Planning a photo shoot can seem like an overwhelming task. Which pictures do I need? Where can I get the right photographer from? What else do I have to pay attention to? Many questions come to mind while preparing for the shoot. With this article I would like to help you to structure this planning process. So you can be sure that you won’t forget anything. Follow me on this path and don’t be afraid to answer the following questions right away. So at the end of the article you not only learned something new, but also planned your shoot right away.
Question 1: Why do I want to take a photo of the hotel?
There is a trigger behind every shoot, which is why you need new photos. Have you renovated your hotel, introduced a new branding or are you about to open a new one? Or are you currently freshening up your marketing channels with a new website and print products and would like to fill them with contemporary images? Record the reason for the photo shoot and use it as a guide for any further questions.
Question 2: Which motifs do I need?
The range of a hotel shooting is very diverse. Make a list of subjects that you would like to have at the end of the shoot. The length of the list can vary greatly depending on whether you just want to include a new room category or need pictures of the entire hotel. Take your time for this task and describe what you have in mind as precisely as possible. It is particularly suitable here if you use Microsoft Excel or Apple Numbers to create a table with the following column headings:
motive – List all the motifs you will need. Add descriptive details if necessary
priority – Ranking from 1-3 (see below in the article)
use – In which media channels is the image used, which style specifications are there (see below in the article)
Photo category – (see below in the article)
organization – What must be available for this recording (see below in the article)
Examples of the description of the motif in this “shot list” could be:
- Hotel front view at sunrise with a new logo
- Hotel lobby with guests checking in
- Renovated double room with south orientation and a view of the mountains
You may want to have the same motif in different variations, e.g. day and night or with and without models. All of these annotations ensure that by the end of your photo shoot, you have exactly the images you need.
When you have created your list, assign a ranking for each motif:
1 – Essential
2 – Important
3 – Nice to have
In this way, you can react in a more targeted manner to new situations during the shooting process and do not lose sight of your most important motives.
Question 3: Where are the hotel images used?
That is a question that many of my customers describe with one word: “Everywhere!” Try to plan the use of your images a little more proactively. Do you need a wide panoramic image of your hotel for the cover of your new website? Would you like to place an ad that shows a picture of the room in portrait format? Does the image need space for text overlays? If you already know these details before taking the pictures, you have the possibility to create a tailor-made picture with your photographer instead of having to work with off-the-shelf material afterwards. So, take a pen in your hand and take notes:
For which media do you need pictures:
- Hotel magazine
- Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest
Which style requirements must be observed here:
- Specifications by the corporate identity on the subject of colors, logos, third-party brands on images (e.g. bottle logos), etc.
- Format (e.g. website: landscape formats, magazine: portrait formats, Instagram: square)
- Composition (open spaces for texts / graphics, symmetries)
Are there any motives that you use again and again in your marketing material? The handover of the room card, the set breakfast table or the special view from the hotel are images that you may have assigned a low relevance in the ranking for question 2. Reconsider your priorities according to the variety of uses.
Question 4: What photo category do my pictures fall into?
Just as there are different types of hotels, there are also photographers with different specialty skills. When choosing the right service provider, it is therefore important that you consider where the focus of your images is.
Hotel photography combines images from many categories:
- Architectural photography / interior photography
- Destination / travel photography
- Lifestyle photography
- Food photography
- Portrait photography
- Aerial / drone photography
- Conceptual / promotional photography
Most likely, the images on your shot list will fall into several categories. That doesn’t mean you have to book 5 photographers to do this. If you only need photographs for your menu and the restaurant, then a food photographer is the best choice. If you have the entire hotel photographed, an architectural photographer is more advisable. The majority of my jobs take place in the field of architectural photography, for example. Nevertheless, I also take photos of lifestyle photos for advertising campaigns or aerial photos as art prints for my customers.
Question 5: What else do I have to organize for the photo shooting?
Most of the time, planning a photo shoot doesn’t end with booking the photographer. Do you need models for the recordings that have to be booked? (Here I support my customers through contacts high quality agencies .) Which props such as flower arrangements, fruit baskets or luggage do you need? Are there any construction sites, barriers or events in the immediate vicinity of the hotel at the time of recording that could influence the shoot? Do other locations have to be booked? Talk to your photographer here and come up with a plan for the photo shooting together.
Question 6: What is my hotel marketing plan for the next 12 months?
Now is THE moment to equip yourself with all the necessary image assets for your upcoming campaigns. If you ever book a photographer and prepare the hotel for photos, then think about which other marketing campaigns you still need image material for. The next annual financial statements, tourism fairs, competitions, seasonal campaigns and material for social media all require different, but high-quality images that can be created now. You can also ask other departments of your company (e.g. human resources or public relations) whether your colleagues need pictures. This allows you to pool budgets and use consistent imagery for strong visual branding. Get the most out of your photo shoot!
Question 7: What other marketing assets do I need?
Have you had the idea of a video series about the hotel location or a concept for an unusual campaign in your head for a long time? Really good hotel photo shoots can satisfy many needs at once. Talk to your photographer about what additional services he can offer to you. For example, I don’t just take pictures of the hotel for my customers. In addition to various video materials, I also produce photo art series that are directly tailored to the interior of the hotel and bring a regional reference to the hotel.
Do you sometimes find it difficult to create new content for your social media channels? How about a look behind the scenes of the photo shoot? A video about the preparation of a room for the photo shoot or a short interview with the hotel manager, cook or concierge give your brand more life and authenticity. Your followers will love such impressions!
I know that was a lot of information. It is quite a day-filling task to create such a shot list and it requires consultation with various departments to plan a highly effective photo shoot for your hotel. The result is however worth it. At the end of this process, you will be rewarded with a set of images that will flow into your marketing material. This will make your content production much easier for the next few years!
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