15 Hotel Photography Tips to Get Hired by Luxury Hotels

Photographers who specialize in hotel photography know that it’s important to know how to take photos of interiors and exteriors. Beginners might think that is an easy well-paid job that allows staying at luxurious hotels all around the world.

However, it’s difficult to get noticed in this field if you don’t have an impressive portfolio. In this article, I will share 15 tips that will help you take stunning hotel photos and grab the attention of your potential clients even without any prior experience.

1. Instruct the Client on How They Need to Prepare the Space

hotel photography examples

After scheduling a photo session, make sure to tell your clients how they need to get ready for this day. If they decide to use new linen, it’s crucial to steam it beforehand. Otherwise, it will look creased in the frame. It’s also important to arrange furniture so that everything looks in order.

Put chairs around a table, close windows, tie back curtains, straighten art pieces on the wall, remove unwanted items to minimize clutter. The hotel room should look just like it looks in reality so that guests won’t be disappointed.

2. Discuss the Client’s Demands

hotel photography examples

After instructing your clients on what they should do beforehand, make sure to discuss their requirements to ensure that they will get what they are looking for. You need to take photos that will be suitable for their business needs.

If your clients want you to take more hotel photographs of interiors, you will need to use suitable lenses. You can also discuss your photography copyright terms with them. Ask them how many pictures they need and discuss the deadline.

3. Ask for a Shot List of Special Amenities

hotel photography examples

When taking photos, make sure to capture hotel amenities since it will make your pics more appealing for potential clients. For instance, you can take photos of personalized gifts, a stunning window view, spa, jacuzzi, etc. If the hotel serves as a wedding venue, you need to focus on the features that make it perfect for newlyweds.

hotel photography examples

Some clients might be interested to know whether the hotel bar has a decent drink menu. Don’t forget to capture photos of all the locations that might drive clients to book a room. Some hotels give honeymooners a free bottle of champagne. You can include it in your shot as well. Ask the hotel owners or managers to create a short list of all the rooms and areas that they want you to capture.

4. Outsource the Editing for Professional Results

hotel photography interior retouching by fixthephoto hotel photography interior retouching by fixthephoto

No hotel will hire you unless you professionally process your photos. If you don’t have any prior editing experience but want to make your photos look more polished, you can entrust this task to our real estate photo editing service.

We work with clients with different budgets and needs. Thanks to a quick turnaround time, you will receive your processed photos within a set deadline. Our photo editors will make your photos meet the industry’s standards.

They will remove distracting elements, fix exposure, adjust contrast, tweak colors, replace the sky and make the lawn look greener. Make sure to send your requirements beforehand. You can also ask our professionals to use photos of some popular hotels as samples and process your photos in a similar style.

5. Include Employees or Models to Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

hotel photography examples with people

If you don’t want to take photos that look too empty and unwelcoming, you can invite models to the hotel photo shoot. It will allow potential visitors to see how the rooms look in real life.

For instance, you may ask hotel employees to pose for your pictures.

This way, potential guests will see what services they can get. Ask your models to smile. It will help you make the overall atmosphere look more inviting.

hotel photography examples with people

Besides, you can ask other people to pose for your photos. It will help potential clients imagine what it is like to stay in this hotel. Ask your models to do what any hotel guest would do, order room service, take a bath, watch TV, etc.

6. Use Motivated Lighting for a Welcoming Atmosphere

hotel photography examples lighting

Experienced hotels photographs know that it’s important to set up lighting in the right way. If you mostly use natural light when taking photos, you will need to select a time when you can take photos or well-lit rooms. It might be difficult to plan everything ahead, since, on some days, natural lighting doesn’t allow you to take good photos.

If you don’t want to rely on chance, you can use the motivated lighting technique used by photographers who imitate natural light using artificial light sources. For this purpose, you may use strobe lights for photography and place them somewhere near windows.

hotel photography examples lighting

Don’t put light sources in the frame. However, you can put a lamp of candles on the table if you take pictures of a restaurant. When capturing photos of a bedroom, you may use table lamps to create a cozy atmosphere.

7. Employ the HDR Technique

hdr hotel photography examples

If you need to take photos in locations with light and dark areas, try using the HDR technique. Those who specialize in HDR photography know how to create images with great contrast and well-balanced lighting in situations when regular shooting techniques don’t allow them to get desired results.

Photographers who are interested in HDR real estate photography can use this technique to take attention-grabbing photos of interiors and exteriors with a high level of detail.

hdr hotel photography examples

To use this technique, you need to check whether your camera supports the Bracketed Mode. If so, select it and hold down the shutter to capture photos. Then, you can combine these pictures with the help of free HDR software, such as Luminance HDR or Lightroom.

8. Don’t Shoot From Eye-Level

hotel photography examples angles

Many photographers start capturing photos holding their cameras at eye level. However, such images won’t look particularly inspiring. If you take photos from a lower angle, you can improve the perspective and fit everything in the frame.

