Time and again, we’ve seen our hotel and resort clients use a photographer from the franchise’s list of approved vendors, others that they hire to grab a quick shot and employees that snap photos, too.
You would assume that they know what they’re doing.
You would assume that with the amount of money paid that the results would be perfect, especially since they are on an approved list. Not so.
You would assume that you could give the “professional photographer” a long leash since they know what they are doing and are supposedly experts, right? Not so fast.
In order to stay on the preferred vendor list, these photographers do color within the lines – no computers on desks except in a business center shot and no room service trays in the guest rooms to be used as eye candy. But here’s what we also find:
- Photographers who take HDR photos and then tweak the image using special software to the point the final product looks like an architectural rendering. Really? The property has been open for business for a long time. Let’s not give the impression, the property isn’t even open yet.
- Photographers that use the wrong lens to capture the right setting. Wide angle lenses can’t be used for everything.
- Photographers that shoot views which include bathrooms right down to the plumbing beneath the sink. Excuse me, but you missed a fabulous view by shooting that direction.
- Photographers who are given a long shoot list and too narrow a time frame. Something has to give in order to get it all in…let’s pray that the weather cooperates.
- Photographers whose retouching skills are lacking. Ever seen a milky haze around the windows or sliding glass doors? Someone didn’t know what they were doing.
- Photographers whose final product shows a brighter exterior view than the interior. Your eye went right out the window didn’t it? The entire point of the image was to feature the guest room.
THE OTHER GUYS
- Photographers who have experience in shooting interior design sets. The end product is unnatural because the lighting is over the top and too balanced.
- Photographers that shoot at the wrong time of day when lighting is the harshest. Perhaps because that’s the only way they can shoot 25 images in a day based on available budget?
- Photographers who don’t understand that every image should have a focal point to draw the viewer into the photo. It’s like where’s Waldo? Where’s the focal point.
- Wedding photographers (which differs from location photographers) who light the subject matter from both sides. Doesn’t it seem odd that the shadow falls unnaturally in two different directions in the same image?
- Staff members who want you use a low resolution postage stamp-size photo taken on a smartphone with employees talking in the background.
- Management or team members who own cameras and believe they are really good photographers. It’s best if they be directed to upload these on social media. Alternately, your child may be cute but how do you diplomatically suggest, it’s not strong enough for marketing your multi-million dollar hotel or resort.
- Drone photographers who are flying against headwinds and provide fuzzy images or worse yet tell you they can retouch an image for free but don’t.
If you have access to a marketing and design firm that specializes in the hospitality, like Flying Compass, take advantage of their years of experience.
Let them take a look at the photographer’s portfolio. It’s highly possible, they can point out things that you can’t see. Suggesting things you can do to guide your photographer to the end result you want and need.
If you have a proposed shoot list, run it by them to see if it contains the photos and angles often requested.
Some photos can be retouched to create that signature image. However, wouldn’t you rather know right out of the gate that your images have the best chance of being great from the start?