What Does a Hotel Photographer Do?

If you’re searching, “what does a hotel photographer do?”, chances are you’ve guessed there’s more to this work than the job title implies. In our opinion, the main purpose of a hotel photographer is to create images that show our clients at their best. Of course, every hotel has a different personality, different selling points, and a different ideal guest. Showing our client at their best depends entirely on what our client offers and who they want to attract, which means that what we do as hotel photographers varies from project to project.

We work primarily as luxury hotel photographers, and our clients range from historic hotels that attract royals and dignitaries to modern architectural marvels. Our work often falls into other classifications of photography, including travel photography, interior photography, commercial, editorial, aerial, lifestyle, and architecture photography. For one client, it might mean a glamorous lifestyle shoot on a remote glacier in the Swiss Alps with models who look like they’ve stepped out of a James Bond film. For another client, it might mean spending a quiet midnight in winter capturing a celebrated architectural masterpiece.

It seems like you might also want to see our hotel photography portfolio >>>

Hotel Photographers, Luxury Hotel Photography, Resort Photographer of Private Helicopter Arrival at 7132 Hotel, Vals
Hotel Photographers, Luxury Hotel Photography, Resort Photographer of Private Helicopter Arrival at 7132 Hotel, Vals

It All Starts with the Client

In order to make our clients look their best, we need to develop a deep understanding of who our clients are, who they want to attract, and what they offer. We work with our clients to understand their brand and their creative vision, as well as their practical requirements. The exact work we do in the lead up to a shoot depends entirely on our client. The client may already have a list of images they need when they come to us, or they might be looking for an agency that can guide them in understanding the images that will best communicate their brand. If a client comes to us for a hotel video, they may already have the video planned out, or they may be looking for an agency that they can work with to develop and execute a concept. We also love working with clients looking to completely revamp their visual identity or launch one from scratch, and want to work with an agency that understands every aspect of visual marketing.

Hotel Photoshoot Video - Hotel Photographer Jeremy Mason McGraw Shooting in Vals Switzerland for Luxury Hotel 7132

Getting the Shot

One of the best parts of our work is that each day can be completely different from the one before it. Getting the perfect image or video can involve chartering private helicopters, foraging for berries on a mountainside, exploring local areas of interest, or climbing onto a roof. The work that we produce varies from editorial work to architectural photography to awe-inspiring lifestyle images, and our team can vary from just one person to a full entourage complete with stylists, models, make-up artists, and lighting assistants. No day is ever the same for a professional hotel photographer.

Lifestyle Photography with Professional Wardrobe Stylist Alex Munzel

Creating the Best Light

Lighting is a huge component of our work. Many other hotel photographers choose to use techniques that rely heavily on post-production, such as merging differently exposed images to create a final High Dynamic Range image. However, we prefer to perfect the lighting for each image as we shoot.

We choose to work this way for a number of reasons. The first is that we prefer to work closely and collaboratively with our clients, and working in-camera allows our clients to be more involved in the process, and feel comfortable knowing that we have captured the perfect image on the day. The second reason is that our role as hotel photographers is to craft scenes that potential guests can imagine simply stepping into, and creating the right lighting on the day ensures that our images communicate the perfect mood and feel. The third reason, is that through lighting we can have an incredible amount of control over the shooting environment, meaning that we can work when it’s most convenient for our clients. We can even create an image of an incredible breakfast buffet dappled with golden morning light hours before the sun has risen.

Our Creative Director and CEO, Jeremy Mason McGraw, previously worked as a painter and lighting designer in live theatre, and his experience has given him a rich understanding of light that is clear in his signature lighting technique. The way Jeremy uses light to tell a story is one of the reasons that clients hire us over our competition to capture their incredible properties.

See hotel photographer Jeremy Mason McGraw at work, capturing this set of Chicago concept images for a hotel room art project >>>

Making it Picture-Perfect

The editing and post-production work on an image or video varies from project to project. Getting the lighting right on set means that our images require a lot less editing work than standard hotel photography, and an image might only need a few slight adjustments before it’s perfect. However, we also have a team of incredible editors, including our Emmy award-winning technical director, Chris Heuer, for videos and creative projects that push the envelope.

Where Our Work Goes

Along with reviews, photographs are one of the most important things that potential guests look for when booking a hotel. Hotels will use our images on their websites, pamphlets, advertisements, and on third party booking sites. We also work as travel and editorial photographers, and know the images that magazines and blogs are looking for. Hotels will often include our images as part of their press kit, or even send our images directly to magazines and bloggers to improve their chances of receiving coverage. Our interior design clients will also use our images to submit their work for awards, and more than a few have told us that they think our photos played a role in taking out the top award!

Hotel Photographers, Luxury Hotel Photography, Resort Photographer of the Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich, Switzerland
Hotel Photographers, Luxury Hotel Photography, Resort Photographer of the Hotel Baur au Lac Zurich, Switzerland
Hotel Photographers, Luxury Hotel Photography, Resort Photographer of Kengo Kuma Room - 7132 Hotel Vals, Switzerland
Hotel Photographers, Luxury Hotel Photography, Resort Photographer of Kengo Kuma Room - 7132 Hotel Vals, Switzerland
James Bond Style Man at Kengo Kuma 7132 Hotel Suite, Hotel Photographer - Vals Switzerland
James Bond Style Man at Kengo Kuma 7132 Hotel Suite, Hotel Photographer - Vals Switzerland