Working with hotels is the ultimate, “I made it” moment as a travel blogger! But your first time working with hotels is going to be intimidating to say the least!
I remember when I scored my first free stay as a travel blogger when working with Maui Tourism and I tried to find help online but there was NOTHING! I vowed after I got home from that trip I would write down everything I learned and help someone else.
If you want a full crash course on working with tourism boards and hotels as a travel blogger, be sure to check out my actionable and affordable “Scoring Sponsored Travel Course!”
Hotel photography is likely a little bit different than your standard photography style. While I think you should always add your own flair to your photos, there are certain things to keep in mind when shooting content for a hotel or tourism board.
The biggest tip to always keep in the back of your mind is that the goal of the photo is to make the hotel or tourism company look good… not yourself. 🙂 I am not saying you should look bad in the photo, but it should not be focused around you! YOU should be adding an element to the photo of the HOTEL.
As promised, here are my top tips on working with hotels and providing them photography in exchange for a complimentary stay…
Top 10 Hotel Photography Tips
1) Shoot wide angle and slightly over exposed when shooting hotel rooms. This is going to make the room appear bigger, cleaner, and brighter! Most of the time, a hotel is not wanting too many photos of the inside of their hotel rooms, they already have these photos on their website. I would only include these if they specifically ask for them!
2) Having at least two lenses is super important with hotel photography! You will need a wide angle lens to capture the hotel as a whole & making hotel rooms look larger. You will also need a macro / low aperture lens to capture detail shots. Want to know what’s in my camera bag? Click here for a full list!
3) Add props to highlight your image! For example, taking a photo of a hotel room? Add a tray with champagne and a card to the bed to give it an extra pop!
4) Take photos early morning to avoid disrupting guests.. ESPECIALLY if you are using a drone!! You want to make sure you are not being an annoyance for their guests and respectful of their staff. Make sure you ask for permission to take photos of their staff before just doing so.
5) When taking lifestyle photos of the hotel, do not use any dramatic poses. Keep them simple and natural!
6) Give the hotel a really good mix of photos! Shoot wide angle to capture the entire hotel, include lifestyle photos using their amenities, throw in a few hotel room shots with a unique flair (not just copying their photos that they already have on their website), use your macro / low aperture lens highlight some of the details! 🙂
7) Check out their Instagram and see what they like! Do they like to post a lot of lifestyle photos with people smiling? Incorporate some photos like that in your package!
8) Again, check out their Instagram to see what they like, but most hotels are going to prefer a light and airy editing style. Even if that is not the style of your Instagram, I would edit the photos you give them in a photography package similar to what they would want. Remember, it’s about bringing them value!
9) If you want to score bigger partnerships, invest in a drone! Pitching to a hotel for photography and mentioning a drone is a HUGE selling point! Most standard photographers do not have drones and will limit them on the range of photography they can offer. AIM TO OFFER IT ALL!
10) Get smaller and detailed if the area of the hotel is run down. For example, some older hotels have an older style pool, get closer, detailed shots instead of a wide angle shot! Or, just focus on the areas of the hotel that you think should be highlighted!
BONUS TIP: Another huge brownie point with working with hotels is making sure to get a good scope of work before arriving! Make sure to ask them detailed questions on what they want you to focus on! They will be upset if they are assuming you will provide loads of drone photos and lifestyle shots and you come back with hotel room photos.
Make sure you fully understand what their expectations are and go above and beyond those expectations!
Recommended Read: How to Work with Hotels With As Little As 500 Followers!
Here are some example photos I got working with the Hyatt Regency in Maui…
I hope this mini guide was actionable and useful for you! I know you’re going to absolutely blow them away and you have nothing to stress about! YOU’VE GOT THIS!! 🙂
If you liked these tips, then you will LOVE my affordable and actionable course on working with hotels and tourism boards!
What I teach you in the course:
- Learning your value & building your portfolio
- WHY I DON’T USE MEDIA KITS, and what I use instead!
- My secret weapon to finding email contacts when there isn’t one online.
- My EXACT pitching email and examples of deliverables / what to charge.
- Sponsored Trip Etiquette (how to act once you’re there, tipping, etc.).
- Hotel Photography tips & business writing tips!
- The exact contract I use when working with hotels & tourism boards.
- When to charge, what to charge, and all things money!
AND SO MUCH MORE!