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A previous article entitled “The Most Popular OTA Hotel Photographs” got me thinking about the process of locating and choosing a hotel. Either on the hotel website or OTAs. What do we, as potential hotel guests, take into account when deciding on which luxury hotel to book?
I thought of the times that I had recently been looking for hotel offers for my recent personal trips. It was not photos of the luxurious lifestyle, nor word of mouth, or a post on a social media platform. Hotel loyalty programs and email marketing marketing campaigns made me aware of luxury hotel brands but had no influence on my end decision.
The original article listed the hospitality images in this order:
What Photos Are Important To Me, A Potential Guest?
First I would check the proximity of local businesses and transportation links. Then the hotel room photography. I may then have a quick look at the swimming pool, lobby, and exterior photos – but mainly as a professional interest, since I am a hospitality photographer and am interested to see how other interior photographers handle the spaces and to look through their attention to detail.
Have a look at the screen shot from the website of Pathumwan Princess Hotel in Thailand. Copyright Pathumwan Princess Hotel (This photos is not ours)
When I am looking for a hotel in the vicinity of MBK Center in Bangkok, Thailand this is going to be my first choice. I was not searching for a hotel in this location, but the photo caught my eye because there is so much information contained about the hotel’s location. A photo like this should be considered with any hotel photoshoot ideas.
Which Hotel Photos Have The Most Influence On Guests?
To follow up this line of thinking I have a very good connection base on LinkedIn with close to 13,000 connections. Mostly in the hotel industry. So I posted a LinkedIn poll to try and get a little feedback on this subject.
As you can see the result were fairly similar to my experience and preferences:
What Are The Best Hotel Room Photos ?
So if the luxury hotel room photos are what a large percentage of hotel guests view first, we need to get some insight into what is a more appealing interior photo to guests, whether for business travelers or families on vacation. Some data which may be useful to unique hotel marketing ideas.
My follow up LinkedIn post to the one above was to try and get some feedback on a luxury hotel room photo I had recently taken at Plantation Urban Resort & Spa in Phnom Penh Cambodia.
This post got some very insightful feedback and comments for interior photographers and hotel businesses alike.
There are some very valuable comments on the composition, tones, styling, and design. However there is one comment that seemed to come up quite often:
“In my opinion it is always a big win for your client if they can display some feeling of the night feel.”
“and at night when guests use the room most ?”
“I always need to see day night photos it’s when people use the room. Most and when the theater of hotels should come alive”
Very interesting and very true, but how many luxury hotel chains use hospitality photography taken in the twilight/evening as hotel strategies to attract customers?
This leads me to the next question – natural light or artificial light?
Night Or Day?
As an architectural and interior photographer, we would say early to mid- morning or late in the afternoon with 100% natural light. But what about the most important viewer – a hotel’s customers.
Back to LinkedIn we went and this time posting two near identical interior photos of a luxury hotel room at a Bangkok Hotel, taken during the day and the evening. I was asking for which hotel room photo had more emotional impact on the viewer.
The hotel room photo taken during the day under natural light?
The hotel room photo taken during the evening under the interior lighting?
And the results are very surprising – every single like or comment was for the photo taken in the evening – the natural light room photo was not even considered.
Conclusion – Unique Hotel Marketing Ideas
There are some very important observations from this insight into hotel marketing and hotel photography. Both for the luxury hotel businesses and the hotel photographers.
We as photographer’s prefer shooting under natural light in the daytime ,mainly because that is when the light is most pleasing for the photograph and color casts are kept to a minimum. Color casts which can cause multiple issues during post-production. So, are we as interior photographers just looking for the easiest way out to get a good photo?
Luxury Hotel Brands
There are some properties of specific hotel brands who will use evening photos of guest rooms but the majority of photos are taken during the preferred time for hotel photographers? I can understand this scenario if there is an amazing view or something that needs to be highlighted and showcased outside?
But why is that the case?
When hotel photographers give advice on scheduling the hotel photoshoot shot list, are we only taking into account the easiest way and best light for the perfect hotel photo? But not the photo which would return the most value for our clients?
Maybe, instead of learning about the latest and greatest gear, and new post-production techniques we should take a deep look at unique hotel marketing ideas, that will provide value for our clients..
LinkedIn Post – Feedback for interior photography
LinkedIn Post – Night Or Day?
Pathumwan Princess Hotel
Plantation Urban Resort & Spa
Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 4 – Bangkok Photography
Bruce Vincentiis is the Founder and Photographer of TwoKeys Media.
If you have any comments about the article or need a photographer to help you create value for your hotel’s marketing efforts please reach out to him from our contact page.