How to choose a photographer for your hotel

At least once a year, each hotel must update its photos. And if you decide to change photographers or are looking for a new one, it can be a stressful affair. So, how to choose the right one and what to pay attention to?

Photos can make or break whether guests choose your hotel over another, so the process of selecting a photographer should not be taken lightly.

One way to find a photographer to photograph your hotel is to make recommendations. Colleagues from other hotels are happy to recommend a suitable photographer. Even if you get a recommendation or look for a photographer yourself, check out their portfolio. See if you like his work. Don’t expect that if he doesn’t have night shots in his portfolio, he’ll take them well.

What do you want to photograph – interiors, exteriors, food, lifestyle advertising photos, personal or aerial photography

Think about what you want to photograph. Not all photographers are good at photographing food, know how to photograph lifestyle, or have a license to fly a drone. It’s a good idea to outline these requirements in advance and you’ll avoid disappointing photos. A shot list in this case is not a luxury. On the one hand you get an idea of ​​the scope of the shot and on the other hand the photographer is able to price the job according to the shooting sheet. Likewise, he should tell you if he is unable to draw something. And based on the shooting sheet, he should advise you what to prepare and how.

Communication is the basis of good performance

If you already know what the photos should look like, for example, if you’re taking inspiration from a hotel you like, communicate that upfront so you know the photographer can do it. The use of photos is another indicator. If you know in advance that you will need very high resolution photos, communicate this upfront. For example, if you want to use the photos for a billboard. Not all photographers have the ability to take high resolution photos.

Money first – talk about your budget and what the whole price includes

It is not uncommon to charge for photos. Or as a daily rate. Every photographer has it differently. Make sure photo editing is included as well as how the photographer charges travel costs. Many photographers also charge for a travel day. The time they travel to you.

For longer shoots, it is standard for the hotel to provide accommodation and meals for the photographer’s team for the duration of the shoot.

Professional photography rates for hotels and resorts can range from $1,500 to $7,500 per day, the number of photos a photographer takes per day ranges from 6 to 15 per day, depending on the complexity and if shooting is day or night. These are not close-up photographs but architectural photographs.

Beware of licenses. Check in advance what the usage rights are. Where, when and for how long you can use the photographs. I generally do not limit the use rights of hotels either in time or in the place where they can use the photos.

Scout day and contingency day

If space and time permit, it is good to have a Scout day. The photographer will explore the area and determine when and what to photograph. And what needs to be prepared or edited.

It’s also a good idea to plan at least one emergency day, usually due to bad weather or when something doesn’t work as it should.

How many people are enough for a photo shoot – the photographer’s team

The number is not determined. There are photographers who shoot alone and those who have a team of up to ten people. A photographer and an assistant go as standard.

Hire a hotel architectural photographer, not friends or a real estate photographer

A photographer who takes good pictures of people is not guaranteed to take good pictures of a hotel, nor can you expect the same results from a real estate photographer as you would from a professional who shoots hotels. The portfolio should give you a clue.

Before shooting, the photographer should provide a list of things the hotel needs to prepare.

Be there for the photoshoot

It’s always better if you’re at the photo shoot. You will highlight the important elements that the photographer should photograph and also, the photographer should recommend what will work.

How to choose the best photographer for your hotel

  • Recommend the photographer
  • Take a look at their portfolio
  • Choose a photographer who specializes in hotel photography
  • Based on the shooting list, find out if he is able to shoot it and what the conditions are
  • Find inspiration for what you love
  • A photography contract will protect you too, don’t be afraid to ask for one
  • Be there for the shoot

Lucia Lizlerova
workshop manager
Jiri Lizler

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