A wise person once said, “You only get one chance to make a first impression”, and they weren’t wrong.In the same way, the hotel photos and B&B images that you use on your own hotel or B&B website, in promotions and listings, are the first impression guests will have. You want them to look inviting and appealing, whilst giving a realistic impression of your property. After all, statistics show that good online reviews and image quality are the greatest factors that influence a potential guest’s decision about whether or not to book.
Hiring a professional photographer is one way to get brilliant great photos but they can be expensive. If you don’t have the budget, don’t despair, you can still produce brilliant images yourself. With our helpful tips, you’ll be able to showcase your beautiful property and save a few pounds.
1. Use a decent camera for hotel photos
Any digital camera with 12 megapixels or more is capable of producing good photos. If you’re planning on taking photos of events and promotions for social media and for your site, purchasing a camera can be a solid investment. If you just want a set of brilliant images for all of your listings, then consider renting a camera for the day. Not only is it cheaper but it will also give you access to higher end gear that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive.
2. Showcase your property’s unique charm
Whatever it is that makes your property stand out, photograph it and have it front and centre on your B&B website. This could be anything from a beautiful front door or blooming garden, to a roaring fireplace or something a bit more quirky…
3. Stage the scene
You want to show off your space, so make sure your property is clean, clear and clutter-free. A vase of fresh flowers can make the place look and feel fresh, whereas you could also experiment by filling your space with the things you like, in a way that seems effortless and natural.
If you know any competitors’ photos either on their hotel website or their social media profiles that you like, why not take inspiration from the shots they’ve taken?
4. Don’t forget to take clean bathroom shots
You’d be amazed at how much difference a clean bathroom photograph makes: this shot has been shown to increase online sales by as much as 30%! So take special care in taking good sparkling bathroom photos. Make the room look as bright, airy and elegant as possible. If you have some luxurious towels, this is the chance to show them off!
5. Get the lighting right
Try to position yourself so the primary light source is behind you, as this will offer balanced lighting, among other advantages. Be careful not to cast a shadow or a reflection in any mirrored surfaces.
6. Use as much natural light as possible
Open the curtains to make the room look bright and open. Do not use the camera’s built-in flash, to prevent light streaks reflecting off mirrors and windows. Don’t take photos on rainy days or at night, as the low light conditions will make the shots look gloomy. For exterior shots, choose a bright day (blue skies and fluffy white clouds make for a gorgeous backdrop), but not too sunny, to avoid glare, or nearby trees or telephone poles casting dark shadows on your property.
7. Choose the best angles and compositions
The best way to show off a room is to shoot from a corner or doorway, and include as much of the room as possible. This provides context and makes the room look bigger. Don’t just focus on the centre of the frame, and be sure not to cut anything off at awkward angles, whilst always making sure your photos are straight and level. Try to step back to get as much detail as possible in the picture. Experiment with angles: stand up, get on your knees, and take photos from several different places, focusing on different parts of the room.
8. Take lots of photos: don’t be shutter-shy
Digital cameras give you the freedom to take as many photos as you want, so experiment with lots of angles and camera settings. Review the hotel photos later and choose the ones that represent your property the best.
9. Touch up the photos
After you’ve chosen your best photos, you’ll probably want to tweak them a little. Maybe your living room looks a bit dark, or your property’s exterior is framed by distracting telephone wires, for example. There are many online photo editing tools that are free and easy to use, which allow you to crop and rotate your pictures, adjust brightness and contrast, and correct colours. Once you’re happy with the result, have a think about the best ways to fully utilise your perfect pictures. You’ll want a few on your website but you might also decide to share a couple on your social media profiles.
10. Bring it all together
All these little tips and hints might seem like quite minor things on their own but combined they’re so very much more than the sum of their parts. Take a look at the photos below:
Look at what a difference you can make with good angles, a little tidying up and some great lighting. From drab and despondent, to bright and beautiful with very little work involved. It’s not about trying to embellish or exaggerate, it’s simply conveying the reality of your warm and welcoming B&B to the world. You want to to do it justice.
Of course, brilliant photos need a brilliant website to be displayed on. Our award-winning booking software, eviivo suite, is designed to provide you with the tools to run your own B&B or independent hotel cheaply and efficiently – so find out how eviivo can help give you a great website.