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The Cost of Avoiding Expense

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We see it every day. How does one spend money to make money, and how does one spend money to expand our profits? The type of business is interchangeable. Each industry has its financial pivots. Cash is king – but cash well spent, or reinvested, is the king of a king.

Aside from the construction or renovation of a property, the second most important investment is establishing that property through the scope of marketing – more specifically that of visual presence. On the Internet, in print, or images passed through social media, the guest experience interpreted through the lens of a camera, and the right hotel photographer, can mean a world of difference to your bottom line.

As construction or renovation ends, the largest checks are usually due. Contractors and sub-contractors look to collect, and the hotel has yet to deposit a simple coin of profit. The last thing you want to hear is there is more money to be spent.

Yet it’s this juncture, often overlooked, that is key to the survival of a new or renovated property. The sooner you can establish a visual for the potential guest, the better the chances are that the hotel can create an identity in the mind’s eye for each potential guest.

This is a crossroads that should not be taken lightly. The cliché “You only have one chance to make a first impression” stands tall here. It’s not enough that you have pictures and words to accompany the introduction (or re-introduction in the case of renovations) of these properties. It’s that you have the RIGHT pictures and words.

Now is not the time for hesitation, nor is it the time to search for the lowest bidder from a photographer. Find the right hotel photographer that can convey the image of your property. Be it in photos or in words, there’s a hotel to fill. This is truly a pinch-point. Well-orchestrated words and visuals will be an invaluable marketing tool. Ignoring this path will lead to a confused and muddled message for your potential audience.

Find a hotel photographer who shoots specifically for the hospitality industry. An experienced photographer who has the lighting skills, composition, and understanding how to produce beautiful images and will not disrupt the guest experience. Consider hiring the photographer near the topping-off stage. Often photographers are booked for weeks in advance, and it’s beneficial to create images as quickly as possible.

Quite frequently properties will hire a hotel photographer just after, during, or even shortly before the occupancy permits allow a hotel to open. This allows for the post-production process to take place, and fresh new images are available for the property for the grand opening.

Following these processes will allow a hotel to open, while consecutively having content to back up its ability to market. This cohesive strategy will minimize the gap from opening to marketing. Your Internet presence, social media content, and PR ability will all benefit from spending money to make money.

By Brett Patterson
Chief Photographer
Travel Industry Photos, Inc.

BEFORE AND AFTER – MASSAGING THE PIXELS FOR HOTEL PHOTOGRAPHY

As I produce hotel photography for our clients around the country, we encounter both existing properties and new construction. The newer properties are always preferable to photograph, as they have yet to show much wear and tear that quickly comes once guests occupy the rooms. That said, you’d think the new builds would have little added Photoshop work needed. While that’s often the truth, we do encounter situations where pixel massaging is needed.

Presented before you is a good example of such a case. Our good friends at Vision Hospitality constructed a beautiful, cutting-edge Fairfield Inn and Suites – complete with a rooftop bar and a beautiful restaurant. It’s located in The Gulch area of Nashville, and the city has yet to remove the power lines located directly in front of the property. We had to capture a solid exterior photo of the property, and short of chopping down the power lines, our only recourse was to fix it in post-production.

This was done with a process I like to refer to as “micro-pixel massaging”. If you look closely, you’ll see a great number of elements (poles, cables, support wires) all coming from varying angles. These objects are intersecting with architectural elements on the building itself – windows, doors, roof and lines of the building itself.

Retouching on the computer at 100% view would be next to impossible. In order to make each and every unwanted element disappear, I worked on the image in the 1600-3200% range. When all was said and done, it took slightly over two hours to accomplish the task – well worth the time and effort.

The hotel is truly unique for a Fairfield property, a great hotel for a great neighborhood. Let’s face it – quality properties deserve quality hotel photography!  Check out the images below to view other images from the same shoot…

Safe Journeys,
Brett

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Dining Area – Fairfield Inn and Suites, Nashville

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Front Desk – Fairfield Inn and Suites, Nashville

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Lobby – Fairfield Inn and Suites, Nashville

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Meeting Room – Fairfield Inn and Suites, Nashville

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Rooftop Patio – Fairfield Inn and Suites, Nashville

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Outdoor Patio – Fairfield Inn and Suites, Nashville

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King Suite – Fairfield Inn and Suites, Nashville

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Large Whirlpool – Fairfield Inn and Suites, Nashville

The Quest for Travel Sanity

Travel Photography – it’s glamorous, fun, and spontaneous, right?  Or that’s what we’ve been led to believe.  As I produce quality hotel photography for clients around the country, the experiences of daily travel can be daunting to say the least.  Let’s face it, not all trips are draped in equal cover.  Simply put, trips can fall on a sliding scale peaking from heavenly to dreadful.  Add 250 pounds of lighting and camera gear, airlines who work hard to get that black bottom line, and weather that’s down right unpredictable, and where your trip lands on that scale is no easier to predict than hitting lotto numbers correctly.

As the fall leaves and the cooler temperatures push out the bluish skies and humid air, travelers such as myself rejoice at the smaller blessings in travel life.  Smaller flight loads, shorter days, and less sweaty conditions in which to shoot our exteriors.  Regardless of the season, I always keep in mind to maintain my travel sanity.

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As this article is penned, I sit in a terminal at PDX awaiting a flight now leaving at 4:45 – a full six hours after it’s intended departure time.  The misconnect will cost me a night in Atlanta, a late start for my shoot tomorrow, and lack of any real sleep.  Still, travel sanity is a trait learned both through common reasoning, and years of traveling.  The seasoned traveler knows that it’s a practice similar to swimming upstream – against the current.  What can go wrong, often will.  What should go right, most likely won’t.  Once these tenants are embraced, be ready to embrace the reality with a sense of resolve, flexibility, and creativity.

