MDS Resource Center

Content Champions

By September 6, 2017 No Comments

A Guide to Capturing Better Images on the Go

This guide is intended to encourage your associates, we call them “Content Champions,” to capture great on-site and in-the-moment photos to supplement your social media accounts. We encourage you to keep your eyes open for real-time opportunities to help tell the daily stories of the hotel.

Basic Tips for Mobile Photos

Qualities of a successful image: in focus, good lighting, has contrast, true color, straight horizon and a strong composition.
Focus
  • Tap and hold the part of the image you want in focus
  • Choose your focus point with purpose
  • Use your phone’s camera app, not third-party photo apps
Light
  • The best light is one hour after sunrise or before sunset
  • Window light
  • Shade > full sun
  • Avoid flash at all times
  • Do not apply filters. The BCV team will add later if necessary
Composition
  • Use iPhone grid view to help compose
  • Play with asymmetry. Not everything must be perfectly centered and fully in frame
  • Move around the subject and take many photos. Your best shot may surprise you!
Horizon
  • A tilted horizon is disorienting
  • Image a line striking through your image, parallel to the ground
  • Don’t be afraid to get low. Try composing your shot with the horizon in different spots

What to Shoot

Food & Beverage: F&B is a significant piece of a hotel’s social media content mix. But, kitchens, bars, and restaurants are notoriously tricky for photographers. Avoid clutter and seek natural light, and you’ll do just fine!
Dish: Overhead
  • The entire plate fills the frame but is slightly off-center/asymmetrical
  • Complimentary colors: the food and plate work well together
  • For multiple dishes, use a variety of plate shapes and colors for depth and texture
Multiple Drinks: Outside
  • Strength in numbers; a trio of tropical cocktails is more compelling than just one
  • Consider bright¬†backgrounds to provide dramatic contrast¬†to drinks
  • Use your hands! They bring life to the image
General Food: In Profile
  • Choose your angle wisely
  • Flatter dishes look best from overhead, while anything with layers and height (burgers, pancakes, sushi, etc.) look best from the side
Food: Action
  • Shot from a natural, first-person perspective
  • Capturing a hint of movement gives the photo drama and intrigue
  • All of the tones in the photo are consistent – no bright colors disrupting the scene
Staff: They are, quite literally, the face of your hotel. It’s important to give your fans a chance to connect with staff and get to know the talent they bring to your hotel’s experience. Think more candid action shot, and less carefully posed headshot.
Behind the Scenes
  • Aim for natural moments of staff in action
  • When shooting behind the scenes, be mindful of clutter
Group Shots: Inside
  • Highlight a sense of teamwork and camaraderie
  • Let unique personalities shine through
Group Shot: Outside
  • Showcase the most photogenic parts of the property
  • Early morning and early evening offer best lighting
Behind the Bar
  • The little things matter, including clean hands/fingernails
  • Avoid direct eye contact
  • Be mindful of labels and branding
Local: It’s what you see on your way to work or on your walk at lunch. It’s blue skies or a street sign. Here are a few ways to share a unique glimpse of life in your city.
Showcasing Scenery
  • What’s the weather like right now? Give fans a glimpse
  • Spoiler alert: People like sunrises and sunsets
A Sense of Place
  • Look for the small details with big character
  • Try using your camera like a tourist would
  • Your post copy will help bring a familiar shot to life
Negative Space
  • Play with balance and weight in the photo
  • White space or negative space can break up the clutter of a fan’s Instagram feed, and is proven to drive higher levels of engagement
Landmarks
  • No-brainer subjects (and fantastic sources of evergreen UGC)
  • Capture in difference seasons
Personalization: Your hotel prides itself on one-of-a-kind experiences, with details tailored exactly to guests’ liking. Seek out the scenes and moments where that dedication to personalization is most likely to be on display.
Custom Amenity
  • Showcase your team’s creativity!
  • If using a guest’s name, always ask for permission
Event Detail
  • Event staff setting up a beautiful event? Sneak a shot!
  • Get up close and play with perspective
  • Avoid wide-angle shots of empty rooms

Looking for Inspiration?