Every month the trivago content team rejects hundreds of images submitted by hotel managers. Why? The answer is twofold. First off, the photos fail to meet our quality standards. Secondly, and it may sound cruel, but no image can be less damaging than a bad image.

So instead of risking it, consult our simple tips for better hotel photos and learn how to upload photos to your trivago hotel profile that will not only be approved, they’ll sell your property. We’re using the acronym CLEAR so that it’s easy to remember. Feel free to write it on a Post-it note and tack it up by your computer; making it harder to forget.

Not only will the CLEAR acronym help you avoid rejection when submitting pictures for your online hotel profile(s), it will also help you catch the attention of potential guests. The more time travelers spend ogling your hotel photos, the better. Why? Because they’ll be more likely to book if they like what they see!

These tips for attractive images extend to your website and social media profiles as well. After reading this, take a look at how your hotel appears online. Do you like how your hotel appears? If not, replace the bad hotel photos with good ones, or delete them until better ones are available to you.

Ok, let’s get started.

Clear

Often overlooked, the first step is to ensure the room you’re photographing is clear and tidy. Let nothing distract from the main purpose and design of the room.

If you don’t want to replace your imagery too often, avoid including technology such as computers, phones, or cars. At the rate tech is advancing, these items will quickly date your photos, making the accuracy of the image questionable.

two examples, one of a clear hotel image and one of a poor, cluttered hotel image

 

Light

Seasoned photographer Mike Browne explains that “photographing interiors is all about capturing the way the room looks (and feels) as naturally as possible.” Lighting is arguably the most important factor in photography. Correct lighting can completely change a space. Consider what the traveller is looking for: tranquillity, warmth, and open space. Watch out for shadows that natural light and room lamps can cause. Instead, look for ways to discreetly place additional lighting to illuminate these dark spaces. We suggest that you watch photographer Noah Fallis show how light can transform a hotel interior to learn more about this concept.

Natural light also helps the room looks its best. Avoid artificial lights that cast blue or orange hues on the room. Instead, plan to have photos taken when the optimal amount of natural light is available for that space. When shooting the hotel exterior or outdoor amenities, optimal lighting is naturally available during what’s known to photographer’s as “the golden hour.”  This occurs twice daily: shortly after sunrise and just prior to sunset.

poorly lit hotel room images makes it look small, and unattractive to travellerl

Edit

Post-production is as important as preparing for and taking the photo. Using the correct editing tools can enhance even some of your seemingly irredeemable pictures. Luckily, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on professional editing software. There are some free options on the market such as Pixlr Editor and Express. These options offer a toolbox of basic editing features and tricks that allow you to sharpen blurred images, make colour corrections. and play with lighting. Typically, you don’t want to become overly “artistic” with filters or effects, either. Keep in mind that the final image should still appear natural and accurate.

use editing software to improve hotel images

Angle

Focus and engage. When shooting an interior there can be many restrictions that can make the size of the room appear instantly smaller. Walls are the worst culprit. To avoid unflattering distortions, try shooting through a door with a wide angled lens to gain space. Compose each of your hotel photos with the facilities in mind and remember that you are controlling what the viewer sees. Ask yourself: Are you trying to show off the bedroom’s balcony access? Or additional living space? Once you have a few images, play with cropping to further manipulate the focus of the photo. The above-mentioned tools will help you to crop as well as straighten photos that aren’t level.

an example of how wide angle lens helps improve images

Resolution

The last and simplest point is resolution. This refers to the image size and it’s represented by the number of pixels the given photo contains. You may have seen the resolution of an image expressed before as width X height. High-resolution hotel photos are the preferred type of imagery to be used on many metasearch sites. This is because the higher the pixel count, the sharper the image will appear when re-sized online. Armed with a decent camera (potentially a very high-quality smartphone) and a tripod, you can take sharp images that will look professional. Ensure a 2,000-pixel minimum when uploading these images to websites.

an example of a pool with good resolution vs poor resolutionGo through your pictures and check that you’ve taken a variety of photos showcasing the facilities of the hotel with a width of at least 2,000 pixels. Once you’ve selected the best ones that you want to publish, upload the files to your online hotel profile(s). Remember:  you don’t need to invest in expensive professional equipment to have great looking hotel photos. All you have to do is pick up some professional habits and train your eye.

Great hotel photos are not the norm, so set yourself apart from your competition by following the above guide as well as these tips for a better main hotel image. If you have questions, comments, or tips of your own, please share them below.

Natalie Gardner

Natalie is trivago’s Industry Manager for the UK and Ireland. Originally from Britain, she has an affinity for antiques and interior luster. This, coupled with her background in Sustainability studies, guides her towards creating a balance of viable luxury in hospitality. While at trivago, Natalie has established numerous business relationships with hotel chains and associations across the UK. She advises hotel managers on marketing best practices and trends, helping them achieve market growth online.

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