We have no idea where this hotel room is.
Couldn't tell you if our life depended on it.
But you've seen this picture a zillion times. Or one exactly like it, right?
Drop in on a few hotel and resort web sites and see if you don't agree. In many cases, you'll see well-lit and propped photos with high production values. Gorgeous photography. But no people. Like everybody got wiped out in some sort of plague or ran off into the nearest forest for some reason.
We know all the reasons you might not want to use people in your photography. The need to have racial and gender diversity, the cost of models, the prospect of changing fashions and all the rest. But in our mind, none of them outweigh the compromise you're making to your marketing effort by leaving people out altogether.
Hospitality is a people business.
So the next time you go to the trouble and expense of a property shoot, get some humanity and context into it. It's going to make your hotel marketing more visually effective. And you don't even really have to hire models. You'd be surprised how many family, friends or even guests would love to be in a photo shoot. Real people look more like real people than models do anyway.
And while you're at it, think about shooting a the view from a room or that room at night, or the lobby looking out in the early morning – that sort of thing. Think about what your guests will actually see.
Our friend Ira Wexler, a photographer who specializes in hotels, says "Just ‘taking pictures’ is no longer enough. It’s all about creating a compelling emotional user experience that guests can see themselves in – crafted with ‘fresh eyes’ and vision to show the ‘magic’ of the space. We’re not just ‘shooting the property,’ we are creating impressions, and earning trust."
He's right. Otherwise, you could just buy a stock shot.
Like we did for this post.