Maximizing Impact: A Comprehensive Guide to Planning Your Hotel Photoshoot

Is it unrealistic to expect a hotel photoshoot to be enjoyable, creative, and yield significant returns on investment? Absolutely not! The key lies in planning and selecting the right photographer. Remember the wise words often attributed to luminaries like Winston Churchill or Benjamin Franklin: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

In this comprehensive guide, we meticulously explore the six essential phases of a hotel photoshoot. Tailored to empower you in maximizing both time and budget, this guide ensures you obtain the precise images you need, precisely when and how you require them, all while adeptly navigating potential challenges. Our focus here extends beyond the basics, delving into the realm of sophisticated marketing and branding photoshoots. These shoots are designed to craft signature visual assets, essential for both web and print advertising, as well as sales collateral. While social media content also demands thoughtful planning, its focus shifts towards a nuanced approach that intertwines voice strategy with steadfast adherence to brand standards.

Lifestyle Image from a Hotel Photoshoot at 7132 Hotel in Vals Switzerland
Lifestyle Image from a Hotel Photoshoot at 7132 Hotel in Vals Switzerland

Download these free guides to help you thru every step of the process of planning your hotel photoshoot:

Phase One: Pinpointing Your Hotel Photography Needs

What: This crucial phase involves a thorough assessment of your hotel’s photography needs. Are you struggling to find website images that resonate with the latest marketing trends in luxury hotel photography, such as drone shots or virtual tours? Does your graphic design team lack versatile images for web and print materials?

Why: Properly identifying these needs is fundamental for a successful shoot, ensuring it aligns with your organization’s goals and maximizes return on investment.

How: Compile a diverse image list covering various categories like architecture, food, and lifestyle. Engage with different departments for a holistic view of your photographic needs. Our comprehensive template, available for download, offers valuable guidance in this stage.

Phase Two: Selecting the Right Photographer

What: Finding a photographer who can capture the essence of your hotel goes beyond their style and availability. Consider their proficiency in different categories and their approach to capturing images in the aspect ratio and format that suits your various channels.

Why: The right choice here saves time and headaches later, ensuring the photographer can meet your expectations within budget and on time.

How: Use our “10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Photographer” guide to streamline the selection process, ensuring a perfect fit for your project.

Jeremy Mason McGraw at a Hotel Photoshoot in Sardinia
Jeremy Mason McGraw at a Hotel Photoshoot in Sardinia

Phase Three: Detailed Photoshoot Planning

What: Collaborate closely with your photographer to cover every aspect, from creating detailed shot lists, identifying support staff, props and food and beverage requirements  to establishing contingency plans for unpredictable factors like weather. Below is a list of the kinds of details you will want to address: 

  • Creating a detailed shot lists and call sheets.

  • Identifying and hiring any additional services for the shoot, including models, wardrobe, make-up artists, and other specializations.

  • Establishing your point person to work with the photographer on the day(s) of the shoot.

  • Looking for opportunities to capture additional media and leverage the shoot itself for marketing (e.g behind-the-scenes Instagram stories).

  • Familiarizing your photographer with your hotel and what makes it unique

  • Establishing a plan B for parts of the shoot that depend on factors out of your control, such as weather.

  • Finalizing the details of the shoot itself, including reserving necessary rooms and setup areas.

  • Setting the schedule (including gaps that allow for any changes and some impromptu shoot ideas).

  • Alerting support staff.

  • Setting deadlines for delivery of media, and expectations for the editing and post-production process.

Why: Comprehensive planning ensures smooth execution, allowing more time for actual photography and capturing the unique stories and nuances of your property.

How: Maintain open communication with your photographer, addressing every detail and contingency to maximize the shoot’s potential.

What does your image say? Global Image Creation is a top hotel photographer for some of the world’s best rated hotels. How can we work together?

The Photoshoot: Capturing the Magic

What: This is where your planning pays off. A successful shoot is a blend of hard work, creativity, and excitement.

Why: The shoot actualizes your vision and planning efforts, capturing images that tell your hotel’s unique story.

How: Be involved in the process, especially if your photographer uses specialized techniques like in-camera lighting, allowing for real-time adjustments and approvals.

Luxury Hotel Photoshoot Behind the Scenes in Switzerland
Hotel Room With and Without Photography Lighting
Hotel Room With and Without Photography Lighting
With and Without Hotel Photography Lighting Example
With and Without Hotel Photography Lighting Example

Post-Production: Perfecting Your Images

What: Post-shoot, your photographer will refine the images, ensuring they align with your brand’s image and aesthetic.

Why: Professional editing transforms good photos into great ones, encapsulating your brand’s essence.

How: Understand your photographer’s editing process, ensuring it aligns with your needs and timelines. Discuss any specific editing requests early in the planning stage.

Leveraging Your Media

What: This final stage is about maximizing the use of your newly created media across various platforms and channels.

Why: Well-utilized media extends beyond its initial purpose, enhancing your brand’s consistency and recognition while offering better returns on investment.

How: Explore diverse uses for each image, from marketing campaigns to social media, ensuring they are easily accessible for future use.


This guide aims to help you harness the full potential of your hotel photoshoot. Don’t miss out on the rest of our series for more detailed insights, including establishing your photography needs and choosing the right photographer. Embrace these phases to ensure your next hotel photoshoot is not only successful but also an exciting and creative journey.

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