Hotel Photography Tips To Increase Direct Bookings (DIY Guide)

Trade Secrets | Getting Online

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Use our hotel photography tips to give the best possible first impression across your own website, in promotions and OTA listings.
You want them to look inviting and appealing, whilst giving a realistic impression of your property.

After all, traveller surveys strongly suggest photos are important to get more bookings. Including this one, which concluded a whopping 92% think that good photos are important when making a decision on where to stay.

Hiring a professional photographer is one way to get brilliant 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 photo tips for hotels, you’ll be able to showcase your unique property and increase online bookings.

1. Use a decent camera (Duh!)

Hotel photography tip no.1. It may seem obvious but a decent camera is needed. Aim for 12 megapixels or more. Luckily nowadays nearly all smartphones do come with excellent cameras. This is a good guide for smartphone photography tips.

wide angle hotel room photo

If you just want a one-off set of more professional images & you’re comfortable with more professional equipment, then consider renting a camera for the day.

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 hotel 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

photo of clean and tidy hotel bathroom

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 on any mirrored surfaces.

bad and good example of hotel room photography lighting

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 from 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 or smartphones give you the freedom to take as many photos as you want, so experiment with lots of angles and 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 – (Before & After)

All these little hotel photography tips might seem like quite minor things on their own but combined, they’re so much more than the sum of their parts. Take a look at the photos below:

customer photography example of before and after using eviivo photography tips

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 hotel to the world. You want to do it justice.

Of course, brilliant photos need a brilliant website to be displayed on. Our award-winning accommodation 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.

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