With the hospitality sector set to reopen, we want to help ensure that hospitality businesses are ready to bounce back and seize every opportunity they can, but in a time where we are competing more than ever to capture people's attention online, the old saying “a picture tells a thousand words” has never been more relevant. We asked Devon-based photographer, Simon Tutty, for his top tips on how to perfectly capture your hospitality business through the lens to help turn website visitors into booking guests.
Here are Simon’s top 8 tips on getting your hospitality photography just right...
Tidy, clean and declutter your space
Before shooting any area of your property, ensure that it is tidy, clean and decluttered. If you run a self-catering property or B&B, limit personal items that are on display like family photos. Make sure that the windows are clean inside and out, because the natural daylight will show up every bit of dirt when photographing inside - of course a bit of Photoshop wizardry can be applied after but the cleaner they are to start with, the better.
Use your best linen
When making the bed, make sure that all bed linen has been cleaned (no stains or marks!) and pressed so that they look pristine. Ensure sheets and duvets are tucked in, valences are straight and level and that the pillows are fluffed. A throw on the end of bed and some scatter cushions make great finishing touches and help break up an expanse of white.
Set the scene
Whether you pop a book on a bedside table in the bedroom, a magazine and a fresh bunch of flowers on a coffee table or light the wood burner to bring life to what is often a black box, set the scene wherever you can. In dining areas/kitchens, set the table with croissants, coffee pot, fresh juice and cups, or lay the dining table ready for dinner. If it’s outside, the addition of a couple of glasses and a jug of Pimms or a bottle of chilled wine.
The little things count
The little things really do count. Fancy toiletries in the bathrooms and WC's are always well received and show that you care about giving your guests a luxury experience. Some high end manufacturers will sell directly at a reduced price to those in hospitality. For the sake of the photos, remove bins and toilet brushes and toilet rolls should be full. It goes without saying that tiles and glass should be spotlessly clean!
Capture the details
Don’t forget to capture the details in each shot too… for example showing fabric textures and patterns on cushions, throws and fabrics, or close up shots of luxury and scene setting objects, for instance books on shelves, a bottle of local wine or some freshly picked flowers on the windowsill.
Shoot it well
Whether you buy or borrow a tripod, it’s definitely worth using one. It doesn't have to be expensive but using one will help slow you down so you really consider what you’re photographing and keep a steady shot. Keep the camera level in both horizontal directions (front to back and left to right) and shoot from about 4' high - this avoids the walls converging but minimises the amount of ceiling on display. Don’t forget to shoot more than one angle of each room where possible, however WC's and bathrooms often don't allow this.
Show off your location
Be sure to capture some contextual photographs showing off the surrounding local area and its benefits, whether you’re based on the coast with beautiful sea views or in a quiet secluded woodland area, show people what makes your location special and why they want to book to stay with you, rather than your competitors. Use photography to sell them their dream getaway!
After the shoot
The most important tip: EDIT YOUR PHOTOS. This is what separates most professional photography from the rest. There are plenty of free and easy-to-use editing tools, even for the inexperienced photographer, e.g, Snapseed, PixlR, GIMP, or Google Photos (Android) and Apple Photos (iPhone) for phone photographers. They all have an "Auto Edit” option that will often produce great results, combined with a little cropping (editing out the ceiling for instance) will help polish off your shots.
We hope these tips help you capture some great new photos ahead of reopening for the Summer. For a little inspiration, visit www.simontutty.co.uk to take a look at his portfolio.