What and Who is a Hotel Photographer and how much does it cost

Maybe it’s a hotel photographer or maybe it’s a lifestyle or even an

architectural photographer, So the question is, who really photograph hotels?

What Kind of Photographer Photograph Hotels?

While you might want one photographer to handle all the architecture, interior design, lifestyle, food, portraits and events, this won’t serve the best interest of your hotel.

The marketing director won’t manage the food and beverage same applies to hospitality photography, it does not mean one can’t do it, but it also doesn’t mean they are specializing in it.

In hospitality photography it usually splits into 2 main sections:

  • Architecture and Design
  • Lifestyle and Advertising

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Hotel Architectural Photographer:

So when it comes to the exterior and / or the interior of the hotel and amenities architectural photographer that specializes in hospitality would be the best fit for you.

Hotel architectural photographer will capture the hotel:

Exterior booth in day and night. Hotel rooms, suites, premium rooms

and the amenities: casino, spa, gym, lobby, stores, entertainment, convention rooms and more

Hotel Lifestyle Photographer:

Hotels have many advertising needs involving lifestyle imagery, from advertising the restaurants, hotel, casino, spa, pools and other entertainment features to any other visuals that would go to billboards, national and international advertising.

Food and Culinary Photographer

Will be specializing in all your food and beverage photography, They are masters in their own world and unless you need few food shoots accompanying the campaign I recommend working with a food photographer on dish shoots..

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What about a hybrid photographer?

While every photographer specializes in his own niche, I would think that an architectural photographer that specializes in hospitality photography would serve best.

As one will have the qualification of architecture, design and lifestyle photography that ultimately is the main goal of hospitality (lifestyle and design)

While it is self serving, I do believe that most of the spaces in a hotel will be photographed in booth stand alone and with models and actors.

While the lifestyle photographer is not specializing in architecture or interiors he still need to incorporate the objects, models and actors in a space leaving the architecture photographer the best chances to enjoy booth worlds.

How to choose the right hotel photographer?

Seniors marketing hoteliers already know, Budget is definitely not a subject, other might look based on that criteria only.

Start with viewing the photographers portfolio, go trough all his galleries and see if you like the style, if its consistent trough all his work.

Look if small projects looks amazing like the big ones, read about his or her experience and what make them the best for your project and property.

Can they handle the task? Are they insured? Do they have prior experience and do they understand the task and can offer how to tackle the project.

Remember: working in an active or time sensitive project requires much more than photography skills, it require experience , know-how, and technical knowledge.

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How much does hotel photography cost?

Pricing for hospitality photography typically splits in to two and depends on the complexity of the project, amount of photo needed and the hotel availability:

Per Photo: Typically the hotel room, suites and luxury suites are priced based on per photo, this also fits a small scale project or when a creating small amount of photos in many different locations. (prices varies from $750.00-$2,000.00 per photo)

The benefit for the hotel using the per-photo pricing is that it does not matter how much time it takes the photographer to accomplish the photo you are still paying one fee.

Exterior photos take a lot of time to complete, and you might need just one room to photograph as it’s time to update the room photos, going per day would make you pay for the entire time no matter the results.

Per Day: When you need many visuals or you are doing a full day photoshoot going per day rate would fit you best, the benefit is that the photographer will have the entire day for you and can mobilize and photograph in different locations without limitation of photos but you must be sure you give him all the tools and availability for you to enjoy his time. (prices varies from $5,000.00-$10,000.00 per day)


After deciding what works best for you, you will have to choose about licensing which also splits into two:

Photo License: This is the less favorite method hotels prefer to use, however if you have a limited time to use the photos for example: a season promotion or you are planing to renovate or change the space in the next one or two years, paying a first payment and than a yearly rate to renew the photo license might be the best for you.

Buy to Own: The most expensive yet the most preferred way by hoteliers is the buy to own, you typically pay more in advance to own the right for the photos meaning you can use them however and whenever you want with out any limitations and future compensation.

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