HOTEL PHOTO SHOOT TIPS: HOW TO GROW YOUR BOOKINGS WITH THE RIGHT PHOTOS!

Improve your Hotel’s overall brand identity with the right photos

Hotel photo shoot is one of the most important steps for building an effective sales strategy. In fact, the right photo shoot is the most dynamic part of your brand identity. A well-defined collection of photos is one of your most powerful tools to attract the interest of your potential customers, either through your official website or through the various OTA & Review websites, increasing your booking requests.

It is rather common to come across high-quality accommodation properties, with a poor photographic content — which has a negative impact on their overall sales, as the product is not presented in full. Most of the times, hoteliers fail to realize the importance of a high quality and aesthetics visual material and the ways it can boost their sales. As a result, they do not decide to make the right investment in this important practice.

Below you can find some basic tips on how to achieve an impressive photo shoot of your property, that will highlight your hotel’s features and experiences, increasing your sales:

Make an extensive research and choose a highly qualified Hotel Photographer

Christos Drazos Photography

  • Choose your Hotel Photographer based on the material you want to produce and the final result you want to achieve.
  • Trust a photographer with a rich and diverse portfolio in the hotel industry. Since Hotel photography has increased needs, it is necessary to choose a specialised photographer, who will be able to achieve the optimum results.
  • Go through the photographer’s portfolio carefully. Make sure that you can find sufficient samples not only of architectural photos but of experiential ones as well. There are several photographers who are not able to capture both types equally, so make sure the artist you choose can cope with both kinds.
  • As a hotel, you will definitely need a large number of photos. Therefore, choose a photographer who charges per day and not per photo. This pricing system is very common in the hotel photography industry and it has the best value for money.
  • When asking for an offer, send to the photographer your exact photo shoot plan. This will allow the photographer to exactly understand what you are looking for and send you a realistic offer.
  • For the correct estimation of the final cost, ask the photographer to include any additional costs that might occur during the production. The most common ones include models, stylists, assistants etc.

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We tried to find the most important reasons to choose Christos Drazos as our Hotel Photographer:

  1. He focuses not only on architecture and design but also on the guest experience within the hotel as well as the staff influence.
  2. He has developed a unique technique to highlight the connection between the natural environment, the hotels and the people.
  3. Christos is an excellent Gastronomy photographer, always managing to capture mouth-watering food photos.

 

Plan your new photo shoot’s ‘Experience Storyline’ in advance

Christos Drazos Photography

  • Even before choosing your photographer, plan and build your hotel’s ‘Experience Storyline’ that you want to showcase through your new photo shoot.
  • Before proceeding to a photo shoot, keep in mind that your hotel photos are your one and only tool for presenting your property to distant travellers, making them dream of staying at your hotel.
  • A hotel photo shoot is not only about the architectural part of your property but also about the experiences that the travellers should expect to live.
  • It is the responsibility of the hotelier to write down the possible architectural shots that the photographer will have to capture, as well as the ‘Experience Scenario’ you wish to present. Most hoteliers leave this job to the photographer, which is not correct, since an outsourcing collaborator is not into position to know the overall philosophy of your hotel.
  • Study the possible audiences you wish to target and develop a short photo story for each one. This targeted material can be used not only in your brand identity but also during special campaigns for specific audiences.
  • When making your plan for the photo shoot, try to combine the architectural and experience shots at the same time, in order to save time and money! It is much easier for the photographer to take the photos at the same time since the background and the equipment are already set up.

Use a diverse mix of models for covering more potential audiences

Christos Drazos Photography

  • It is not recommended to present just the typical images of male and female models. Dare to choose more ‘down-to-earth’ models, approaching the ‘human’ appearance of the majority of your guests.
  • Make sure to take at least a few photos of an individual man and an individual woman. Avoid giving to your hotel a strict ‘couple’ orientation.
  • Work on niche markets and create targeted material for important audiences like Families, Silver Age, Gay Couples. The image of a chubby girl enjoying the facilities of your hotel can really maximise the engagement!
  • If your hotel is pet-friendly, make sure to include shots with lovely animals! Pet owners will definitely love your hotel, however, make sure that the photos highlight the fact that the pets will not affect the other guests’ experience.
  • Do not use stock photos that are not related to your accommodation. The use of such photos can seriously damage your hotel’s image while giving misleading information to potential customers.

Cover all the aspects of your hotel like Food, Sleep and Social Experience with signature photos beyond stereotypes

Christos Drazos Photography

  • When shooting your restaurants, try to combine food with a setting. For example, a close-up photo of a dish could be everywhere. But a photo with a specific dish on the table with the view out of your restaurant’s window in the background is definitely a unique image and what the travellers will actually end up buying.
  • Architectural photos can perfectly describe the luxury and comfort provided in your rooms and suites. But an image of an unmade bed will bring the potential guest closer to the real experience.
  • Don’t forget to take pictures of the common sitting areas of your hotel. It is very important for the guests to see where they can meet and live a more social experience.
  • Take some photos of your Hotel staff. People are the most important part of the experience!
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HOTEL BREAKFAST TIPS; HOW TO MAKE YOUR GUESTS’ DAY!

