This is the third article in our series about inn photography. The first installment is available here, and the second installment is available here.
As we’ve emphasized before, our surveys show that nearly half of travelers say photos are very important to them when booking a B&B stay. Bad photos can lead a traveler to question the quality of an inn and book elsewhere.
If you are having trouble taking high-quality photos yourself or simply don’t have the time, it’s a very wise investment to have professional photos taken of your property. Try to schedule them during a time when few, if any guests are present. Here are some of the things you should consider when hiring a photographer.
Where do you find a professional photographer?
- Ask nearby inns with great photos which photographer they used
- Ask local real estate agents for photographer recommendations
- Search a review site, such as Yelp.com, for recommendations
- Search for a real estate photographer online or in the yellow pages
- How much should it cost?
- This can vary greatly based on your location and the size of your property, which will dictate how long it will take. It can also vary based on the photographer’s experience. Decide a price range you’re comfortable with and ask several local photographers for a quote.
What should you ask potential photographers?
- Can I see your portfolio? Make sure to view some of their work to make sure it is of the quality you’re looking for.
- Is photo editing included in their price? You will want photo editing if you can afford it.
- Will they be staging the rooms, or do you need to do that?
- Can you use the photos without having to give them credit or are there limitations for where you can use them? You should be sure to get the full rights to the photos if you want to be able to freely use them on your website, on your BedandBreakfast.com listing, and your promotional materials.
- What recourse will you have, if any, if you are not pleased with their photos?
- Can we get our arrangement in writing? You should always have the photographer draw up a contract.
What shots should you make sure they take?
You may not know which photos you want to choose for your listing or website until you see how they turn out, so the more coverage they get, the better. Make sure to give them an outline of your must-haves:
- The inn’s exterior
- Every bedroom, unless you have over 10 rooms
- Every bathroom, if attractive
- Common areas
- Dining room
- The view, if any of the rooms or common areas have a great one
- Optional: A food dish or two
- Any other important amenities, such as a spa, pool, or exercise room
By Emily Starbuck Crone