Aim and shoot: Photography tips for B&B and Guesthouse owners
Having good quality photographs of your establishment is a key ingredient for online marketing success. Your photographs can mean the difference between winning loyal customers or losing bookings. While it’s recommended to invest in a professional portfolio of photographs, your own camera, skills and creativity can go a long way (especially if you are looking to regularly add photos to your blog or social media channels).
We have put together a simple series of tips on how to shoot your hotel, guesthouse or B&B.
Leverage the details
It’s often the small details that make your property unique from its competitors, and you should show them off as much as you can. Photos of the furnishings, fancy taps, flowers, pillows, ornaments, toiletries, treats or artworks make your website and marketing material come to life. They add character and tell your visitors something about your business and brand.
The Journey Bed and Breakfast emphasises attention to detail and focuses on the aesthetic character of the property.
Use light wisely
You don’t want your rooms to appear dark and cold, but over-exposed photographs can also do your property injustice. Shoot in the early morning or late afternoon when natural light is low. If you’re using a DSLR camera, create ambiance by shooting in the evening, with well-lit rooms and longer exposures.
7 Passes Tented Camp (above) uses longer apertures to capture the ambience of their safari tents in the early evening. 506 Lighthouse Mall (below) shows off a well-lit kitchen by shooting at night, with all interior lights turned on.
Make an effort, tell a story
Take a minute to plan your shoot and setting. A little effort to make your property look inviting can add significant value to your shots, without having to bend the truth (more on this next). Put towels out by the pool, leave a steaming cup of coffee in your rooms, make sure your garden appears clean and tidy.
Linkside 2 Guesthouse adds a subtle hint of luxury to exterior shots by placing neatly folded towels on their lounge chairs.
Stick with the truth, don’t oversell
While making an effort goes a long way, be careful of bending the truth. Staging a photo shoot to the point where it creates false expectations is dangerous. Setting a higher expectation than you can deliver sets you up for disappointed guests and negative reviews. When taking photographs, avoid including amenities or features that fall outside of your standard service. If you are using a wide angle lens to capture your rooms, be careful to not make rooms appear more spacious than they are.
Shoot beyond your rooms
It is important to capture the exterior of your property. Include shots of your entrance, pool or function facilities, garden and parking bays. Give your guests an idea of what to expect when they arrive at your business, or step outside their rooms for breakfast in the morning.
This exterior shot gives context o the size and impeccable upkeep of Linkside2 Guesthouse
A thought on people and photos
People can add a lively and human dimension and atmosphere to your photographs, if captured properly. With this said, it is important to respect the privacy of your guests. Always remember to ask your guests’ permission before uploading their photos to your website or posting them to your social media feeds.