A client has just completed their photo shoot giving us some fabulous images now for PR purposes but this got us thinking about the planning of shoots. For those fortunate enough to have their own communications executives in-house, this task normally falls to them, which is exactly where it should be. Who, after all, uses the images more than the communications department, be it for news releases, the website, the company brochure or the many hundred flyers that a hotel will put out during its lifetime?
But what about those that do not have a communications department? In our experience there is generally an ill-appointed team comprising the F&B manager, the GMs secretary and the sales coordinator put together to handle this. However, unless they have experience in marketing and PR, these are probably not the best option.
It is only those dealing with the media on a regular basis who know what images are required throughout the year for theme nights, room promotions and food and beverage activities.
Let's take the launch of a hotel. What is the one image that we PR people require to go out with the announcement release? If a selection of shots highlighting the best view of the building is not available we are stuck. A room shot or restaurant shot just doesn't work.
And yes, while you do need room shots, one or two of each category is all you need for your website and company brochure. It is the restaurant and food shots that get used over and over again so it is critical that you have your annual marketing plan in place before you do your shoot.
The other thing to consider is style. Once upon a time it was popular to feature restaurants filled with people. Now it is rare to see this, most photographers will try to capture the beauty of an outlet.
The same with room shots, trying to do wide angle shots to get as much of the room in as possible is just not attractive. Tight well-lit, well-style shots work so much better.
So our advice is to hire an expert to organise and supervise your photo shoots.