13 Top Hotel Photography Mistakes to Avoid: Expert Tips

Michael • May 8, 2023 • 3 min read

Hotel Photography Mistakes to Avoid: Expert Tips

Picture this: You’re scrolling through a hotel’s website, searching for the perfect getaway, and come across poorly lit, crooked, and cluttered photographs. Do you continue browsing, or do you hit the back button and look for a hotel with better photography? Chances are, you choose the latter.

Hotel photography plays a crucial role in marketing and attracting guests. It’s the first impression guests have of a property and can make or break their decision to book a stay.

Unfortunately, many hotels make common mistakes when it comes to their photography, resulting in unappealing images that turn guests away.

In this article, we’ll go over the top hotel photography mistakes to avoid to ensure your hotel stands out and attracts guests.


A. Lack of Preparation

1. Not having a plan

First and foremost, have a plan! This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many photographers show up without a clue of what they’re doing.

Take the time to research the property beforehand, and determine the best angles and lighting to showcase the hotel’s unique features. This will save you time and frustration later on.

But wait, there’s more! Don’t forget to consider the purpose of the photographs. Are you trying to showcase the hotel’s pool or fitness center? Or perhaps you’re highlighting the luxurious rooms and amenities. Whatever the goal may be, make sure you have a clear plan in place to capture the best images.

Lack of Preparation

2. Not cleaning up the space

Okay, so you’ve got a plan in place. But hold up, is the room cluttered? Are the beds unmade? These are important factors to consider when it comes to hotel photography. You want to make the space look as inviting and comfortable as possible.

First things first, clear out any unnecessary clutter. No one wants to see half-eaten room service trays or dirty laundry in their hotel photos. Next, stage the room appropriately. Fluff the pillows, straighten the curtains, and make sure everything is in its place. A few small changes can make a big difference in the final product.

And let’s not forget about the bathroom. Make sure it’s spotless and well-stocked with fresh towels and toiletries. A clean and inviting bathroom can be a major selling point for potential guests.

Visitors are also interested in:
Hotel Photography Ideas
Master Hotel Photography
Luxury Hotel Photography
How to take Photos of the Hotel Lobby
Hotel Room Photoshoot

B. Poor lighting

Attention all aspiring hotel photographers: if your lighting game isn’t on point, you might as well put down your camera and call it a day. That’s right, poor lighting can turn even the most luxurious hotel room into a dark, uninviting dungeon. So let’s dive into the top lighting mistakes to avoid. We got you covered, read more about how to light a hotel room.

Poor lighting, Overexposed or Underexposed Photos

3. Overexposed or Underexposed Photos

You know what’s worse than a pitch-black hotel room? A room that’s so bright it hurts your eyes. Overexposed photos can make a room look washed out and unprofessional, while underexposed photos can make it look like it’s been abandoned for years. Aim for a happy medium and find the perfect exposure to showcase the beauty of the space.

4. Incorrect White Balance

White balance might seem like a minor detail, but it can make a huge difference in the final product. An incorrect white balance can make photos look unnatural and uninviting. For example, a room might appear too blue or too yellow, giving it an overall weird vibe. Make sure your white balance is spot on to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

5. Inconsistent Lighting

Consistency is key when it comes to lighting. Inconsistent lighting can make photos look disjointed and unattractive, almost like they were taken by two different people. This is particularly important when taking photos of different areas in the hotel. You want the lighting to be consistent throughout the space to create a cohesive look.

So, how can you avoid these lighting mistakes? Invest in good lighting equipment and take the time to test the lighting before starting the shoot.

This will help you find the perfect exposure and white balance, and ensure that the lighting is consistent throughout the space. And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to use some creative editing to salvage the photos.

C. Composition and Framing

Listen up, hotel photographers, because we’re about to talk about the art of composition and framing. No, this isn’t some pretentious art class – this is the real deal. Composition and framing are what separate the amateurs from the pros. So, what are the top mistakes to avoid?

Composition and Framing

6. Crooked or Tilted Photos

Nothing screams “unprofessional” quite like a crooked or tilted photo. It’s like someone took a hammer to your head and knocked your sense of balance out of whack.

And don’t even get us started on tilted photos – they give viewers an uneasy feeling, like they’re about to tumble over. So, make sure your photos are straight and level, unless you’re going for the “drunk person took this photo” aesthetic.

7. Poorly Composed Shots

Let’s face it, hotel rooms can be pretty boring. But that doesn’t mean your photos have to be. Poorly composed shots can detract from the hotel’s beauty and make even the most luxurious room look like a prison cell.

So, get creative with your angles and find interesting ways to showcase the space. Don’t be afraid to experiment and think outside the box.

8. Lack of Variety

Variety is the spice of life, and the same goes for hotel photography. Limited angles can make the photos look boring and repetitive. So, switch things up and try out different angles and compositions.

Take photos from above, below, and every which way in between. Your clients will thank you for the variety. Composition and framing are essential in creating visually appealing hotel photographs.