While each person and situation is different, provided below are three specific strategies to deal with the craziness often associated with maintaining travel sanity…

WORK BACKWARD – Often times we have more leeway in our travel schedule than we realize.  When booking your flights, make sure you have enough time to get the job done – or if on vacation, there’s enough time to see what it is you want to see.  When early disaster strikes, such as a delayed flight, go to your end result.  Work backward to see how you can shave time off and still get the business trip or vacation successfully completed.

SMILES, EVERYONE, SMILES!  The travel industry is wrought with vicious circles spawned by delays, reroutes, and over booking.  Think of it as a cakewalk.  Almost every situation involving modern travel will have an odd man (or woman) out.  It’s not intentional, simply a numbers game.  Airlines overbook seats knowing that a certain percentage of passengers won’t show up.  If you don’t have status on the airline, you might be reassigned to another flight.  Sometimes airlines also have equipment swaps, often switching out a larger plane for a smaller one.  People are always reaccommodated on flights similar to their original itinerary.  The more you can work with the gate agent, the better your reassignment will be.  Bribes always help – not the monetary kind, but the smile, the acknowledgement of their lack of fault in the situation.  These are very useful in moving the process right along, and snagging a good seat for that upcoming flight.

HAVE A PLAN – The boxer Mike Tyson was brief yet eloquent when he stated that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.  We’ll use that as a metaphor and hope there’s no physical violence on your upcoming journey.  That said, those punches can come from unexpected areas, and arrive with a forceful blow if you’re not prepared.  Here in lies the key – be prepared.  It might seem like a no-brainer, but a docket with names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and a well laid out itinerary will help to avoid confusion when you’re arriving at your destination – or when trying to explain to an agent where you’re trying to get to.  Backs of envelops with scribbled names and numbers don’t count.  Keep an email folder (or a manilla folder for you old school types) the second you being to prepare a trip.  The info accumulated for even the simplest of trips can cover many pages, so start early and get the info into a single source you can access at the airport or other stops along your journey.

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Everyone has advice on how to make your trip a smooth and efficient journey.  After flying more than 200,000 miles a year creating hotel photography for many years, all I can say these perspectives have helped me both professionally and personally.  I hope they’re of help to you also…

 

Safe Journeys,

Brett

Why Is Quality Important in Hotel Photography?

How do people decide which hotel or resort to stay in? The decision can be a crucial one for the duration of their trip away from Interior Hotel & Exterior Photographyhome.  People go online, search, and look at the photos to gauge how comfortable or appealing their stay will be. If the photos are well-lit, sharp, and visually appealing, they’ll be more inclined to book their reservation than if they see mediocre photos.  A balance of impact and information is crucial.
Our society is increasingly visual. People base their opinions of where to spend their travel dollar almost exclusively on how the property is presented visually on the internet and in marketing materials.  Aside from online reviews, photography is the mitigating factor as to whether those dollars will be spent with you, or move along to the competition.

Photos of hotels and resorts provide a person with their first impression of the place. In addition, photos show people what to expect. It’s important to see the hotel or resort’s exterior, its lobby, guest rooms, and other amenities. The potential guest needs to be reassured that their hard earned dollar will get them what they’re looking for.

When a person visits a website to investigate a hotel or resort, they need to feel like they’re there.  In an era where competition for guests is at an all-time high, the hotel with the best pictures gets the most guests, and in turn, the most revenue.

 

Interior Hotel & Exterior PhotographyCapturing a hotel’s best images is what Travel Industry Photos does. We specialize in hospitality photography, and have shot for all major brands across the United States, and Internationally.

We have the experience and creative know-how to provide hotels and resorts with expertly-lit, colorful images for use in brochures, magazines, and on websites.

Remember – amazing hotel and resort photos get shared all over social media, and that exposure can bring in new guests from all over the world. The minute you submit images to represent your property, the genie is out of the bottle.  Those images, good or bad, will soon be shared by social media worldwide.  Quality images are always crucial in securing a solid visual footing on the internet.  We’d relish the opportunity to provide you those quality images, and to show your property in the light it deserves.

 

Images That Capture Our Attention; Imagination

CaptureWhere do I start?  Images.  They burn a hole into both the conscious and subconscious areas of the brain.  Our universe is controlled, rightly or wrongly, by the puppet strings of Trip Advisor, Facebook, Twitter, and the universe spinning around our current social media.  Hotel photographers would seem to play a distant role in this situation.  Don’t for a second discount the strength that great hotel photography can bring to the standing of your property.

Words are strong, photography is stronger.  A thousand false comments can be obliterated by a series of strong pictures.  Potential guests read reviews – they covet strong imagery.  It’s like skipping to the end of a book, regardless of a written paragraph, to present a pleasant ending – to show your property in its strongest light.  That is what leaves the lasting impression.

Those who choose to represent their property through strong imagery can blast through the doubt, the undeserved bad reviews, the uncertainty in the mind of each potential reservation.

Dramatic?  Yes, but only to emphasize the point that images, and strong imagery at that, will be the vanguard against lies, the precipice that lets people know what your property is truly like.  Emotion and information in the balance, allowing the potential guest to make a judgement based on the quality of the actual hotel photography – versus the flux of interpretation.

Clarity brought from quality hotel and resort photography, it’s needed for every property, and it’s something we’re happy to provide for you and your company.  Hire us, hire others, it doesn’t really matter.  What matters?  Hire a talented, competent, and trustworthy professional.  In the end, that is what will obliterate the noise, and focus potential bookings on what really matters – just what is the IMAGE of your property?

 

Stay tuned for more posts and follow us on Facebook.

 

 

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