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Choosing the Right Hotel Photography Company

Choosing the right hotel photography company for your hotel photo shoot will be one of the most important decisions that you make. Whether you are opening up a new location, switching brands or remodeling, professional photos help prospective guests feel comfortable with your property, even before they set foot in your door.

It takes a highly skilled and trained professional hotel photographer to deliver quality images. Making the right decision when choosing a professional photographer or company will help set your hotel apart from the competition and will lead to more bookings.

Keep the following things in mind when choosing a hotel photography company.

Are they an individual or part of a larger entity?
There’s certainly something to be said about dealing with a local person. Keeping the dollars in your city and helping promote local businesses who are also likely to be recommending your hotel, is a great thing. However, when dealing with small entities there is also higher chance problems will arise. Keep in mind that should something happen, the smaller entities are not always backed. If a family emergency came up during the middle of your shoot that you have already paid for, you might have to wait until their personal situation remedies itself. Choosing a larger organization up front that has several qualified hotel photographers is much wiser and you’re likely to not have to deal with as many stumbling blocks along the way.

Is the hotel photography company you’re choosing insured?
Choosing a company that’s insured is extremely important since you’ll have them on site while you will have guests roaming about. A 1 to 2 million dollar insurance policy should be more than enough to cover most instances.  At the very least you’ll want to make sure both the photographer as well as the agency that you’re paying, is fully insured.

Are they endorsed or an approved supplier by corporate?
Working with a company that is already endorsed by your corporation goes a LONG way in ensuring you’re going to be satisfied with your photography. Most large corporations work very hard finding and vetting photography vendors that can meet or exceed their brand standards. If you belong to a larger entity make sure that you always start by asking your regional managers or opening specialists who they recommend. For those that don’t have this luxury, it never hurts to ask your potential photographer over the phone who else they’re preferred vendors for. If they have no examples, it’s likely that they’re either very new into the hotel photography business or they don’t have what it takes to service top brands.

Are you able to see some of their previous work before making a decision?
Being able to preview the hotel photography suppliers portfolio helps tremendously in the decision-making process. It’s only fair that you should be able to ask for a few samples of their latest. This should help you decide not only if they’re going to be able to meet your quality standards, but it will also help you determine if they are experienced. When looking at their work, look for things like blown out windows or fake over processed looking images. If you spot either of these deal breakers it’s a good sign you should run and not look back.

Also, look to see if their images appear to be looking up or down. An experienced hotel photographer knows to keep the camera level to help reduce distortion. Even if the image you are looking at appears to be distortion free, this poor technique could cause problems with other images. Distortion is particularly noticeable on vertical lines. If walls appear to be bowing, it is a red flag.

Another obvious thing to look for is color balance. If a white pillow has a yellow cast there is a problem. White balance is very important, and if the white areas in an image appear off, the photographer is either lacking knowledge or is lazy in their process. There are plenty of amazing photographers out there for you to choose from. Don’t settle for less and don’t accept excuses.

How long will it take before you get the service?
Finding an amazing hotel photographer and getting a good deal is great, but what good are they to you if they won’t be able to deliver your hotel photographs for thirty days or longer? The hard work, time, and energy that you spent opening up your hotel or renovating is being wasted each day you don’t have professional photos online. Be sure to ask up front when they can get to your property, and how long it will take until the images are in your hands. Time is money!

Are they in your area or will they be flying or driving someone in?
If you do happen to find a company that will service your account and you’re happy with their quality of work, you should next ask if they’ll be sending in a photographer from your area or if they’ll be sending in someone from elsewhere that will require a flight or have a long drive. If you discover it’s the latter, you should know that you’re likely the one footing the bill for that flight or long road trip. Try to find a hotel photo company that meets your quality standards and has a local representation close by. This will save you from paying huge upfront costs or heavy mileage and travel fees.

How long will the hotel photographer be on site?
Once your hotel photographer begins photographing, your staff should be available to assist in ensuring your property is pristine. You’ll need someone to walk around with your hotel photographer and make sure the breakfast area, fitness center, pool area and so on is staged and neatly organized. Your staff is likely to be fairly distracted during the photography session, but this is your chance to capture your hotel at it’s best. The last thing you want is for this process to drag on for days on end. Make sure that the hotel photography company that you choose can get in and out of your property inside of five or six hours MAX. It can become a burden on your staff and guests so be sure to also make sure your property is prepared.

 

Does the hotel photographer provide a list of things for you staff to address before they show up?
Will your hotel photographer be working with your staff to help make sure rooms are staged properly, or is that entirely up to you? Will they provide you and your staff with some direction as to how to prepare for your shoot? Fortunately, any legitimate hotel photographer or company well versed in hotel photography should do at least one of the two. Having even a little guidance for you and your staff goes a long way to keep costs low and your property looking great online. Make sure you don’t forget to ask this question before forking out the deposit for your hotel photography!

