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Author Topic: Hotel Lodging Photos Staging  (Read 4415 times)

SZRitter

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Hotel Lodging Photos Staging
« on: July 15, 2016, 01:35:31 pm »

So, something came up today, and I'm curious if anyone (and I'll take it with a proverbial grain of salt), has had any experience with this exact question. We are doing photos of all our hotel rooms, a project that I am not involved in at all, and with that comes the usual staging of the rooms. Items used for staging, i.e. a book sitting on a table, I assume are fine, but what about switching out things such as pillows with ones that are not available? Does this break truth in advertising as we do provide pillows, just not those specific ones?

Once again, I reiterate, I am not involved in the project and have no input on it, so this is just for my own learning sake, so please, no flaming me for asking the question.

And yes, I understand this falls under the concept of "Internet Lawyer", and do not expect that any answer here would hold up in court.
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razrblck

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Re: Hotel Lodging Photos Staging
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2016, 01:47:07 pm »

It could potentially create issues if the actual rooms are way different than what is being photographed. A few details, like the book, are fine. But changing them with things that are part of the room itself (bed sheets, pillows, etc) with something the customer can't get is iffy. You will certainly lose trust, if anything.
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SZRitter

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Re: Hotel Lodging Photos Staging
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2016, 02:12:41 pm »

It could potentially create issues if the actual rooms are way different than what is being photographed. A few details, like the book, are fine. But changing them with things that are part of the room itself (bed sheets, pillows, etc) with something the customer can't get is iffy. You will certainly lose trust, if anything.

That was basically my stance. I feel that anything that is actually part of the room should be an example of that item. We do have bedding sets that are the exact same bedding, but only used for photo shoots, which I see no problem with. It's replacing an item in the room with one that isn't available that seems like it could be an issue.
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chez

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Re: Hotel Lodging Photos Staging
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 07:35:50 pm »

Personally I use VRBO a lot to book places when I'm away from home. I'd be totally pissed if a place looked different when I arrived from the images that represented the place through the VRBO site.
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Joe Towner

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Re: Hotel Lodging Photos Staging
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2016, 08:47:34 pm »

Generally speaking you want to use what's going to be in every room.  Now with that said, some properties have wider style guides that will allow for 'special' placements.  If you have 20 rooms of a particular style, how many will have the same everything?  If all of them, stick to what's in the room.  If it's less than half, then you can safely assume minor differences aren't going to be picked up by guests.  Beyond that, if you're a flag hotel (franchised brand), you're more likely to be called out than a boutique property (which I have a few).

-Joe
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BellKat

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Re: Hotel Lodging Photos Staging
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2020, 02:19:14 pm »

I'm sorry to intrude on such an old thread. I'm just looking for some information on this topic, because I was asked to take a photo of the hotel for a magazine. Thank you for your answers. This is relevant to me now. Well, I had experience working with one hotel, but there were no replacements for items. I photographed what was there. And I'm pleased that they liked my work and included my photos in the booklet. It was in westgate palace orlando. A special bonus was free tickets to the Universe Studio. It was very exciting, I love my job. But I want to find out more information about what the future may hold for me. Because clients are different. And I need to know the nuances.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2020, 02:29:25 pm by BellKat »
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Alan Klein

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Re: Hotel Lodging Photos Staging
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2020, 09:52:57 pm »

As a person who stayed in hotels, I would be annoyed if the room didn't look like the picture somewhat.  Usually there are different rooms listed at different rates, often with associated pictures. 

I noticed on cabin pictures on cruise ships they often show the same picture for cabins of different sizes.  That's really annoying..  How do you decide? 

JoeKitchen

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Re: Hotel Lodging Photos Staging
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2020, 10:16:57 am »

I'm sorry to intrude on such an old thread. I'm just looking for some information on this topic, because I was asked to take a photo of the hotel for a magazine. Thank you for your answers. This is relevant to me now. Well, I had experience working with one hotel, but there were no replacements for items. I photographed what was there. And I'm pleased that they liked my work and included my photos in the booklet. It was in westgate palace orlando. A special bonus was free tickets to the Universe Studio. It was very exciting, I love my job. But I want to find out more information about what the future may hold for me. Because clients are different. And I need to know the nuances.

