divisible by 12
    • 3 fisheye images bracketed with 4 angles totaling 12 per spin

Sign Off Sheet Guidelines

  • Please fill our your name and the property code
  • You must have the manager on duty sign at the bottom
    • Failure to have a manager sign off, will result in you going back to get a signature
  • Write down the room ROOM CODES you shot, and write down the correct order in which you shot them. You can get the room codes from the manager. For example a Double Queen room’s code is usually NQQ.
    • If you shot a king bedroom, followed by a 2 queen bedroom, place a ‘1’ in front of the king, and a ‘2’ in front of the queen
  • Write down any notes on this sheet, including if the manager doesn’t want you to shoot something or if something is out of order
  • Download the sign off sheet here
  • View example of a completed perfect sheet.

Shoot Day

  • Please represent yourself as CS3Design
  • Please do not solicit the hotel or any staff/management present or associated with the hotel, including Choice Hotels International
  • Do not attempt to collect payment from the individual hotel
  • If upon arriving at a property and they are either unprepared or unaware of the shoot, take the following actions only:
    • Photographer must immediately call the Choice Photo Help Team at

      USA: 866-953-4570 (option 4)

      Canada: 855-624-7753

      to discuss concerns/issues.

    • The photographer shall not depart the property until after conferring with Choice AND CS3Design. Please contact Choice using the support number first.
    • If there are any issues while onsite such as remodeling of a room, pool under construction or lobby signage that can’t be removed or hidden, you must inform CS3Design via a note submitted with the photos via FTP. You can submit a word doc or a notepad doc with simple notes to correspond with your shoot. This is only required if any anomalies occurred while onsite.
  • We are required to shoot all amenities and 1 of each room type offered on their website. If for any reason you can’t fulfill these requirements because of a request by a manager, or something is under construction, you must call the Choice Photo Help Team number
  • It is the photographer’s responsibility to check the weather prior to leaving. If it looks like rain, storms, heavy fog or snow, please contact CS3Design immediately to reschedule before heading out. Overcast skies are acceptable. The photographer will be reimbursed for long distance travel if a surprise weather occurrence happens on site.

Sending the Photos


  • You must invoice us at [email protected]
    • If sent to any other email, your invoice may not be processed
    • USA: You must submit a completed W9 for invoices to be processed
    • Can: You must submit a completed W-8Ben for invoices to be processed
  • All traveling and expenses will be agreed upon prior to services being rendered, and will be incorporated into the price labeled on the calendar event invite
  • You must invoice us within 90 days of the shoot
  • You must invoice us within the same calendar year as the shoot – If you submit an invoice in 2018 for a shoot in 2017, it will not be paid
  • CS3Design does not pay sales or service tax
  • All invoicing emails not sent to [email protected] will be ignored
    • If a reshoot is required due to a mistake by the photographer, the photographer will reshoot the hotel at no additional cost to CS3Design
    • If a reshoot is required due to a mistake by CS3Design or the hotel, the photographer will reshoot the hotel at the cost of CS3Design

Breakfast Area

  • No trash or garbage cans
  • No holiday / seasonal decor allowed anywhere on hotel property
  • All lights must be turned on and functioning (ceiling, sconces & floor lamps)
  • Breakfast must be filled (at the very least, we need baked goods and fruit displayed)
  • No staging of the food on the tables. Tables must be clear of food
  • Get a mix of buffet pics, as well as seating pics
  • No paper, media or branding materials can be shown (rack cards, brochures, banners, table tents, ads, etc — including Choice brand items)


  • No trash or garbage cans
  • All lights must be turned on and functioning (ceiling, sconces & floor lamps)
  • Bed sheets must be ironed and straight
  • Pillows & cushions must be fluffed and straight
  • Lamp shades must be straight
  • Bed sheets must be neatly tucked in and ironed (Staff can do this while you shoot downstairs)
  • No towel formations on the beds, no flowers or decor added to the rooms
  • The door to the public hallway must be closed
  • Every hotel shoot must have 1 picture of the bathroom. Not every room needs a bathroom shot, but be sure to capture at least 1
  • No paper, media or branding materials can be shown (rack cards, brochures, banners, table tents, ads, etc — including Choice brand items)
  • The bedroom windows must have the black out curtains open, and the sheers closed. If there are no sheers, the black out curtains must be closed
  • No aerial shots, bedroom shots must all be from a lower ‘intimate’ angle
  • Take a picture of your hand to distinguish where the bedrooms start and stop (only do this for POIs, not panos as they need to be divisible by 12)



  • No trash or garbage cans
  • No holiday / seasonal decor allowed anywhere on hotel property
  • All lights must be turned on and functioning (ceiling, sconces & floor lamps)
  • Pool: No pool toys whatsoever. Pool umbrellas must be open. If there’s a jacuzzi, it must beturned on
  • Meeting Room: Tables must have tablecloths. If none are available leave a note on the sign off sheet
  • Fitness Center: Avoid stacking of cups on the water coolers. Fitness equipment must not be cut off
  • Business Center: Keep desk clutter free, monitor should be turned off
  • Exterior: Capture pictures of the entire building in the center of the frame, without having the logos/branding obstructed by poles or trees
  • No paper, media or branding materials can be shown (rack cards, brochures, banners, table tents, ads, etc — including Choice brand items)

Photographer Acknowledgement

  • I agree to the guidelines provided above. Failure to adhere to these guidelines may result in the requirement to re-shoot the property at the photographer's expense, and/or delay of payment.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.