This article provides a handy guide to helping you take the best and most attractive photos of your property. Remember, research shows that photos are one of the single most influential pieces of content when it comes to travelers deciding where to book. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then having great pictures of your property and rooms is surely worth a thousand bookings!
When travelers dream of new journeys, they look at online photos of places to go. Humans are visually stimulated – we use pictures to help us select everything we buy, eat, and do. Your presentation of your property and its rooms on Agoda is more than just a catalog – they entice our millions of daily visitors to integrate your place into their travel dreams. It’s important that you offer thorough, inviting, and accurate photos of what your property offers.
Get your property photo-ready
When preparing your hotel for a photo shoot, go a step further than your usual standard in your cleaning routine. The camera will pick up even the slightest detail, so make sure everything is spotless. Arrange every item of furniture and even small objects in their optimal place. See below for specific tips for each room.
Preparing a guest room
- Clean, steam, or press linens and fluff pillows
- Steam curtains and keep them open for natural light and view
- Close sheer curtains to create a soft diffuse light, or open sheer curtains if the view is more interesting
- Leave out unsightly objects like air vents or trash cans
- Make sure windows, mirrors, and floors are spotless
- Turn off the TV and hide any wires or cables
Preparing a bathroom
- Always lower toilet seats
- A full roll of toilet paper makes it seem like it was recently cleaned
- Make sure sinks, showers and baths are not wet
- Open shower curtains if possible so travelers can get the full picture
- Towels that are hanging or folded should be of equal lengths
- Empty the trash bins
- Arrange complimentary toiletries in a prominent place so they stand out
Preparing a dining area in a restaurant
- Choose food and drinks to be featured in the shoot such as signature dish or drinks
- Food and drinks with a pop of color and creative presentation will look best in photos
- Try to use food that is representative of the restaurant’s signature cuisine
- Set tables and chairs in proper order
- For formal settings, aim for orderliness and perfection
- For casual settings aim for inviting appearance and comfort
Preparing property facilities
- Communicate with housekeeping to do a final check before the shoot
- Remove any unnecessary objects like newspaper and magazines
- Make sure all areas are free of guests’ belongings
- Plan your shoot during off-peak hours or when facilities are closed
- Inform guests in advance that a photoshoot will be taking place as certain facilities, such as the gym, pool, or spa, may need to be closed for guests in order to be photographed properly.
What to avoid when taking photos?
- Road signs or parked cars
- People or animals
- Other companies’ logos
- Seasonal decorations
- Unsightly objects such as dirty/messy facilities
- Poorly lit scenes
- Identical images were taken at a different angle
- Misleading images of area landmarks or views that you cannot see from the property
- Use a tripod for steady, balanced photos. Tripods prevent motion blur while allowing you maximum freedom to adjust the composition. You can set your frame, and then make adjustments, furnishings, lighting, or object arrangement without losing your original composition.
- Get the lighting right. Natural light is usually the best but, depending on how much natural light you can get in a room or space, you may need to supplement with indoor lighting. Experiment with different lighting combinations in the same composition to find the ideal solution. Play around with how lights hit in the space and don’t be afraid to take a lot of shots to compare. Curtains and blinds should always be open, but sheer curtains can be closed if they create a soft diffuse light, and if the view out the windows does not add value.
- The composition is key to create depth and dynamism in your photos. Shooting from corners makes rooms look larger, and helps a viewer take in the entire space. If you are shooting directly into space from one side, try and make the horizontal lines perfectly flat, top creates a sense of foundation and evenness.
- Use the widest setting on your lens to capture more room space in the shot, making rooms and open spaces appear wider and more generous.
- Mix up your shots. Not only a wide variety of shots but also a wide variety of styles will make your property seem like a dynamic and diverse place. For example, classic wide-angle or panoramic shots set the scene and enable guests to imagine themselves within the hotel. By pairing these with close-ups that feature special amenities and decoration details, the total effect evokes a feeling or mood and completes the experience in the mind of the traveler.
Your photos need to be high-quality to be effectively displayed on different digital platforms. We recommend that all photos:
- Meet a minimum resolution of 800 x 600 pixels — higher resolution is better
- Are in JPG/JPEG format only
- Use landscape orientation only, as they will look better on your property page.
- Are in color with natural tone
- Come in an original size less than 10MB each
Learn even more about taking great property pictures with our Agoda Photography Manual HERE.