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4 Critical Things to Consider Before Hiring a Professional Hotel Photographer

A brochure or website is often the only opportunity a resort or hotel has to make a first impression. The hiring of a professional hotel photographer can make a huge impact on these marketing materials. Poor photography can turn potential guests away simply because they judge the quality of the resort based on the photos.

There are certain things to take into consideration when hiring a hotel photographer. A hotel marketing manager should carefully interview all potential photographer candidates to determine who suits the resort’s needs the best.


Experience With Hospitality Photography

Obviously, photography experience in general is a must when hiring a resort and hotel photographer. It is important to ask to see samples of their work. If the photographer shows an entire portfolio filled with stunning wedding shots, they may not have the experience necessary to photograph resorts and hotels, however. It is optimal if a hotel photographer not only has samples of hospitality photography in their portfolio, but similarly sized ones as well.

A photographer experienced with shooting hotel photographs knows how to stage a room based on the clientele. A business hotel might have a newspaper and laptop on the table versus a tennis racket and romantic dinner in a luxury resort. They will also have a keen eye for pinning back the curtains correctly or making sure the bedspreads are folded down.

Lighting and Lenses

Having the right equipment can make all the difference in hotel photography. A wide variety of wide-angle lenses is imperative for properly photographing hotels and resorts. A wider lens shows the expanse of the room and can make even the smallest of hotel rooms look comfortable and inviting.

It is also required that professional resort and hotel photographers have the specialized lighting required to properly light large spaces such as hotel suites, ballrooms, lobbies and restaurants. Without proper lighting, the outside light may be burned out eliminating details both outside and inside.

Hospitality Advertising and Marketing Experience

Hotel photographs are generally used to market and sell rooms. This is why it is important for a photographer to have knowledge of advertising and marketing in addition to experience. A photographer with experience in this aspect of photography will be able to choose models of the appropriate age to represent the average guest. They will seek out potential settings with the best views and best representations of the hotel. And the fact that these photos will be used to sell is never far from their mind.


Different hotel photographers have different policies about how their photographs are purchased, presented and used. The best scenario when choosing a hotel photographer is to find one that provides clients with all of the digital files so that they can use them in different formats (print, web, etc…) Some hotel photographers charge royalty fees, so it is best to choose one who offers unlimited use. What happens if the photographs are not acceptable in the end? Most reputable resort and hotel photographers will offer a guarantee and re-shoot if necessary.