Shooting for a magazine vs. the hotel/resort are two very different scenarios when it comes to room photography.  How you stage the room for the magazine will largely depend on the art direction of the magazine.  It would be good to look at previous issues to see how they like their images to feel. 

In almost all cases though, if you are working for the hotel, keep the staging at a minimal.  Flowers and maybe a book here and there will be fine, but leave it at that. 

Last year we reshot all of the rooms at a golf resort.  The resort's website was separate from the company website that owned the resort and were handled differently.  We started off propping all of the images with items that you would expect to bring with you at a golf resort, like golf clubs.  We then really paired it down after capturing this first image and captured a second identical one.  The resort used the propped images, and the corporate site used the non-propped images. 

The corporation even had issue with the resort using the images with the golf clubs by saying that it gives the expectation that each guest will get a free club.  I find this to be a little bit of a stretch, and if a guest asks for a free club, they are being crazy. 

It is important not to go over board here; studies have shown that the less staged the room is, the more appealing the image will be to travelers.  You can image the room being your own as opposed to trying to imagine you being in a room not necessarily staged for you. 
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Alan Klein

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Re: Hotel Lodging Photos Staging
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2020, 02:10:11 pm »

Shooting for a magazine vs. the hotel/resort are two very different scenarios when it comes to room photography.  How you stage the room for the magazine will largely depend on the art direction of the magazine.  It would be good to look at previous issues to see how they like their images to feel. 

In almost all cases though, if you are working for the hotel, keep the staging at a minimal.  Flowers and maybe a book here and there will be fine, but leave it at that. 

Last year we reshot all of the rooms at a golf resort.  The resort's website was separate from the company website that owned the resort and were handled differently.  We started off propping all of the images with items that you would expect to bring with you at a golf resort, like golf clubs.  We then really paired it down after capturing this first image and captured a second identical one.  The resort used the propped images, and the corporate site used the non-propped images. 

The corporation even had issue with the resort using the images with the golf clubs by saying that it gives the expectation that each guest will get a free club.
I find this to be a little bit of a stretch, and if a guest asks for a free club, they are being crazy. 

It is important not to go over board here; studies have shown that the less staged the room is, the more appealing the image will be to travelers.  You can image the room being your own as opposed to trying to imagine you being in a room not necessarily staged for you. 
What about those hotel shots that show a pretty woman in them? :)

JoeKitchen

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Re: Hotel Lodging Photos Staging
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2020, 03:16:59 pm »

What about those hotel shots that show a pretty woman in them? :)

Different type of photography; unfortunately for me I never get those shoots. 

Many people don't really understand that particular market, but it is important to realize that typically all hotels are not owned by the brand, but smaller real estate firms.  For actual room shoots, typically these are paid for and organized by the actual company that owns the property.  Now they may have to follow certain brand standards, but it is their budget and usually not a very high one.  This greatly limits how big the shoot can get, and model's just become too expensive. 

If you bring in a couple of models, not only are you paying for them, but also for hair and make up and wardrobe.  To give you an idea, expect about $3000 per day per model at least, plus $1200 plus supplies each for the hair stylist, make-up artist, and wardrobe artist.  (However, on a shoot like this where make-up and hair is not extreme, you probably could get away with one person for those aspects.)  Not to mention it is difficult for a photographer to both manage all these people and the shoot, so a producer would be brought in as well and cost around $1500 to $1800 per day for a good one. 

This adds a considerable amount to a shoot, which typically makes it impossible for the actual owner to afford.  So these shoots are usually handled by the brand, and if you are going to pay the expense you might as well hire a lifestyle photographer, not an architectural photographer. 
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