Presentation on theme: "Phenomenal Photos Essential Marketing Tools. Heres what were going to cover in this workshop Photo fallacies Innkeeper recommendations Lets hear from."— Presentation transcript:
Phenomenal Photos Essential Marketing Tools
Heres what were going to cover in this workshop Photo fallacies Innkeeper recommendations Lets hear from the pros Do-it-yourself advice
Great Photos = Great Occupancy Rates You need great photos for your website, plus listings on B&B directories, and with CVBs & DMOs. You need great photos to get media coverage. You need great photos for all and print collateral.
Five photo fallacies Many innkeepers are unconvinced of the importance of investing in good photography. What are the facts? What is the ROI? Lets take a look.
Fallacy #1: I want my guests be pleasantly surprised when they arrive. Your inn is so much nicer than it looks on your website! The better the quality of your photos – in terms of size, quantity, focus, definition and clarity – the better your look-to-book ratio will be. Check your web stats for your bounce or click-away rate for a rough idea of how many people left in a hurry.
Whats wrong with this review?
Fallacy #2: My rooms just dont photograph well. Talk to experienced professionals. Review samples of their work, online and in print. Visit websites of innkeeper clients. Talk to the innkeepers and ask about process and results. Consider whats possible for your B&B.
Whats wrong with this picture?
Shoot the messenger? Deep clean each room; scrub every window. Freshen décor with new curtains, bedspreads, lamps, paint/wallpaper. Use fresh flowers, not artificial ones. Cut the clutter!
Small room? Before: Before: Wide-angle lens makes room appear larger and misleads guests.
After: Multiple pictures give an accurate representation. (Jumping Rocks)
Fallacy #3: I just need to show a few guest room photos. Exteriors: Inn & setting in every season. Common areas: Porches? Decks? Living room? Guest rooms: Guests want to see where theyll be sleeping; show every room (some exceptions). Food: Breakfast is half of our name! Include dining room, beautiful meals, possibly guests. Destination: Travelers pick a destination first and lodging second. Your photos tell the story of your destination.
Fallacy #4: Once photos are online, I can forget them. Keep them current: Did you redecorate the honeymoon suite? Landscape the swimming pool area? Get a puppy? Keep them BIG: Replace dial-up era thumbnail photos with large pictures perfect for high-speed connections. Call to action: Show detailed room photos along with descriptions and rates, plus a prominent Book Now button!
Fallacy #5: I can use my Internet photos anywhere. Web photos are low-res: For quick load times, Internet photos are low-resolution (72 dpi). They cannot be used in print. Print photos are high-res: Sharp print photos require.jpg files, minimum 300 dots per inch (dpi). Most high-res photos are at least 1200 x 1600 pixels.
Lets hear from an innkeeper: Debbie Reynolds, Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins, had three unsatisfactory photo experiences before getting it right. Heres what she recommends : Check their portfolios. Get innkeeper references. Ask about lighting and gear. Will you get all (raw & edited) high res photos on a CD with an exclusive release of rights? Get a written quote. Extra costs for editing? Satisfaction guaranteed? Are they willing to come back and reshoot? Extra costs? (cont)
Work with your photographer. Be prepared in advance for special shots. I Get a prop list. Be available to the photographers while they are shooting.. Ask about staging. Be gracious but firm. You get what you pay for. Lets hear from an innkeeper: Cont
Before … Dark and dreary.
And After … Warm and Inviting!
Now lets hear from the professionals. We asked…
How should you expect your Web Designer to utilize your New Professional Photography?
Your Web Designer should be expected to show off your property to its finest so the guest knows what to expect when they arrive! 1. Photos should be cropped by the web designer to highlight the best features of the photo. 2. BUT: Cropping professional photos to where they are too small loses the emotion the photo is trying to evoke. Photos should be used LARGELY 3. Photos should be specifically placed in groupings or flash elements, and should not be left hanging out in Mid Air 4. Photos should have consistent placement on each page throughout the design. IE: There should be a PLAN to the PHOTO LAYOUT design. 5. Photos should be used for Up-Sell. Examples: Add-On Icons and also for details on Specials and other Up-Sell Pages 6. Finally, probably the worst mistake would be to add your brand new photography into an old web site design. It truly wont have the impact you need to WOW your guests, even with your new professional photos. Lets take a look at some examples! The photos should be used in a variety of ways…
Once you make the decision to hire a professional photographer please remember… You MUST partner with a qualified Web Designer to use your new photos to their VERY BEST Advantage. If you do, you absolutely will see a return on your investment in higher occupancy. We have testimonial after testimonial to prove it! Final Web Designer Comments
Things to make note of when hiring a Professional Photographer
What are your requirements, charges, rights usage, expectations? Rates: By the day? Room? Minimums? Get details for comparison. Rights: Must be owned by innkeepers. Photographers also retain rights to use photos for their own marketing. Staging: Discuss approach & goals Lighting: Ask about their style; evaluate outcomes.
