Doug Castanedo Photography

10 Tips


Above is an article published by HOTEL BUSINESS based on my experiences. Some suggestions I recommend to serve as a checklist before the shoot, tips for getting off to the best start.

1) Organization, planning and follow through, are the keys to any successful project. The time spent before the shoot is just as important as the shoot itself. Include staff, as well as department heads, with a copy of the shoot list. (hopefully… there is one) Enforcing expectations while delivering a feeling of pride can remove the apathy of the extra effort required by them.

2) Deciding before you shoot, the placement and or cross promotion of your images. Internet image use is not as critical in criteria but you may decide later to use a photo in print. Photos for print would need more attention like resolution, color detail and clarity. Try to start with the best image?

3) If there are people in the photographs, do they and their wardrobe represent your demographics or your proposed guest profile? I am sometimes amazed at how little attention this can get and who makes the decision. While shooting, guest should always be taken into consideration, and shouldn’t be disturbed.

4) The rule “less is more” often applies when using props…  keeping things less cluttered seems to make things appear cleaner. It is also better to “keep it real”… If you don’t have it don’t show it! Your guest will be looking for those “fresh flowers” in the photo!

5) Before a shoot, the grounds should be manicured for the “arrival of royalty”. This applies not only to the outlying areas, pools, golf courses, tennis courts and so on…  but also to foliage inside the lobby, restaurant, spa etc. You never know when you might decide to add a photo to your shoot list at the last minute. When “royalty arrives” what they saw is what they expect.

6) Painting, or lack of, can sometimes go overlooked. Signs of excessive wear can be detrimental to a photograph? Check carpets and floors for stains or wear, especially in high traffic area such as lobbies, hallways, and rooms?

7) Housekeeping’s “white glove test” is always a great idea to add a “final touch”… especially in the rooms and suites for Printed T-Shirts in Leeds. Linens, windows, mirrors, things possibly overlooked can slow down the shoot.

8) Lighting is always crucial! All bulbs and light source should be checked for functionality prior to the shoot. Discovering, at the wrong time, one bulb burned out forty feet in the air can spoil a lot of preparation. A thinking photographer might want to consult with the hotel engineer.

9) Exterior photographs taken at dawn or twilight” usually have the greatest appeal. Referred to as “magic hour”… sometimes known by photographers as “magic minute”! It seems to happen faster when you photograph it! This type of photograph can be difficult but always rewarding when properly done.

10) Most importantly, the images should be sharp, (if that is the intent) functional and have a general magazine like quality.

Some of these problems can be overcome through computer enhancement. Seems “Photoshop” has become a very popular word! Your photographer should be aware of these things, but preparation combined with understanding his job will hopefully bring you one step closer to a better overall image.

“Vision, as we know, is not always the ability to see.”

Vision that can inspire with elegance or create a warm style of hospitality..

Vision that redefines luxury or simply captures the character that makes your property unique…

Vision that comes from being a seasoned traveler, years of photographic experience, combined with crucial planning, and a creative eye with attention to detail!

The hotel photographer’s world has become one of many hats… marketing director, architect, interior designer, graphic designer, chef, seasoned traveler and so on…

Of course good taste is not an option!