Brisbane, Australia.

HOTEL PHOTOGRAPHY

Brisbane, Gold Coast, Interstate & APAC REGION

 Oval Motel, Bendigo Australia. Photo by Chris Jack.

Oval Motel, Bendigo Australia. Photo by Chris Jack.

I work with independent hotels, motels, apartment hotels and resorts of all sizes in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and throughout the Asia Pacific region to produce great hotel branding photography.

Photography is the foundation of your entire online and real-world marketing. It has more impact on bookings than any other content you can create.

TECHNIQUES

My preference is to shoot with off-camera flash lighting, and then combine these shots with ambient photos to add natural shadow to each room shot in Photoshop.

This will produce the best possible results in terms of colour reproduction, contrast and visual appeal, but may not be the best choice for every hotel.

For smaller hotels with smaller budgets, I use HDR photography which is the process of combining 3-5 exposures to maximise the dynamic range and reduce shadows. This takes less time to shoot and process, and with careful staging and preparation can also produce great results.

I stage rooms according to your brand specifications, or we discuss these in detail before a shoot. 

The photo’s Chris took are spectacular. The care he took to stage the photos was quite incredible. The ‘Hero’ image captures the façade of the motel with the sun rising and is a stunning photo. We are using this on all our OTAs, our website and our brochures. The room photos are equally impressive.
— Bradley Gibson , Oval Motel, Bendigo, VIC.

EXTERNAL SHOTS

I love the challenge of capturing eye catching and appealing external hotel photography, especially when that shot will be used as your primary hero image.

That first image prospective guests see on your website, OTA's and TripAdvisor should say everything about your property in one image. It should catch their eye, appeal to their senses and make them want to see more.

It is the most important photo, and is normally an external building shot, room shot or pool shot.

 Photo by Chris Jack

Photo by Chris Jack

COMMERCIAL GRADE TRIPODS

I often shoot external hotel photos using one of the largest Manfrotto tripods which allows me to get about 2.7 metres high, yet still maintain control over the panning and composition of the camera.

This can be used with the Camranger Wireless Camera Controller with motorised remote pan/tilt head for ultimate control and composition.

FILTERS FOR NATURAL EFFECTS

Polarising filters are used if required for external photos to reduce glare and improve sky colour and contrast.

TILT SHIFT LENSES

I use Canon L series prime tilt shift lenses wherever possible for the best optical clarity and the elimination of converging verticals in photos. This means that we can capture taller buildings with less perspective distortion.

Most real estate photographers do not use Tilt Shift lenses. The main reasons for this are increased difficulty, higher price and lack of auto focus.

ROOM SHOTS

Room photos are the money shots for most hotels, the photos most studied and eagerly anticipated by guests. You have to make a great first impression in milliseconds.

Room shots should fulfil a number of goals including communicating information about the features of a room, while at the same time demonstrating universal needs of all guests such as comfort, safety and warmth.

ARCHITECTURAL LENSES

The Canon 11-24MM super wide angle lens is used for most hotel room shots, allowing for a wide perspective with less distortion as a true rectilinear lens. That means that straight lines are straight as they should be, even at the widest angle.

This is a heavy and expensive lens (retailing for AUD$3995) but it produces outstanding architectural quality images.

That doesn't mean all shots are taken at the widest angle though... Room shots should only be as wide as they need to be in order to tell the story. Going wider exaggerates the size of a room which can cause guest disappointment once they check-in, so it is always a compromise.

COLOUR CASTS

Hire a local real estate photographer and they will probably enter a hotel room and immediately switch on all the lights. They may also open the curtains.

This results in colour casting of blue light on the floors and walls near the windows, or unappealing and harsh orange (tungsten) light coming from the warmer globes, which should be avoided.

Where appropriate, I suggest we replace all the bulbs in your rooms to match the desired light temperature for the best possible results, or use flash photography and reduce the ambient light.

When shooting using the HDR method, this is very important and makes a big difference.

NEIGHBOURHOOD ATTRACTIONS

If required for your social media, blog, hotel compendium, virtual concierge, website or online presence, and time and budget allows it, we can also plan to capture hyper local attractions photos.

These are gifts that keep on giving. You can use them as the basis for blog articles about hyper local attractions to increase visitors to your website, or use them as part of your guest information package to improve guest experience.

It is not about capturing images of major attractions in your city. These are already well understood by guests normally through other travel sites like TripAdvisor. Hyper local attractions are the smaller, less well know attractions and amenities in your local area (normally walking distance).

That could just be a local supermarket, bar, restaurant, walking track, laundry, convenience store etc. Showing what is within walking distance of your hotel through simple but professional photography is a very powerful way to convince people to make a booking.

PRICING GUIDELINES

Your photography is used everywhere from your marketing website to TripAdvisor and OTA's. Nothing else is so pervasive across your online presence and marketing footprint.

As a hotel marketing consultant and photographer, I personally believe that investment in improved hotel branding photography should be the foundation of your strategic marketing plan.

How much you invest in your photography should reflect your budget, which should be appropriate for the size and type of hotel, and other factors such as its useful life. 

The unfortunate mistake most independent hotels make is not investing enough in their photography, or not appreciating what a difference great hotel branding photography can make in terms of increased bookings. 

The methods I use to get great results take more time than a traditional real estate photographer will factor in. I am not more expensive than a real estate photographer, I simply spend more time on the details which means the overall cost is greater.

If you are only prepared to spend $500 on your photography then your best option may be a local real estate photographer. Having said that, unless you are running an Airbnb property or a guest house with a few rooms, that may false economy.

Quotations for hotel photography start from $1000 and will depend on a myriad of factors, the most important being your budget, the size of the property and number of room types and facilities. If you only make one investment in your hotel marketing for the next five years, then it absolutely should be in great photography!

Therefore, I recommend most hotels (even smaller ones) invest at least $1500 in their photography assets. Larger hotels should invest commensurately more, and it will depend on the size and scope of your property.

All quotations and proposals for photography include full commercial advertising usage rights with highest resolution digital files.

Contact me for a free detailed quotation, for your specific requirements.

OUTSIDE BRISBANE? PAY $0 FOR TRAVEL

I am regularly visiting cities throughout the APAC region including Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Taipei, Bangkok and Singapore (at least twice a year).

Simply register your details here, and when I have confirmed travel plans you will receive an email advising my travel dates. This means that I am able to offer destination hotel photography and on-site consulting with no extra travel costs.

When I am planning to travel to your city, I will email you to see what services you are interested in including on-site consulting or hotel photography.

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