It is our role to create professional hotel images that allow potential guests to imagine themselves in the picture, waking up after a sound night’s sleep in the comfortable bed, relaxing in the lounge with their favourite drink, or soaking limbs weary from an exciting day of sightseeing in the bath. Small family run hotels like the Fairway in London have to work hard to compete with larger, well-known chains, so when the owner asked me to take his B & B photos, I was happy to oblige.
One of the main challenges of this kind of work is creating a complete image of the room to allow guests to mentally step inside. Including all of a room’s features without creating any wide angle distortion requires skill and specialist lenses. I relied on my Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L and the EF 11-24mm f/4L full frame lenses to do these charming bedrooms justice, applying my experience to edit the perspective lines to minimise any distortion resulting from the wide-angle lense.
The owner of the Fairway Hotel, Ben, was extremely helpful both during our planning meetings and on the day, helping to ensure I was able to capture the areas he wanted to display on his website and in his marketing material. The hotel has been in the same family for fifty years and is now run by Ben and his brother Michael, who have created a warm, friendly atmosphere in this Georgian townhouse.
One of the key messages we needed to communicate with these images was of welcome and trust. A visitor to an unfamiliar city may instinctively choose a hotel with a familiar name, even if it does not offer them the best value. Our job was to use images not only to show the features of the hotel but also to convey the atmosphere of welcome and safety, which is why we focused as much on the public areas of the hotel, such as the reception and dining room, as well as the private bedrooms and bathrooms.
We felt it essential that the images picked out the period features of the hotel, such as the wood panelling in the entrance hallway, yet also showcased the contemporary touches that appeal to modern guests, like the crisp white sheets and fresh bathrooms. There are some aspects that we took extra care with incase viewer’s imaginations came up short. We captured people tucking into a typical full-English breakfast that guests can enjoy as part of their booking, giving a little more life to the sunny dining room, as well as being greeted in reception on their arrival.
The Fairway markets itself based not only on its standard of accommodation but also on its extremely central location close to Kings Cross Station, St Pancras International, the British Museum and the British Library. We took care to shoot the elegant Georgian facade of the hotel and surrounding buildings during daylight, highlighting how peaceful it is for somewhere in the heart of London. It is no coincidence that the picture was taken with the street outside the hotel empty of traffic, yet a red London bus in the background. An image like this eloquently underlines that not only is the area around the hotel quiet but that it is convenient for public transport and iconic London sights.
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