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Hospitality Photography – When Not To Use a Professional

​With up to 86% of hotel bookings made online, choosing the correct photographs for your hotel is crucial. Whether you're in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam or anywhere throughout Southeast Asia all of your hospitality photography used on your website, OTAs, marketing, etc. SHOULD be made by a professional and experienced hotel photographer.

Options To Source Your Hospitality Photography

​There are thee main options to source your hotel photos and I will look at the pros and cons of each, plus when you should be using their photos.

Hospitality Photography - Dara Airport Hotel

Blue Sky Restaurant, Dara Airport Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

PROFESSIONAL HOTEL PHOTOGRAPHER

Pros

  • The professional hospitality photographer will make high-quality photographs that show your hotel at its best. With years of experience, they know how to get the best out of every hotel photo shoot.
  • The hotel photographer understands your hotel photography guidelines and brand standards and will stick to these throughout the shoot.
  • You will not have the large expense of purchasing camera and lighting equipment and then learning how to make the best use of it. The photographer will already have all the necessary equipment and the technical know how.
  • The photographer knows exactly how to capture each unique locations and under the best lighting conditions. They will make sure they capture every frame that is needed for post-processing to make the perfect photo.
  • The photographer will provide you with a shot list and help with the planning to make the hotel photoshoot perfect.
  • Consistency through the photos and through your marketing materials.

Cons

  • Planning and budgeting are required.
  • Licensing and usage rights need to be worked out and understood beforehand.

Conclusion:

Professional and high-quality hospitality photography should be used whenever possible. It is important the professional images must be used on your websites, OTAs, marketing materials, press releases and advertising.

Hospitality Photography - Dara Independence

​Ocean Infinity Pool, Independence Beach Resort & Spa, Sihano​ukville, Cambodia

HOTEL IN-HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHER

Pros

  • Your hotel owns the photographs so you are able to do whatever you want with the images.
  • There is not much planning involved and the photographs can be produced quickly.
  • The photographer will have inside knowledge of the hotel property.

Cons

  • The hotel in-house photographer may already have a full-time job.
  • They will not have the equipment and experience of the professional hotel photographer.
  • The quality and compositions of the hotel photos will suffer due to the lack of experience.

Conclusion:

Social media is more agreeable towards lower quality hospitality photography. So posting in-house photography of food, events, staff and sneak peeks is acceptable.

Subject matter that needs to be re-shot on a regular basis, such as food and events, is an area the in-house photographer will be of great use.


Hospitality Photography - Templation Siem Reap

Asian Breakfast Dishes at Templation, Siem Reap, Cambodia

USER-GENERATED CONTENT

Pros

  • There's is a steady source of new content.
  • The photos are captured by the guests so give an insight into what the hotel guest sees.
  • Lets you engage more with your guests.
  • The photos can be shared on the guest's social media channels which can give you good exposure.

Cons

  • You do not have any control over the source of the photographs so there is no consistency.
  • The quality of the photographs is usually low due to the fact that mobile phones are used to take many of the photos.
  • Hotel guests also lack the expertise of a professional hotel photographer.

Conclusion:

For sharing on social media channels and hotel review sites.

​SUMMARY

​If you are a hotel or resort in Cambodia, Bali or anywhere else in the Asian market then it all comes down to the intended use of the hospitality photography. For almost all cases, you should be hiring a professional hotel photographer for your hospitality photography. The photos are what attracts a guest to your hotel and influence their decision to book with you.

The new photos have helped us to boost the content of our website as well as other OTA’s and social media platforms

I believe that your new photos have helped us to boost the content of our website as well as other OTA’s and social media platforms. You definitely met our expectations. Not only I loved your photos of BL but also with our other sister properties.

I strongly recommend Bruce for architectural and product shots

Bruce has an eye for detail, a feel for lighting, a flair for perspectives! An honest and friendly character without attitude who brings pictures to life!
I strongly recommend Bruce for architectural and product shots.

Timely in both communications as well as processing

I am happy to pass on that recommendation to anyone seeking a talented, professional, and creative photographer in the Kingdom. After struggling to capture our brand-new boutique hotel (Monsoon Bassac Hotel, Phnom Penh) myself, I contacted Bruce via his website. From start to finish, he was an absolute professional- timely in both communications as well as processing, patient with our numerous requests, and able to capture our hotel's difficult angles and lighting in a way that kept things realistic but also showcased their beauty. His photographs are a true representation of what guests will find in our hotel, and we proudly use his photographs on all of our media.
Bruce is able to walk into a room and immediately see potential. He is flexible, and takes your ideas and brand identity into account when creating his images. I could not be prouder to have his photos representing our brand, and I wholeheartedly recommend his services.

Best Pictures

Bruce did the best pictures we managed to get for our properties!

Refreshed our OTA profiles

You did a great job regarding PODs, sunrise lights were amazing. These images have refreshed our OTAs profiles. We appreciate your effort and time.

Best photographer in the country for commercial photo shooting

Bruce made some photographs of several of the properties I was working for at MAADS, and he did such a great job that we called him back to ask him to work for us! From the time I spent in Cambodia I would definitely recommend him as the best photographer in the country for commercial photo shooting (architecture outdoor/indoor). Amazing lighting, brightness, contrast... nothing to change, everything is ready to use and to impress 😉

Increased traffic of guests looking at our photos on Tripadvisor

We are happy with both quality and the presentation of the photos and have seen the increased traffic of guests looking at our photos on Tripadvisor.

Excellent photos taken of your food, hotel rooms and facilities

If you want excellent photos taken of your food, hotel rooms and facilities, Bruce is the man for you. He is easy to work with and he has a vision for every photography project given with him. He is a collaborator which means he welcomes your ideas and turns them into something great. His skills in photography will certainly up the calibre of every photo.

The quality of the images is great

I am really happy with you and your work. The quality of the images is great.

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Grace Pasion General Manager | Blue Lime
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Noel Omar Furrer General Manager | Sun & Moon Urban Hotel
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Genevieve Cook General Manager | Monsoon Bassac Hotel
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Alexis de Suremain Founder | MAADS
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Lubov Chinaru GRO | Independence Hotel by DARA
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Alicia Guthert Communications Manager | MAADS
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Ayub Yulianto General Manager | Templation
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Adelisa Concepcion Communications Coordinator The Plantation
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Sokleng You Assistant Director of Sales | Dara Hotels

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And if you have any feedback or questions, please leave a comment below!

About The Author

Bruce is an experienced luxury boutique hotel photographer based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He specializes in brand imagery for hotels and resorts. Working with high-end hotels and resorts in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, China, Myanmar, Bali, Singapore and Maldives

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