Choosing the Right Photographer
All my life, I’ve loved soccer. I played as a kid, watch it every weekend, coached a team as an adult, and currently have season tickets for Orlando City Soccer. So when I was first invited to photograph a professional soccer match by a group of experienced sports photographers, I was thrilled and confident that I would walk away with amazing images.
I had never really photographed the game before, but I was a good photographer and I knew the game inside and out. After the game, however, I was disappointed in what I had captured. Sure, I had a few good frames, but for the rest, my timing was off. I seemed to always have just missed the action while all the seasoned sports photographers were spot on almost every time. My inexperience was painfully obvious in comparison in both timing and the handling of my equipment for the subject.
The entire experience made me realize how important dedicated shooting experience truly is. My dedicated shooting experience is in hotels, not live sports. I’ve shot hotel after hotel the same way they have shot game after game and had they gone to shoot a hotel, they might’ve only gotten a few amazing shots mixed with marginal results as well. All of us are great photographers, simply with different specializations. And with the general pool of photographers becoming wider and more vast, it can be more difficult to know who to hire for your particular needs.
Needs, Wants, and Expectations
For a hotel photographer a hotel photo shoot isn’t turning up the day of and snapping photographs. It’s planning, researching, and understanding the needs of the customer and company as a whole. Every hotel is different. Every hotel brand has their own specific photographic guidelines to fulfill. Photographing a Holiday Inn will be different from photographing a Sheraton will be different from photographing a boutique bed and breakfast. And knowing the difference is crucial, both from the standpoint of marketing needs and photographic styling. Someone who’s photographed hotels for years will know how to make your property look best all while staying within the proper guidelines and collaborating with you to make sure you end up both with what you need and want.
Capturing the Dream
At the end of the day, one of the goals and responsibilities of a hotel manager or marketing director is to create an environment that encourages new and old customers alike to choose their destination over anyone else’s – to build clientele. Having beautiful images integrated throughout a hotel’s marketing campaign is one of the best ways to catch the attention of customers hunting for their dream vacation spot. Customers want to know what they’re going to get for their money, whether it be a simple room shot or a beautiful, emotional shot of a deserted beach at sunset. Pairing the two lets a person know they’ll be well accommodated and that paradise awaits their footprints in the sand. Photographs are what people look at for reassurance.
When working with the right photographer, you will come out the other end with a well rounded and plentiful content library that you can use months down the road on anything from simple ads to newsletters to your next trade show booth, helping you achieve the look you’ve always wanted.