hotel

San Mateo Inn Albuquerque Commercial Hotel Photography

San Mateo Inn Albuquerque Commercial Hotel Photography

Creative angles to best show off city hotels

Thanks to a great referral from networking friend Coralee (she sells commercial real estate), I had the opportunity to photograph the San Mateo Inn which is under new management and in the process of improving its branding and marketing, the first step was getting professional commercial photographs of the interior and exterior of the hotel. It is my custom whenever possible to start with the exteriors, because you never know when the weather may change, so if it is good, then shoot the exteriors first! After that I made my way inside to photograph the lobby and guest areas.

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Santa Fe Commercial Real Estate Photography Inn of the Anasazi

Santa Fe Commercial Real Estate Photography Inn of the Anasazi

Santa Fe Commercial Real Estate Photography

I had the pleasure and creative challenge of photographing the beautiful Inn of the Anasazi in historic downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico. Each room, each space was full of architectural features, design touches, and soft light. The challenge was capturing that existing atmosphere with the right additional off camera lighting to show off the room or space such that is shows well in a photo, but maintains the tranquil and warm feel I had standing there. From the library, to the wine cellar, to the lobby, all throughout this inn I kept finding more and more incredible rooms to photograph using the flambient technique. Thank you very much to the staff of the Inn of the Anasazi for making this long shoot go very smoothly!

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Crowne Plaza Tampa Hotel Event Photography July 2014

A guest talks with a featured speaker at the Crowne Plaza Performance Series event in Tampa Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm @ f/2.8 ISO 200 1/60thVery early I woke up for a 7:30am start time to photograph an event in the south Tampa area at Crowne Plaza hotel.  This was so early that there was not even any traffic yet on I-275 so it was actually a pleasant morning cruise down the highway.  The event itself was very straightforward with a series of speakers all speaking in the same room with only an adjacent room for food breaks needing to be covered.  

Attendees were asked to play a clever game with Xs and Os at Crowne Plaza Tampa event - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 800 1/60th SB-800 hotshoe mountedI was told by the client that this 6.5 presentation had been done in several cities before so tons of photos of the speakers themselves were not necessary and that I should instead focus more on the attendees interacting with the activities called for during the presentations.  Above you can see two people working on an X and O strategy puzzle.  

Having fun while speaking at Crowne Plaza Tampa Performance Series event - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 800 1/60th SB-800 hotshoe mounted 

The speakers all did a very good job making it seem like it was the first time they were ever giving their presentations, which to me is the sign of a good speaker.  They mostly spoke about strategies for improving the hotel business, not something I normally read up on, but even I was entertained by how they presented ADR, etc.  I always like learning new inside jargon for a particular industry too.  ADR!

Learning new methods for improving her hotel at Crowne Plaze Performance Series event in Tampa Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 50mm @ f/2 ISO 800 1/60thIt was not all just fun and games, there were actual nuts and bolts tutorials on how to better use the mountain of data collected on hotel guests for establishing room rates and more.  

Leading a game of hotel business Jeopardy at Crowne Plaza Performance Series event in Tampa Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/4 ISO 800 1/100th SB-800 hotshoe mountedThey even found a way to make hotel business trivia work for a realistic Jeopardy tournament complete with red buzzers!  I noticed that the front row tables were either stacked or trigger happy as they were the first to buzz in the most.

Getting surprising results during an exercise at Crowne Plaza Performance Series event in Tampa Florida - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/4 ISO 800 1/60th SB-800 hotshoe mountedI enjoyed my time listening to the speakers, learning about the hotel industry and finding creative ways to photograph a group of people who were for the most part, basically just sitting around tables.  

Tampa Hotel UFO ceiling HDR photography

I thought this ceiling was very interesting looking in a Tampa hotel - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 5-exposure HDRThis image is from a wedding I photographed a few years ago in a hotel in Tampa.  I was at the reception area early to shoot the table settings, wedding cake, etc.  Upon entering the ballroom I was immediately taken with the ceiling.  To me it looked like a UFO floating right on top of everything.  In editing I added some effects to heighten the alien look to the ceiling and room in general of this HDR image.  What does it look like to you?

Courtyard Marriott St. Petersburg Bistro Renovation Commercial Photography Florida

The newly renovated bistro & cafe area of Courtyard Marriott in downtown St. Petersburg Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 5-exposure HDRLast week I went back to the Courtyard Marriott in downtown St. Petersburg Florida to finish making commercial photographs of the newly updated interior of the hotel.  In 2011 I photographed both the exterior and interior of the hotel, followed later by a wedding model shoot.  Courtyard have been very good clients and I am always glad to return their and work with Ryan and Kathy.

A quiet spot in the new Courtyard Marriott bistro St. Petersburg commercial photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 1.3 secThe newly updated bistro/cafe area looks great and photographed well.  I used a combination of HDR and single exposure images.  For the photo above with only a single major light source coming from behind camera, I felt HDR was not needed and achieved the results I wanted with a single long exposure.

Dining spaces with TVs at newly renovated Courtyard Marriott St. Petersburg Florida commercial photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 5-exposure HDRTo pull detail out in the corners of these eating areas that had an open window in each, I did use 5-exposures to make the HDR image image above.  Overall I made less HDR images than I did when I first photographed the hotel two years ago as I am always trying to improve my shooting techniques and choose the best style for each particular shot.  

Courtyard Marriott St. Petersburg Suite Commercial Photography

A suite in Courtyard Marriott St. Petersburg Florida - commercial photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/11 ISO 200 7-exposure HDRMy former neighbor Ryan of the Courtyard Marriott (he is the sales manager) contacted me this week about making some more commercial photographs of the hotel as it is just about finished with its renovations.  To start with, they wanted to send out a new advertisement and needed just a couple photos of a suite room.  So after we discussed the future photography to be done of the hotel, I went up to the 7th floor with my Nikon and tripod.  As I have mentioned before, photographing a room is rather challenging and not at all as simple as one might think.

Office space in a sweet at Courtyard Marriott St. Petersburg Florida - commercial photography - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 7-exposure HDRThe real goal of this small shoot was for the image below, a small panorama of the room showing all its features wall to wall from the flatscreen TV to the bed.  It is not made up of the two shots below of course, but from the same point just shooting one frame to the left and then panning about two thirds of a frame to the right.  I then used the Photomerge automation in Photoshop to stitch the two photos together.

Suite hotel room at Courtyard Marriott in St. Petersburg Florida - 2 HDR images stitched together in Photoshop using PhotomergeI look forward to photographing the renovated historic lobby and other areas of the hotel in September.