When shooting images of corridors and architectural designs, hold your camera higher than eye level. In small rooms, make sure to stand in the corner to capture every detail. In some rooms, it might be a good idea to take hotels photographs with diagonal lines to show potential clients that there is plenty of space.

Try using different angles and focal distances. If you don’t know which angle works best for a particular situation, take several test shots.

9. Make Your Composition Symmetric

hotel photography examples symmetry

To create a well-balanced photography composition, you need to include all the necessary objects in the frame and keep the most important ones in the center. Experiment with different angles and ensure that all the room is clearly visible.

Don’t forget about symmetry since such photos will look more appealing to potential clients. You need to learn more about leading lines photography as well to focus a viewer’s attention on some objects in the frame.

hotel photography examples symmetry

Make sure to use the rule of thirds as well. You just need to visually divide your composition into three parts vertically and horizontally. You will get a grid of 9 rectangles. The main point of your composition should be on one of the intersections.

10. Tell a Story by Evoking Emotions

hotel photography examples romantic

When practicing hotel room photography, it’s important to drive potential clients to book accommodation. If your photos look visually appealing, it will be easier for people to make their choice.

Make sure to demonstrate the key advantages of a hotel and show what it can offer to its guests. When looking at your photos, people will imagine how they will spend time in this room and what amenities they will use. Pay attention to lighting as it allows you to capture images with appealing colors.

hotel photography examples romantic

Use muted tones, pay attention to straight lines, and use props, such as candles or flowers to create a welcoming atmosphere. If you need to take photos of the bathroom, fill the bathtub with water and foam. Make sure to create an engaging story that will show potential visitors what experiences they will enjoy.

11. Capture the Exterior During Golden or Blue Hours

hotel photography examples twilight

While most hotel photographers focus on interior photography, potential clients also want to see how the exterior of a hotel looks. This is why you need to take photos of the surrounding area and the building itself. If the hotel is located on the beach, take some photos of the sea or ocean as well. You can also experiment with real estate aerial photography to show how the hotel looks from above.

Make sure to take drone photos during golden or blue hour. The best time for golden hour photography is after sunrise and before sunset when the sun is quite low.

hotel photography examples golden hour

Those who like experimenting with twilight photography, take photos right before sunrise and after sunset. Since the sun is already below the horizon, lighting is softer. When arranging a hotel photo shoot, ask your client whether they want you to work for more than one day. If they give you several days, it will be easier for you to capture great exterior photos with good lighting.

12. Use Small Aperture for Sharp Images

hotel photography examples

To adjust real estate photography camera settings in the right way, you need to set an aperture to f/8, f/9, or f/11. If your camera supports accurate focusing, you will get sharp photos without any blur that meet all the industry’s standards.

When taking photos of exteriors, photographers often need to convey a sense of distance. You can use a wide aperture to create such an effect, however, don’t make it wider than f/5.6.

13. Capture the Branding Elements of the Hotel

hotel photography examples branding

Everyone who specializes in hotel room photography knows that it’s important to capture various branding elements. For instance, you can take photos of logos or capture photos with the name of the hotel clearly visible.

In many hotels, you can see a logo on pillows or somewhere near the reception desk. There is no need to focus on it, but you can still make it more noticeable.

14. Use Wide-Angle Lenses to Fit More Space Into the Shot

hotel photography wide angle lens

Wide angle lenses are perfect for photographers who need to work in small rooms as they allow them to make them look bigger. These lenses are perfect for hotel and real estate photography.

For instance, you can use the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens as your main lens for real estate photography since it allows fitting everything in the frame.

hotel photography examples wide angle lens

If you have some cash laying around, make sure to buy tilt shift lenses that enable photographers to minimize distortion. The Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L is a perfect option to consider. However, such lenses are hardly suitable for those who are on a tight budget.

15. Stabilize Your Equipment with a Tripod

hotel photography examples tripod

If you want to take clear photos without any sign of blur, try buying a reliable tripod for real estate photography that will help you to capture great images even in low-light situations. When there isn’t enough light, the camera’s shutter has to stay open for a long time. Long exposure allows you to take photos with a great perspective.

When practicing hotel photography, set the height of the tripod to 4 feet and take all photos from this level. For a hotel room photoshoot, you need to set up the correct levels. This way, you can capture images with straight horizontal and vertical lights.

For this purpose, you can use the Manfrotto BeFree tripod. Since it doesn’t weigh much and is made from durable materials, you can take it with you anywhere.


bonus tools for hotel photography

If you want to speed up your editing workflow, try using this collection. It was created by professionals who know how to professionally edit hotel photos. Besides HDR effects, this bundle includes exterior and interior Lightroom presets that will help you process your images with ease.