Do you own the images of your hotel after the work is finished?
Owning full copyright to the hotel photos that you have paid for is vital. You want to be sure you are allowed to use them as you wish down the road. Make sure that it’s clearly written in your photography contract that you own your images. Some hotel photographers out there like to sell you the images at a very low price then charge you for specific uses down the road. Don’t fall into one of these copyright traps. You own the images or bust!

Do they guarantee their work?
Lastly but most importantly we recommend that you ask about the service guarantee of the hotel photography company before paying a deposit. If their service agreement does not allow at least a thirty day review period to allow you to ask for a reshoot or request edits you should probably look elsewhere. It never hurts to come right out and ask what percentage of their shoots requires a reshoot annually. If they tell you it never happens that’s probably not true or you’re about to be their first hotel shoot!

This may seem like a lot to remember, but it can easily be broken down into three subcategories: Safety, Qualifications, and Logistics. Do you feel safe that if there were to be a serious problem at your facility involving the hotel photographer, they would have the proper insurance coverage, and do you feel your investment is protected by a solid guarantee in the event you are unhappy with the work provided? Is the hotel photographer qualified to shoot for your brand, and do they provide you with examples of their work that leave you feeling confident they will do a great job? Are you comfortable with the logistics including: the amount of time your staff and property will be occupied with the photo shoot, travel costs that may be passed on to you, and the timeframe for the work to be delivered? If these questions are satisfied in your mind, you can rest assured your investment will be well rewarded.

Want to know more about our hotel photography services?

Give us a call at (866) 947-8687 and we will discuss viable options for your unique requirements!

Professional Hotel Photography

 

Team RTV

Professional Hotel Photography & Virtual Tours

Order your hotel photos today – 866-947-8687


The FORMULA 79 – Get Your Photography App

Apps – Big companies have them, they’re easily accessible to any Droid or Apple device and they put your products and message in front of the masses like never before.  If you’re like most small business owners you probably thought that having an App built for your local virtual tour and photography business was WAY down on the list of things to do.  After all, only big companies can afford to have an App developed right?  WRONG!  

Please join us on February 7th at 7:00 PM Eastern https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1391796283530185731 for a live webinar event that will leave you thanking RTV for many years to come.  On the webinar we’ll be introducing our followers to Joe Cammarata from GetWithMobile who will be designing an App for any RTV account holder for half off.  You can feel free to visit their site at http://www.getwithmobile.com/ prior to the show.  For those of you that would like to check out the quality and features available in their Apps, be sure to check out the App we got rolling for BlueLaVaMedia (a Traverse City Real Estate Photography Company). 

Visit the Droid Playstore or the Apple App Store, search for BlueLaVaMedia and check out what they did for us for only $349.  Yes there are no extra zeros that have been left out here folks.  We’re talking about you getting an App like the one that you’ll find for BlueLaVaMedia for a fraction of the cost of having an App developed.  This special RTV pricing is 50% off their normal retail price!

Real Estate Photography App

What’s the catch here? No catch.  Just one amazing App for you to promote the heck out of.  Here at RTV we think the items listed below are the most powerful features your business will benefit from by having GetWithMobile develop an App for you.

•    Push notifications, messages, sales and special offers instantly to anyone using your App
•    One button click to call feature.  Perfect for the busy agent!
•    Instant ordering of your products and services
•    Quick and easy communication tool for your customers to reach you
•    Integrate RTV RSS virtual tour feeds for latest tour production button
•    Upload still images to your App gallery – Perfect for agent listing presentations
•    Social sharing capabilities and YouTube channel linking
•    You’ll seriously have an App!  How cool is that??!!!

If any of this sounds amazing to you be sure you don’t miss out on our show Tuesday February 7th at 7:00 PM Eastern.  We’re likely to have some guest speakers on during the event and we will be discussing other creative ways to get the most marketing mileage out of your new business App.  See you there RTV!  

Register here – https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1391796283530185731

Sincerely,

 

Team RTV

PS> Remember to download the BlueLaVaMedia App before the show by searching for it in your App Store / Play Store!!

 

 

RTV, Inc

866-947-8687

Virtual Tour Software & Professional Hotel Photography


RTV Welcomes Darryl Stringer of The Real Estate Photography System On October 25, 2016

Real Estate Photography System

Having great photography is important, and you should be working on improving your image quality all the time, but that’s not the only thing that determines whether or not you will have a great business.

In fact, two of the biggest impacts upon your success as a real estate photographer are pricing and marketing.

On Tuesday October 25th we will be joined by Darryl Stringer, an 18 year veteran of real estate and architectural photography (and creator and founder of The Real Estate Photography System), who will be making a presentation called “Pricing and Marketing Essentials For Your Business.”

During this webinar you’ll learn:
– Four reasons not to compete on price – after all, you don’t want to win the race to the bottom
– How to calculate your fees so you know you’re charging enough for your services and reaching your daily targets, and how a small price rise can make a big difference
– The difference between being busy and being profitable
– The one big idea you can learn from Olympic athletes
– How to charge more for your photography
– Objective criteria that you can use so you know when you should, and should not, be outsourcing your photo editing
– What all photographers should aim for when it comes to promoting their business
– Five marketing ideas that will help you get more clients
– How to transform your business into a profit making machine

You’ll also be provided with multiple PDF worksheets to download, so this will be a very practical session, and something you definitely don’t want to miss.

RTV is very excited to welcome Darryl to the Through The Lens Microphone and hope that you can join us.

Click here to register

If you are a real estate photographer and haven’t tried our virtual tour software, we highly suggest you give it a try. You can start your free no obligation trial here.


Through The Lens 3 – How To Blend Multiple Images For High End Results

Photoshop Photographer TrainingThe are many different routes to take when editing photos for your virtual tour company. When editing HDR (High Dynamic Range) imagery, there are many programs that can be used to automate the blending of your exposures for you, but do the results give you the best possible final image?

While I have used many options to process multiple exposure into a single image that shows detail across the entire dynamic range, I hands down prefer the results I can achieve with hand blending in Photoshop. I have found this method produces the most natural looking, realistic photographs.

Sure using Photomatix, SNS or one of the many HDR programs will speed up the workflow which as a virtual tour provider is EXTREMELY important, but at the end of the day, the quality of the images suffer. If I am going to put my name on the work I expect it to be the highest quality I can possibly produce. These programs often produce results that appear muddy and unappealing. Unexpected color shifts are also common and difficult to control.

I understand from a photographer’s perspective that hand-blending images is not for all situations. If you have multiple real estate virtual tour jobs to edit in a day, and customers who demand quick turnaround, this may not be the best editing system for you. Hand blending requires a greater time investment. When this is the case there are programs that provide a good balance between time input and quality output worth using; as long as the outcome meets your client’s requirements. Keep in mind that higher quality imagery will attract clients who are willing to pay for better quality. You may just find that you have less work, but you are able to make the same amount of income or more.

In this Webinar I will show you how to edit images in Photoshop using Adobe Camera Raw to make basic edits of the images, and then open them into Photoshop as layers. I will demonstrate how to take advantage of layer masks to reveal details in shadows from my overexposed images and bring back detail in the blown out highlights to make an equally balanced photo. Once you have begun to master this technique I believe you will find it your go to method of editing for higher end clientele.

I will also show you how to create basic presets in Adobe Bridge, that you can use on any photo project. I will also go over creating keyboard shortcuts, that will help make the process easier, once you get the hang of this technique.

This webinar will be best for those who understand Photoshop, but if you are new to the program don’t despair. There are many resources such as YouTube and Lynda.com (which offers a free 7 day trial) that you can learn from. Stick to it and you will be a Photoshop pro before you know it!

We hope you can join Jay and I Tuesday Sept 27th at 7:00 pm.

Register now in your RTV Virtual Tour Manager!

 

Beth Nixon

Lead Processor, RTV Inc


107 Commercial Drone Endorsement – RTV Webinar Follow up

Hello RTV fans and family! We wanted to follow up with you after our webinar event last week. We have posted a recording of the show here https://youtu.be/zRsB1PHw7CQ  and will leave it posted there for a couple of weeks as an unlisted link for those of you who missed the live event.

If you would like to work on getting your 107 drone endorsement you can do so by visiting the following page – http://www.dronepilotgroundschool.com/rtv    I believe that Alan Perlman will be leaving the $50 off his course active for two more weeks for us so make sure you take advantage of that soon if you’re interested.

I do recommend that you watch the show above as we disclose a TON of information during the show that will be very helpful for you throughout the entire process.

Finally, I would highly recommend that you get on Alan’s dashboard / email list as he’s sending out weekly emails like the one I’ve pasted into this email to you below.  Some very helpful tips and tricks that are tailored specifically for drone operators of all skill sets are included. You can sign up for his emails here – http://uavcoach.com/

What I really liked about his email today was that it helps you get started VERY affordably. I mentioned during our last show that RTV has begun bidding on national accounts that include drone photography so WE REALLY WANT YOU ALL IN THE AIR ASAP!!   Make sense?

Thanks for your support and happy / safe flying everyone!

Sincerely,

Jason

Virtual Tour Software & Property Marketing Tools

 
___________
 
 
Alan’s email from earlier today –

Hey,

If you’ve never flown a drone before, there’s a little secret I should let you in on.
You will crash.

There’s no avoiding it. Your hardware will fail. Your software might go wonky. You’ll run into a situation you’ve never encountered before.
It doesn’t matter how strong of a pilot you think you are.

One of these things will happen.

Aside from adopting a pilot mindset and taking the time to properly train, one thing you can do to save a little pride is to buy a cheaper, more affordable training drone.
None of these systems will break the bank, so they’re great for training.

These models also have some of the most advanced features in the sub-$150 price range.

Check out 17 of the best cheap training drones here – http://uavcoach.com/cheap-drones-for-beginners/

Don’t forget to check out the list of specs and features below each one.

Blue skies and safe flying,

Alan Perlman