Avoid crooked or tilted photos, find interesting ways to showcase the space, and don’t be afraid to switch things up and experiment with different angles.

Remember, you’re not just taking pictures of a hotel room – you’re capturing an experience. So, go forth and create some beautiful photographs that will make potential guests say, “Wow, I need to stay there!”

D. Using the Wrong Equipment

Okay, listen up folks, because we’re about to talk about equipment. No, not just any equipment, we’re talking about the equipment that separates the pros from the wannabes. That’s right, we’re talking cameras, lenses, and tripods. So, what are the top equipment mistakes to avoid?

Using the Wrong Equipment

9. Using a Low-Quality Camera

Now, we’re not saying you need to shell out thousands of dollars for the latest and greatest camera, but using a low-quality camera can produce, you guessed it, low-quality photos. Think grainy, pixelated, and just plain ugly. If you’re serious about hotel photography, invest in a decent camera that will do the job justice.

10. Not Having the Right Lens

Different lenses are better for different shots. Using the wrong lens can result in distorted or unappealing photos. For example, using a wide-angle lens for a close-up shot can make the subject look distorted and unrealistic. Do your research and find the right lens for the job.

11. Ignoring Tripod Use

Ah, the tripod. Often overlooked, but oh so important. Ignoring tripod use can result in shaky, blurry photos that make viewers feel like they’re about to get seasick. Tripods help keep shots steady and reduce blur, making for a much more professional final product. So, invest in a tripod and give your photos that extra edge.

In conclusion, using the right equipment is essential for creating stunning hotel photographs. Avoid using a low-quality camera, find the right lens for the job, and don’t forget about the tripod. A little bit of investment can go a long way in producing high-quality photographs that will make potential guests say, “I need to stay there!”

E. The Importance of Authenticity in Hotel Photography

Ladies and gentlemen, we need to talk about authenticity. That’s right, authenticity in hotel photography. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Can’t I just use some stock photos and call it a day?”

Well, sure, if you want your hotel to look like every other generic hotel out there. But if you want to stand out and make a real connection with potential guests, authenticity is key.

The Importance of Authenticity in Hotel Photography


12. Using Real Photos Instead of Stock Photos

Stock photos are the equivalent of plastic fruit – they look good on the surface, but they’re fake as hell. Stock photos can look staged and unrealistic, and they don’t give potential guests a true sense of what to expect. Instead, use real photos of the hotel and its amenities.

This can give guests a better idea of what to expect and make them feel more confident in their booking decision.

13. Highlighting the Hotel’s Unique Features

Every hotel has something unique to offer. Whether it’s a stunning rooftop view or a quirky room design, highlighting these features can set the hotel apart from competitors.

Authentic photos can help guests connect with the hotel on a personal level and make them feel like they’re not just staying in any old hotel, but in a special and unique space.

Authenticity is key when it comes to hotel photography. Use real photos instead of stock photos and highlight the hotel’s unique features to make a real connection with potential guests.

Remember, you’re not just selling a hotel room – you’re selling an experience. So, be authentic, be unique, and give guests a true sense of what they can expect when they book a stay at your hotel.


Hotel photography is an essential part of the hospitality industry. A well-executed photoshoot can make all the difference in attracting potential guests and setting a hotel apart from its competitors. However, there are many mistakes that can be made along the way.

Lack of preparation, poor lighting, composition and framing errors, using the wrong equipment, and ignoring authenticity are all common mistakes that can lead to lackluster photos.

By avoiding these mistakes and focusing on creating high-quality, authentic photos, hotel photographers can showcase the unique features of a property and create a personal connection with potential guests.

So, take the time to prepare for the shoot, invest in good equipment, and showcase the hotel’s unique features in an authentic way. By doing so, you’ll create stunning photos that will make potential guests say, “I need to stay there!”

Further readings:

Hotel Tech Report – The Top 10 Hotel Photography Mistakes and How to Avoid Them: https://hoteltechreport.com/
Hospitality Net – The 10 Most Common Mistakes Made in Hotel Photography: https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4081013.html

Medium – 5 Hotel Photography Mistakes and How to Avoid Them: https://medium.com/@travallure/5-hotel-photography-mistakes-and-how-to-avoid-them-7b2c2fa76715

Resort Media – The Top Five Hotel Photography Mistakes to Avoid: https://www.resortmedia.co.uk/top-five-hotel-photography-mistakes-to-avoid/

Photography Concentrate – 10 Common Hotel Photography Mistakes and How to Avoid Them: https://photographyconcentrate.com/

What are your thoughts on Hotel Photography Mistakes to Avoid? Let us know in the comments.

By Furoore team member Michael
Furoore Team is here to assist you in capturing the most significant moments in your life. To create exciting photographs, discover photography guides, find unique photo ideas, and limitless image inspiration.


Related Articles

Your thoughts and questions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *