Hotel Photography Mistakes Professional Don’t fall for

When it comes to Hotel and Resort Photographers’ job, there are many elements to consider beyond amazing photos that sell the space. 

First, you need to come to the understanding that photos that sell are what matters and not “creative artistic ones”. 

This is a technical photography profession, that requires attention to detail, specializing in architecture and design photography and understanding in marketing, advertising, and consumer behavior. 

Let’s jump into what mistakes you should be keeping your eye on before starting to capture those images.

Amount of Images: 

While quality matters the most we must not forget the quantity has a purpose, while many hotels have only 2 photos per standard room and maybe 3-4 for large suites or luxury rooms it’s important to understand the goal.

Our goal is to showcase the potential guests, how their room/suite will look like when they arrive and what amenities does the room has to offer. 

We always start with one or two photos of the main space of the room including the view, then one of the bathrooms, one of the working spaces or the sitting area. 

Luxury hotels may have bigger room or more features to showcase, therefore you might need to have 4-5 images or even more depends on what else can be captured, maybe it’s a kitchen, bar, living room or a dining room. 

angled photos are the most hard to keep straight.

click the image to enlarge

Room Views:

Many Hotels and Photographers are avoiding photographing each and every room type with different views. 

At the end of the day, our goal is to reflect exactly what will be the guest experience and this includes different views, such as city, mountain, lake or any other premium and regular views.


There is nothing more crucial than setting the expectation when a potential guest views the images online and arrive to a completely different room and/or views. 

Make sure to plan at least one good shot of the general space and the views reflecting in the scene. 

Maybe it’s a lake or a unique landmark, maybe it is just a plain view, no matter what type of landscape is out there make sure to accommodate it in the shoot. 

No matter what, don’t manipulate the background and remove/add objects and make them closer than it seems in reality, the last thing you want is an unhappy guest.

What is the purpose:

Many hospitality photographers think the goal is to have an amazing interior shoot, but the real goal Is to have the right type of image.

What is the right type of image you might be wondering? It’s simple, it’s a visual that sells!

Enough with high-talk, let’s get to the technical aspects of the main shoot.

First, we start by positioning the camera in a matter to reflect the best overall shoot possible that includes the bedroom, sitting area, and or working desk including the views.

In major suites you might be focusing on the living room area as the main shoot.

After we incorporated in a fashionable matter the best of everything space has to offer, think about usability. 

Can the guest see how big is the bed? How nice is the design? How much space is in the room? How great are the views? Can he sit and relax anywhere other than the bed? Can he work while staying there? 

The main shoot should somewhat show and somewhat hint to the main features of the room and what make this hotel their preferred choice. 

Staging / Esthetics

Can you see the garbage bins around the room? Should you see them? Do they provide additional value?

While people see there is a TV in the room, they don’t need to see that remote laying around, the same applies to the garbage bins and branded items and magazines. 

The best way to think about it, is immortality, remove the items that are no esthetic to the room like garbage cans and bins, toilet paper from the bathrooms, turn around those branded bottles of water, and remove those magazines away. 

While they may be included in the room offering, however hotel design usually changes every 4-7 years, while those magazines will change every 1-3 months. This is one trick that allows a photo to be immortal.

Make sure those beds are organized, steamed, and stretch, the pillow aligns perfectly with your angle and not just in the center of the bed, the chairs, curtains, and all the rest are ready for the shoot. 

Remember: Do before whatever you don’t want to get stuck in post-production later!

Capture the reality, Many resorts like to add some flowers or additional staging for photoshoots, while it nice, it can impact dramatically the guest experience.

Things like roses in the bath, wine or champaign, water bottles, or any other items that do not come with the day to day offers. 

While it may look better to stage them for the shoot, imaging you would look online and think about the bathtub filled with roses, a glass of wine in your hand, and two beautiful white bathrobes.

Now you come in, fill the tub, and go look for those drinks, roses, and robes, only to find It was staging accessories, how would you feel? And yes I know you can request them from the housekeeping but this is not the point. 

Replicating great imagery

Sometimes there is only one great angle for a space to shoot from, and sometimes you can re-invent the wheel. 

That’s fine to check for inspiration from previous work that has been done in the past, but try to be creative, unique, and even to re-invent the wheel.

After all, you should advise your client to see what can be done in their mind to improve on the existing imagery and see how to incorporate it in your own style.

click the image to enlarge

click the image to enlarge

Time of the Day:

Some Resorts may have a gorgeous day time view and some may have an evening stunning views, it’s important to ask your client what time of the day should all the photos be done, as you may find yourself limited to day time and evening time only, which can double the time of photography, leaving you 50% off the mark of time estimate.

Have a great shoot….