It may be an old cliché, but you really do only have one chance to make a first impression. This is particularly true when it comes to showing off your accommodation online. With a staggering array of options to choose from, potential guests may spend mere seconds clicking through your pictures.
How do you ensure you present top-quality hotel room photography for your vacation rental website template or Boutique Hotel Web Design so that you grab their attention with an effective web design and secure that all-important booking? When a new potential customer comes onto your website, listing site, or OTA page, they expect to see your property's latest photos. If your photos are outdated, their first impression is an instant put-off.
Want to learn how to take the ideal room photo for inclusion in your Boutique Hotel Web Design? Then read on. Haven’t got the time? Then hire a photographer to take the photos for you.
Haven’t got the budget to hire a photographer? Then read this! Updating your photos refreshes your content and is an important part of your vacation rental marketing strategy. Google and search engines prioritise that. (In case you're not familiar, content is just a word for new stuff on your website). Adding new photos to your Boutique Hotel Web Design increases your chances of your business being seen more on Google.
The OTAs also love new photos. Remember, we are in this to make OTAs work for you, not the other way around. Get higher up the rankings on places like Booking.com, and you can attract new customers who wouldn’t have heard of you before. Here’s a big tip: Get people into your photos.
An empty room evokes an empty hotel or guesthouse.
Guests love to see happy, smiling people in photos as part of your Boutique Hotel Web Design. Try and incorporate personal cheer into your property's photos. If you don’t want to use guests, get staff involved.
Maybe ask some of your friends to come down and pose for pictures. If that doesn’t sound like a good idea, hire some local models or extras to appear in your photos or ask around on local Facebook groups. Most importantly, you need a photo of YOU on the website. The independent hospitality industry thrives because our guests love that we aren’t faceless organisations. Social sells. Never is this truer than in our industry.
Why do your guests return? Is it because of the food or that comfy mattress?
No! It is because of you and your staff. I recently posted about improving the guest experience, which I recommend you check out. To help potential guests get an idea of where they will be staying, make sure that either on your homepage or on the About Us page, there is a photo of all the permanent staff members.
If you need any help or advice on anything I have spoken about above, get in touch with me at [email protected]. I can help point you in the right direction to a great local photographer who specializes in room photos.
Hear, Listen and Learn More!
Check out our video on The Importance Of Regularly Updating Your Hotel Photos Online
Check out our video on How to Photograph for your Boutique Hotel Web Design
We spoke to Kieran Nicholson from Kieran Paul Photography about capturing that perfect hotel room photograph. Here is what Karen said about taking great photos as part of your vacation rental website template.
Ensure proper lighting of your
First things first: Make sure your room is properly lit. Lighting is by far the most important part of photography. Use the light that is available to you in the room, whether that's lamps, overhead lighting, natural light from the window, or even a cosy fireplace. The key is to look for soft light. Avoid harsh highlights or gloomy shadows as these will not translate well on your Boutique Hotel Web Design. That way, your room will look warm and inviting.
Early morning or late afternoon light is a safe bet for good lighting, so schedule your photography sessions wisely.
It should go without saying that you should ensure that your accommodation looks its best, and so should your vacation rental website template. However, keep in mind that the camera sees things the eye does not.
Ensure that the room is spotless and tidy. You don’t want to spoil your perfectly lit pictures with a crumpled bedspread or wonky light shade!
Place cushions and flowers as focal points in the photograph to give the picture a homely feel. But remember, when it comes to photographs, less is more. Don't crowd the photo with bric-a-brac.
It's all in the angles
Once your lighting is perfect, consider the angles of the room. Think about how to make it look as spacious as possible in your photograph. Go and squeeze yourself into the room's corners to get the widest possible perspective of the room's interior.
Experiment by taking photos at different heights and angles and see what looks best.
Try to get as high as possible for a full room shot to make the space look bigger. If you want more detailed pictures, then photograph at eye level. Finally, if you want to show off a feature like a large four-poster bed, take the picture from a lower angle to give your star attraction a dominant effect.
Be clever about tricky places like the bathroom
Bathrooms are difficult to photograph for any vacation rental website template. Glare from tiles and unwanted reflections of the photographer in the mirrors are hard to avoid, but nevertheless, you should put a little extra effort into taking this room's picture. Your guests will be particularly interested in the bathroom's cleanliness and features.
The key is to experiment and follow the same principles as you would for a larger room.
This way, you can make sure you get a shot to impress would-be customers. Play around with the lighting a bit. If you struggle, remember that it’s always better to overexpose your image rather than underexpose it. You don’t want a picture where your bathroom looks dark and dingy!
You can achieve quality photography even with a smartphone camera
Professional photographers recommend a full-frame DSLR camera, ideally with wide-angle lenses and picture storage in a RAW format.
This setup gives you more control over the quality and editing of the image in preparation for uploading it into your Boutique Hotel Web Design. But if all that sounds too complicated or expensive, then do not despair. You can get amazing pictures from most smartphones. Novice photographers can do just as well, if not better, with phones than with a pricey camera.
Most smartphones also have photo filters, which can produce nice effects and correct lighting problems. It's still important to frame pictures for the greatest effect, so always think about angles when taking shots.
Drone footage of a hotel
There was a time when aerial photography was beyond the budget of most hospitality businesses looking to add a video to their vacation rental website template.
Bills ran into the thousands for a photographer in a helicopter. The introduction of drone technology has changed all of that. With aerial photographs now available for a fraction of their previous cost, you can now take your marketing to a new level with a drone.
Aerial photography shows your hotel or guesthouse from a completely different perspective. It also allows potential guests to see your set and get a better idea of roads, parking and the stunning views they can expect during their stay. One note of caution, though: If you decide to opt for aerial photographs, hire someone licensed and approved to fly an Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Vehicle (UASV) to ensure they are competent to do the job correctly and safely.
I myself am fully licensed and have worked with some fantastic properties.
Watch the latest video we shot at Allerton Castle to see our technology in action.
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