HOTEL BREAKFAST TIPS; HOW TO MAKE YOUR GUESTS’ DAY!

Tips & Practices to offer the best Hotel Breakfast!

Hotel breakfast is one of the most important services that a hotel offers. As it is usually included in the room price, it can easily become a reference point of satisfaction or not, for all hotel guests. Even if a rich breakfast is not in your daily routine, whenever you find yourself in a hotel — either for business or pleasure — the breakfast time is the most interesting moment of the day, giving you the energy you need and inviting you to try delicious tastes that will really make your day.

But which are the key points on which you should pay attention and that can make breakfast the competitive advantage of your hotel, boosting your ratings and reviews?

1. Make sure to use labels

Hotel Breakfast LabelsPhoto by: Le Meridien Bangkok
A very common mistake in a hotel breakfast buffet is the lack of labels. Even if the hoteliers or the F&B managers feel confident that they have built the perfect breakfast menu, they often fail to adequately inform the guests on what each plate is, creating misunderstandings about what the guest has really picked. A situation like this is bad for both the hotel (since you are wasting an important amount of ingredients) and the guests since they end up not enjoying their breakfast as they had hoped for.In order to avoid this, make sure that you use sufficient labels for all items in your buffet, explaining what each plate is and what are its ingredients.

Smart tip: In order to highlight the high quality, don’t forget to write on each label some ‘catchy’ notes, like the name of the Chef who has created the recipe or the origin of the products used, especially if they come from the local market.
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2. Guide your Guests

Breakfast TipsPhoto by: Capo Bay Hotel
Many hoteliers are really proud of the big variety they offer through their breakfast menu. But this can be a real problem for the guests, who have difficulties in deciding what to pick among all those choices or end up making some really bad taste combinations. If you are a hosting a high-end and extensive breakfast, it is vital to work hard on the overall structure of your buffet, guiding & helping the guests to choose the right things that will make them enjoy their breakfast in the best possible way. Don’t forget that a satisfied breakfast guest, is far more likely to come back later to try your other hotel restaurants!

Smart tip: Print a special “Breakfast Ideas” menu that will help the guests combine the different plates and ingredients according to their personal likes, giving them the optimum culinary experience. Make sure to cover as many guest profiles as possible, not forgetting to include some ‘light’, ‘healthy’ and ‘gluten free’ options!
3. Present the local cuisine through your ‘Traditional Breakfast’

Traditional Hotel BreakfastPhoto by: Sensimar Royal Blue Resort & Spa
When visiting a new destination, one thing is for sure: travellers will want to experience the most of it, no matter if they travel for business or leisure. Even if a standard continental breakfast is the easiest and safest way to go since it covers the majority of the guests’ desires, traditional local recipes are always well received and many times become the ‘best sellers’ of the breakfast buffet. Guests become excited when they have the opportunity to try new tastes and live even for a while like a local, diving in the culture and habits of the destination. Using local products gives also a sense of luxury, as it hints high quality, while at the same time indicates that you equally care for your guests’ experience and the support of your local community.

Smart Tip: Don’t mix the local recipes with the rest of your buffet. In order to present them in the best possible way, make a special “Local Breakfast Corner”, where you will gather all the local products and recipes offered to your guests, giving them an added value and focus.
4. Offer Low Calories Breakfast

Low-cal Hotel BreakfastPhoto by: Mama Shetler, Lyon
Spending many days at a hotel can ensure some extra pounds for your guests, especially if what you are offering at breakfast is so delicious and rich. But high-quality doesn’t necessarily mean ‘things that will make you fat’. Invest in creating a selection of dishes with low calories, allowing those guests who wish to take a break from the daily ‘eggs & bacon’ choice, to do so in the most clever and inspired way. Make sure to stick to the ‘mouthwatering’ way of presenting your low-calories dishes, ensuring that you will preserve the excitement of your guests and not make them feel that they choose ‘healthy’ over taste!

Smart Tip: Ask your Chef to create the “Fit plate of the day”, with a selection of low fat products and recipes, that will help the travellers choose the “light way” to start their day. It is always easier to restrict yourself from picking among the numerous delicacies offered at a buffet, when the hotel offers you a ready, tasteful and low fat solution.
5. Create a Breakfast Ambiance

Hotel Breakfast RoomPhoto by: Hotel Villa Carlotta
It is very common to offer breakfast at the same restaurant where your guests will later come to enjoy their lunch or dinner. Especially for this reason, it is critical to create a distinct “Breakfast Ambience” in the morning, that will help the guests start their day in the best possible way. Choose the best music for the morning, use some special plates or equipment and highlight the happy, colourful and joyful breakfast mood. Try to present everything differently, even products that are served during breakfast and dinner as well. Ask your Architect or Interior designer to come up with some clever set-ups for the breakfast time, that will help you easily create the atmosphere you wish and offer to your guests a unique experience, clearly different than their lunch or dinner at the same venue.

Special Tip: Select special staff uniforms especially for the breakfast, giving a unique character to the whole setting. People are the most important part of the hotel experience and they are the best channel to create the ambiance you need. Special uniforms with smart prints can make the day of your guests and create a happy atmosphere.