9 simple tricks for taking hotel photos that sell

Photos can make your marketing content go from good to great. Here’s how you can spice up your hotel imagery when you’re doing it yourself.

Photos say a thousand words. True. But what do you want your photos to say? How do take professional-looking shots yourself that will have your guests ogling for a long time, improving the chances of a booking? Consider some of these suggestions.

Set up your space

Take the time to tidy up your rooms before you shoot for a more manicured look. Bring in some accessories for vibrancy – a stack of magazines maybe or a fancy laptop to show you have little things taken care of.

Get the lighting right

This is arguably the most important factor in photography. Right lighting can completely change a space, and one many property owners ignore when taking photos for online listings or social media.

Use natural light where possible, illuminating with room lighting where needed to get rid of the dark shadows. For exterior photography, consider shooting during what professionals call the ‘golden hour’ – shortly after sunrise and just before sunset.

Choose the right perspective and angle

Consider various angles and vantage points to bring out the best features of your property. If you have smaller rooms, shoot through the door with a wide angled lens. Get your external views into the frame.

Ask yourself, what you’re trying to show off through the photos? What is unique about your property? Is it a room balcony? Is it the views from a room? Is it your high-end toiletries? Do you have amazing art work in your property? Even the most basic of meeting rooms has a visual element – a great light fixture, an interesting display of pencils and notepads, or technological element that makes your property stand out. Focus on these.

Use editing tools

The Internet is swimming with photo editing tools for desktop and smartphones that can be used to enhance photos that you may consider irredeemable. And you don’t have to spend much to get these softwares – in fact many of them are free. We suggest trying Canva, Pixlr Express, PicMonkey and GIMP.

Using these applications, you can sharpen blurred images, adjust colours, lighting, crop and much more. Go easy on the filters and effects – it is best to keep photos as natural as possible.

Make sure images are high resolution

A grainy photo where a user has to squint to make sense of the details does nothing for your property’s image. In fact it may very well be damaging it. So make sure you use only high resolution images on your listings, website, social media and other marketing channels. Most websites, including STAAH’s InstantSite websites, have the ability to adjust even high resolution images, so it does not impact the load time.

Keep your smartphone handy

Professional photo shoots of your property are a great investment. But they’re expensive. And you’ll need many images to market effectively in today’s dynamic digital space. That’s where you smartphone comes in handy. Used correctly and frequently, your smartphone will help you build a library of images and videos in no time, including the popular and effective 360 photos for Facebook.

Highlight what’s around your property

Become the local guide, using images and videos to highlight local attractions, especially what’s around your property. Your guests are seeking authentic local experiences. You become the medium that shows them where these can be found.

Capture the people who make your property special

Your staff helps ensure that guests come back time and again, so bring them to life in your photos, especially those for social media. Have your bartender photographed holding a drink or your spa therapist snapped mid-manicure. Opt for photos that look authentic, so that guests can see the faces and names that bring the hotel to life.

Encourage your guests to take photos and share

Let your guests become your photographers! Encourage them to take photos and share on social media. Create an Instagram account and an easy hashtag so you can repost these images on your own channels, even showcasing them on your website. Incentivising them and finding influencers in this space works very well.

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