How Covid has changed photo shoots (for the better!)
Strangely, the absence of customers due to Lockdown has helped some businesses. If you’re a shop or hotel, then having to close for refurbishments can be costly as you’re losing trade; or you have to arrange it for strange times such as the middle of the night which can be inconvenient and awkward (I’ve another story about visiting the Trafford Centre before dawn, when it was busier than during shopping hours). There’s also the problem that, having to fit any work into night hours, puts a serious limit on what can actually be undertaken. Many businesses have seen the closures as an opportunity. Not having people around has helped them to get on with doing repairs and refurbishments without the attendant hassle.
Here’s an example of what I mean. Just before Christmas I was asked to re-visit the Holiday Inn Manchester West to shoot some new photos of areas that had been refurbished over the summer, while the hotel was closed to guests. I’d last been there a couple of years ago. The closure of the hotel to the public during the lockdowns last year meant that the public areas – the dining room, bar and sitting areas, and reception – could be improved and altered without inconvenience to guests.
What’s been interesting when I’ve done shoots like this is I end up taking two sets of photos. There’s a set of shots of the building designed to show off the work that’s been done. Then there are shots that show the Covid compliance the business has carried out. In practice, as you can see below in the first two photos, that meant shooting the public areas as they currently are, and then removing the social distancing floor stickers in Photoshop. This version of the photos can then be used once the pandemic has passed and things return to ‘normal’. Or, as you can see with the reception shots, I take two photos that show the area both with and without plastic safety screens. The ‘with’ shots are for use right now; those without can be used once the hotel is open and operating normally in the future.
As well as wide room shots, it’s always good on a job like this to take images that show off small features, such as the newly installed cordless charging points in the foyer (see the photo below), or a concession stand – all features that are attractive to guests when looking to book. Shots like that of the bartender give a sense of life about the hotel, and help to create that friendly atmosphere that they want to reinforce.
All these photos will be used on the company website to show off the hotel, and kept in a stock library for any future marketing use.
So, if you’re a property manager, developer or hotelier, now is a good time to catch up on any maintenance or get major changes underway (if you’re not already doing so). And, once it’s completed and still looks good, it’s a great time to get photos of it for marketing in the future. Shoots like this require no contact, so they’re very safe to do at the moment. If you’d like a quotation, please drop me a line.