Best Cameras and Equipment for Professional Hotel Photography: An Expert’s Guide to Small Photography Gear


As a seasoned luxury hotel photographer of more than 20 years, I understand the pivotal role equipment plays in capturing the essence of hospitality spaces. I’ve learned that the best gear is not only about function and versatility but also about size and efficiency. Today’s media landscape demands tools that can handle both stills and videos across various marketing channels. Often as professional photographers, you also need to capture yourself working for your own social media marketing. In this guide, I’ll share insights into the “Best cameras for hotel photography” and “Professional hotel photography equipment,” focusing on tools that offer functionality, versatility, and compact design. 

What Equipment Do Professional Hotel Photographers Use?:

1. Halumin™ Open Cylindrical™ Photography Lighting Modifier: 

This innovative lighting tool is a game-changer for photographing intricate details in hotel settings quickly and easily. Its Open Cylindrical™ design provides unique lighting within a single device that can be soft or texture enhancing depending on where you place it around your subject all without harsh shadows. This is ideal for food photography and small hotel features and it can be used handheld, powering it with speedlights. In my experience, the Halumin™ modifier has consistently delivered exceptional results quickly, enhancing the visual appeal of my subjects without requiring any cumbersome lighting setups. That’s the very thing I invented it for.

Fine Dining Restaurant Photography with Halumin

2. Osmo Pocket:

A compact powerhouse, the Osmo Pocket is indispensable for creative hotel videography. Its small size belies its capability to produce high-quality, stable footage. Perfect for capturing both the grandeur of hotel lobbies and the tight details of food preparation, this camera can be used for tracking timelapses, has a plethora of inexpensive lens adapters from macro to anamorphic. It has an integrated wireless mic system for quick interviews and can be fully remote controlled through the app. It has been a reliable asset in my toolkit since version 1.

@haluminphoto The Osmo Pocket has become a must have in my gear bag. Cant wait for the 3 to come out! @Halumin™ #halumin #osmopocket3 #osmopocket ♬ original sound – Halumin™

3. Insta 360:

Not only for immersive 360-degree imagery of hotel interiors and exteriors, the Insta 360 camera stands out with amazing versatility for hotel social media. It gives drone-like capabilities, without the need for an actual drone by simply attaching it to a 10’ extension rod. Since it records everything around it, you can shoot first and frame your shots later in an editor. This feature alone makes it a must have for POV and action footage / timelapses.

Best Cameras and Equipment for Professional Hotel Photography

Why These Tools Are Essential for Modern Hotel Photographers:

In today’s fast-paced media environment, where content needs to adapt to various formats and marketing channels, these tools provide the perfect blend of efficiency and capability. Their compact size and versatility enable photographers to work more effectively, catering to both client needs and personal branding through behind-the-scenes content. 

Recommendations for Hotel Photography Cameras:

In addition to the above tools, I recommend considering a lightweight mirrorless camera as your primary camera for high resolution stills and primary video. The tech contained in mirrorless cameras is advancing by huge leaps every year and their size and weight keeps high performance in your bags while leaving room for other tools like a 360 camera. My personal choice is the Sony A7cii

Recommendations for Hotel Photography Lighting:

When I first started photographing hotels over 20 years ago, I built my business around being able to deploy full studio lighting in a space utilizing small battery powered and wireless lighting tools I could easily travel with. This meant a custom kit assembly of a whole lot of speedlights, external rechargeable batteries and wireless triggers. Now wireless strobes are commonplace and whether you fully light a space in camera like I do or just accent images that you composite together, wireless battery powered lighting is the way to go. There are a variety of less expensive systems by Chinese manufacturers like Godox but if you are really doing this full time investing in the best gear will give you more power to weight and recycle times. My system is all Profoto now utilizing A10s and B10s off camera. The A10s also perfectly power my Halumin handheld.

A Travel Photography Lighting Adventure With The Profoto A1


Choosing the right equipment is crucial for success in hotel photography. The Halumin Open Cylindrical light modifier, Osmo Pocket, and Insta 360 are just a few examples of tools that blend size, cost, and capability, allowing photographers to excel in their craft. Embrace these recommendations to enhance your photography and stand out in this competitive field.

FAQ Section:

Q: What is the best lighting for food photography at restaurants?

A: The Halumin H18 powered by speedlights is recommended for quick food photography lighting in busy environments like restaurants due to its compact design and handheld capability. 

Q: What are the best small cameras for hotel photography?

A: Lightweight mirrorless cameras like the Sony A7c are highly recommended for their image quality, versatility size and weight.

Q: How can I create immersive hotel room images?

A: Using a compact 360 camera like the Insta 360 allows for spherical images and drone-style video clips, offering a unique perspective of hotel spaces.