How should the innkeeper prepare for your visit? Guest rooms must be open, ready to shoot, and clean, clean, clean. Get rooms ready before photographers arrive. Press those bedspreads and clean those windows. I can't tell you how many times we've asked for Windex… (Dawn Hagin & Adam Policky, Rare Brick) Get a prop list in advance, and make sure that you have all the suggested extras.
Minimize Interruptions Every room on the shot list must be open, clean, and ready to shoot; all props must be available. Making return trips is costly and inconvenient. Anything that innkeepers do that allows me to focus on photography is good for everyone. If we have to move furnishings to get the perfect shot, its better if the innkeepers can put rooms back together. (Christian Giannelli)
What makes for a successful experience for both innkeeper and photographer? Good communication is vital. I need to know what an innkeeper expects before I start shooting; they need to know what can realistically be achieved. (Christian Giannelli) We are delighted to discuss goals, brainstorm ideas and expectations – then it is up to us to exceed them. We are grateful when innkeepers allow us to do our job as professionals. (Dan Horn) We love working closely with innkeepers to create the photos that best represent the experience that guests expect. (Carolyn & Roby LaPorte)
How would you advise innkeepers when selecting a photographer? Check out photographers websites and review their inn portfolios. If you like what you see, call the innkeepers and ask: Would you recommend them? Have your reservations increased after adding the new photos to your website? Are you satisfied with your ROI? If you need new shots, would you ask them to return? If you had to do it again, what would you do differently?
Many great photographers are not equipped to shoot interiors. Interior and architectural photography are specialties. Keep in mind: rooms with lots of natural wood or painted in dark colors are difficult to photograph. Youll need an experienced pro for good results. Styling is key for shooting small guest rooms without misleading potential guests. (Matthew Lovette & Mark Smith, Jumping Rocks) Your photos need to create a mood, and inspire viewers to select your inn. You can spend a lot on a website, but if you dont have the photos to support it, you have wasted your money. (Carolyn & Roby LaPorte) How would you advise innkeepers when selecting a photographer? (Cont)
Before and After After: Shows the guests where they'll be sleeping as well as other comforts in the room. (Jumping Rocks) Before: Cramped, poorly prepped
What advice would you share with amateur photographers? Use a simple tripod. Level the camera and avoid tilting it. Use natural light, artificial light, varied exposures, and photo editing software. No flash. Shoot at different exposures. Generally, brighter is better. Shoot a series of the same shot in different white balances: tungsten, daylight, cloudy, and auto; select the best. For rooms with a view, be sure to photograph the vista from the window or porch and label it. Frame the shot with the window frame or porch railing. Ask your guests to share their photos or videos to use on your website in an online guest photo gallery. Shoot lots of pictures. Film is free when you shoot digital! (Matthew Lovette & Mark Smith, Jumping Rocks)
Select each rooms best feature and make it a key element of your composition. Better to take several close-ups of a room than a single distorted one with a wide-angle lens. Avoid shooting with a window facing the camera. The intense exterior light from the window will trick the cameras light meter into taking the wrong exposure and result in a very dark shot. If the room is small with pale walls, you can try using a detached flash aimed at the ceiling. The bounced light creates a more evenly lit scene. (Robert Chiasson, Moka & Pyjama) What advice would you share with amateur photographers? (Cont)
For best results, always use digital photos. Take pictures at different times of the day. If photographing a whirlpool bath, fill the tub with water and turn on the jets. Always show the fireplaces with a fire burning. If you are not able to get a great photograph of an entire room or building, concentrate on smaller features. Shoot guestrooms from different angles, not just a straight shot of the bed. Do a little staging, from fresh flowers to wine and chocolates. Take a careful look at the photos on other websites, and pay attention to what works and what doesn't. What advice would you share with amateur photographers? (Cont)
Some thoughts on timing The best photographers are booked well in advance; plan ahead, even if renovations are in progress. You may have to decorate for Christmas during a July shoot. Get a decent digital camera and take exterior shots to capture seasons and sunsets.
In Conclusion Plan ahead Do your homework Focus on the ROI, not just the cost You can have a great inn without great photos, but you cant have great photos without a great photographer AND a great inn. Dont over-promise and under-deliver.
Thank you! Sandy Soule, BedandBreakfast.com, Inns.com, RezOvation Lisa Kolb, Acorn Internet Services, Inc Carolyn LaPorte, Wowi Zowi