Hotel photography is often as much a matter of judgement and marketing as it is one of photography. Take the case of the 2 Star Nagi Beach hotel that I recently shot for the travel company, Olympic Holidays. For the hotel photographer this kind of assignment presents several challenges.
Firstly there are the different people that you have to keep happy, each with slightly different agendas. The hotel owner wants you to make his hotel look like the Ritz, the sales team at the travel company don’t quite want the Ritz but they do want you to make the hotel as appealing as possible, and the customer service people, both at the tour operator and at the hotel, are keen that you don’t make the hotel look too fabulous so that people don’t have inflated expectations.
The next problem comes from the timing of the shoot. The hotel has to be shot in the summer when it is open and at a time to fit in with the travel company’s marketing schedule. This generally means the place is full of lobster-skinned tourists and the light is too harsh.
Finally there is the subject of the photos itself. Often budget hotels just aren’t very photogenic – they don’t have the benefit expensive interior design and mood lighting. And while they might be fine to stay in, portraying this in a photo can be very difficult.
Overcoming these challenges is where the hotel photographer really earns his cash. Here’s a recent attempt of mine….