Create a Photography Style Guide for Your Hotel

Michael • May 3, 2023 • 4 min read

Create a Photography Style Guide for Your Hotel

Hotels – the home away from home for weary travelers. But what makes one choose a specific hotel over another? That’s right, friends – it’s the visuals! In this article, we’ll dive into the world of photography style guides and how they can improve your hotel’s visual identity like a fresh coat of paint. So, buckle up, and let’s embark on this journey together.

1. Understand your brand identity

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of photography style, let’s take a step back and examine your hotel’s brand identity.

  • Define your hotel’s target audience
    Knowing your target audience is like having a key to the city. Think about who you want to attract: families, business travelers, or maybe luxury seekers?
  • Identify your hotel’s unique selling points
    In the vast sea of hospitality, what makes your hotel stand out? Is it your top-notch customer service, your location, or your five-star dining experience?
  • Align your photography style with your brand’s message and values
    Your hotel’s photography should be like a well-tailored suit, perfectly fitted to your brand’s message and values.

2. Choose the right equipment

A great photo is like a symphony – it’s all about the instruments. Here’s what you need:

  • Camera recommendations
    Choosing the right camera is like choosing the perfect wine – it’s all about personal preference. Go for a DSLR or mirrorless camera for the best results.
  • Lens options
    Wide-angle lenses are your best friends when it comes to hotel photography. They capture the grandeur of your hotel and make your guest rooms look larger than life.
  • Additional gear: tripods, lighting, and accessories
    A sturdy tripod, proper lighting, and the right accessories can transform your hotel photography from drab to fab.

Visitors also read:
Visual Storytelling for Hotels
Branded Hotel Photo Library
Branding through Hotel Photos
Hotel Photography Consistent Look
Hotel Photography to Attract Guest

3. Establish your visual style

Your visual style should be as unique as your hotel.

  • Choose a consistent color palette
    Like a painter, choose a color palette that reflects your brand’s personality and evokes the right emotions.
  • Determine your preferred composition and framing techniques
    Experiment with different angles, perspectives, and framing techniques to create visually stunning images that captivate your audience.
  • Select a consistent editing style
    Editing is the secret sauce of photography. Develop a consistent editing style that complements your brand’s visual identity.

Need help with photo ideas? Our Hotel Photography Ideas offer practical tips and advice for achieving your goals.

4. Create a shot list

A well-planned shot list is the blueprint for your hotel’s visual storytelling.

  1. Exterior shots
    Capture your hotel’s exterior like a seasoned paparazzo. Showcase the architecture, landscaping, and any unique features.
  2. Interior shots
    Give your audience a sneak peek into your hotel’s interior, showcasing the lobby, restaurants, and other public spaces.
  3. Guest rooms
    Your guest rooms are the main attraction, so make sure to photograph them in all their glory.
  4. Amenities and facilities
    Highlight your hotel’s amenities and facilities like the fitness center, spa, and pool area.
  5. Highlight local attractions
    Show off the local attractions and activities to entice potential guests.

5. Hire professional photographers or train staff

The age-old question: to hire or not to hire?

  • Benefits of hiring professionals
    Professional photographers have the skills, experience, and equipment to capture your hotel’s essence in a way that will make your audience swoon.
  • Tips for training hotel staff in photography
    If you decide to keep it in-house, equip your staff with the necessary knowledge and tools to become photo wizards.
  • Establishing clear guidelines and expectations
    Whether you hire professionals or train your staff, set clear guidelines and expectations for your photography style guide. Communication is key to ensuring your visuals stay true to your brand’s identity.

6. Manage and update your photo library

Like a well-organized library, keep your photo collection in tip-top shape.

  1. Organize and categorize photos
    Categorize your photos by theme, location, or date to make searching a breeze.
  2. Schedule regular updates to keep visuals fresh
    Stay relevant and visually appealing by regularly updating your hotel’s photography.
  3. Evaluate and optimize your photography style guide
    Monitor your photography’s performance and make adjustments as needed to optimize your visuals and stay ahead of the curve.

7. Hotel examples with a photography style guide

  • W Hotels – The hotel group has a photography style guide that outlines their signature visual style, which includes bright and bold colors, dynamic compositions, and a focus on lifestyle and culture. 
  • Hyatt Hotels – The hotel group has a photography style guide that outlines their visual brand guidelines, including their use of light, color, and composition to create a cohesive visual identity. 
  • Kimpton Hotels – The hotel group has a photography style guide that outlines their visual brand guidelines, including their use of natural light, warm colors, and authentic moments to capture the essence of their properties. 
  • Marriott International – The hotel group has a comprehensive photography style guide that outlines their visual brand guidelines, including their use of color, composition, and subject matter to create a consistent and recognizable visual identity across their properties

8. Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make my hotel’s photography more Instagram-worthy?

Incorporate visually appealing elements like unique design features, vibrant colors, and striking compositions. And don’t forget to use natural light to your advantage!

Should I include photos of my hotel’s staff in the style guide?

Absolutely! Showcasing your friendly and professional staff can add a personal touch to your hotel’s photography, making your guests feel welcome.

How often should I update my hotel’s photography?

Aim to update your photography at least once a year or whenever significant changes occur, like renovations or new amenities.

Can I use stock photos in my hotel’s photography?

It’s best to avoid stock photos as they may not accurately represent your hotel. Focus on creating unique, authentic imagery that captures your hotel’s essence.

How do I choose the best images for my hotel’s website and social media channels?

Select high-quality images that showcase your hotel’s unique selling points, evoke positive emotions, and align with your brand’s visual identity.


Creating a photography style guide for your hotel is like crafting a visual symphony. It takes time, effort, and a touch of magic. But once you have it, your hotel’s visual identity will shine like never before.

Do you have a Photography Style Guide for Your Hotel? 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.


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