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  • Foto del escritorJairo Andrés Llano

5 Tips for Hotel and Lifestyle Photography

Hiring Hotel photography should not be difficult, In this post we will make some recommendations to know what you need for your Hotel, Convention Center, or five-star Resort.

tips for hotel photography, hotels architectural photography, photographer latinamerica
Marriott Santa Marta, Colombia Lobbie

During these 15 years of experience in the architectural photography sector I have understood that even though it seems to be a single area, this type of photography has different niches where we can work and offer to our clients.


My first assignments for hotels were with the architects of the building, Hotels like BH (now Mercury) in Bogotá Colombia, or BH Bicentenario are part of my portfolio from the point of view of the architect, the exterior building, and its complexities of design and construction. But over time I have also had the opportunity to work with interior designers and hotels, who are interested in attracting the public and creating a photograph of advertising space, striking and aspirational, for this lifestyle photography is the perfect complement to these sessions. I invite you to see in this link the photographs of the Marriott Playa Dormida Hotel.


Lifestyle photography is one that includes elements of comfort and style of our space, for example, food, liquor, or additional services such as towels, shaded areas, furnishing, etc.


If you are interested in hiring photography and need to know what to consider, here are my tips for scheduling the photography session you need


Tip #1 for Hotel photography - Give it all!


You are hiring a service that is intended to open the door to thousands of customers, This session depends on your reservations increase and maintain for one or even several years.


When I invite you to give it all to make it available to the hotel team so that the photographs come out the best possible, cleaning, kitchen, room service, etc. must be aware and with the best attitude to show what makes your hotel different.


Tip #2 - Create a work plan


The architectural photographer that works with hotels will contact you to ask you what you need, in this meeting it is important to detail the spaces of your hotel, explain how many types of rooms we have, what are the service areas and their sizes, and what additional services we want to show, for example a preparation of a romantic room, breakfast in bed, a spa day or beach service.


Once we understand the extent of the work my recommendation is to leave the first days for the spaces, and the last day for lifestyle photos, it is likely that having toured and seen all the facilities, as photographers we can make a recommendation of what type of room suits us best with breakfast, or what space has a suitable light for a romantic dinner. This way we will have the kitchen team, or the spa team prepared and the session will interrupt their daily work as little as possible.


This work plan also allows us to go ahead of the photography team to arrange the rooms, organize the event rooms, prepare the pool during the hours when it is closed to the public, and have the restaurant ready before the guests enter to take the photos of the montages with all the perfect order.


Tip #3 - Select spaces according to natural light.


If there are photos that call the attention of a Hotel reportage those are the ones that we took in the blue hour, and unfortunately, that hour is in fact 15 to 20 minutes in the tropics so it should be optimized time. Each day has a blue hour, or 2 if we work at dawn.


This is why we must choose which spaces we are going to take with this special light and prepare them in advance. In the session I did for Marriott Santa Marta, we chose the blue hour to do some exterior views of the building and the restaurant.


We did the exteriors in the afternoon and an hour and a half before sunset I asked them to turn on all possible lights, free rooms, communal spaces, typography of the Hotel, etc. It seems like a long time but in logistics, we arrived almost on the flush to take the pictures. Remember that there are several floors, that each room has its own key, and we have a limited team of people helping us, in short. Always anticipate a little bit.



For the restaurant session, we used the early morning, The breakfast and buffet were ready half an hour before the hall opened, and taking advantage of the sunrise we took pictures of the space, the full buffet, but also a dinner on the terrace, and a stand with wine and snacks. All with natural light in mind.


This is the most important case, but remember natural light will affect the room and the view it has, it will also be important in the common areas and will be of less relevance in large interior spaces such as lobbies, playgrounds, or internal lounges


"Natural light on things sometimes moves me in such a way that I even think I perceive something spiritual." - Peter Zumthor

Tip #4 - Involve the service team.


For the Lifestyle session, talk to your team and motivate them to present their best products, They are the ones who know the client best and know what impacts them, what is the best entree at dinner time, or what is the cocktail with the best rave reviews. In the Marriott session, I told you about before, we recreated a breakfast on the terrace of the suite overlooking the sea, the hotel chef went up and prepared the entire table with all the delicacies of luxury that the clients could have.


His knowledge and dedication were very important to have photos that leave any tourist wanting to live there.


tips for hotel photography, hotels architectural photography, photographer latinamerica
Luxury breakfast Marriott Playa dormida

Tip #5 - Remember that your photos are a tool, use them.


It seems obvious this last tip for hotel photography but many times the hotel's professional photo portfolios are left in the hands of those who set up the services in booking, on the website at the head office, and a few others.


Photographs are a valuable tool and it is necessary that the entire sales team has access to them so that they are in permanent communication, and are used in social networks, in printed material at hotel events, in presentations of services for clients, etc.


In short, become part of the hotel photography team.


The photographer's job is to interpret and make your space and your communication needs with your customers shine, so remember that this is not just any outsourced work, on the contrary, it is a consulting solution and teamwork that will achieve the best results and project your sales to the next level.


If you require a Hotel photography job please contact us at jairo@llanofotografia.com and visit our architectural photography galleries at www.llanofotografia.com

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