Professional hotel photography: how to style beds. Learn professional tips to style and photograph hotel beds in a way that maximizes online reservations by conveying comfort, escape, and luxury.
If you want to be a professional hotel photographer, your job will be to capture images that transform an ordinary room into a visual feast, tempting potential guests to click and book their dream getaway. When staging a hotel room for an online photo gallery, the bed is the focal point that can make or break a reservation. You only have a split second to catch a viewer’s attention and convey comfort, escape, even a touch of luxury. With the right styling and a few tricks of the trade, you can create a visual masterpiece that speaks directly to your guests’ aspirations for their stay.
How to Style Beds for a Professional Shooting
I have been photographing Hotels and Bed&Breakfasts for many years, and these are my best tips I can give you for an exceptional bedroom photo shoot. If you have the opportunity to discuss bed staging with the manager of the facility who follows you in the photo shoot, explain to him that the following are your needs:
1. Use Wrinkle-Free, White Sheets for a Clean and Inviting Look
For the most appealing images of a hotel room, start with crisp, white sheets. White sheets instantly convey cleanliness and a sense of luxury. They allow the textures and patterns in the bedspread and pillows to shine through in photos.
White sheets are a must for an inviting, pristine look in photos. Use high thread count sheets and iron or steam them to remove any wrinkles before photographing the bed. Crisp, wrinkle-free white sheets convey cleanliness and make the bed appear plush and cozy, spurring viewers to imagine slipping between the sheets for a sound night’s sleep.
2. Style the Pillows Vertically for Depth and Dimension
To attract the highest number of online reservations, styling the beds in your hotel rooms for photography requires attention to detail.
For the most visually appealing bed photos, arrange two or three pillows vertically against the headboard. This creates depth and dimension, allowing viewers to envision resting their heads on the plush pillows during their stay. Plump pillows make the bed appear more inviting and give the photos a sense of softness and comfort. Compared to a single pillow, multiple pillows arranged vertically convey a sense of luxury and comfort. For the best results, use an even number of pillows, ranging from 2 to 4 for a standard bed.
3. Select a Coordinating Bedspread to Tie the Look Together
Select bedspreads, quilts or blankets in colors and patterns that coordinate with the room’s decor and theme. For example, in a beach-themed room, use bedspreads featuring seashell or wave motifs in sand and sea colors. In a romance-themed room, burgundy or navy bedspreads accented with gold thread evoke an air of lavishness. Coordinating bedspreads complete the ambiance and experience you want to portray.
Choose a bedspread, quilt, or throw in colors that complement the existing decor and theme of the room. For a beachy room, opt for shades of blue, sand, and seafoam green. In a rustic mountain lodge, rich burgundies, forest greens, and tans are ideal. Sticking to a cohesive color scheme creates a polished, put-together feel that is appealing in photos.
Pattern and Texture
In addition to solid colors, small-scale prints, plaids, and textured fabrics help bring depth and visual interest to a space. A woven cotton blanket, knit quilt, or faux fur throw can make a bed look luxurious and inviting. However, avoid overly busy patterns and strongly contrasting colors which can appear cluttered or distracting in photos. Subtle, tone-on-tone patterns in the same color family as the room decor are the most photogenic.
4. Neatness and Simplicity
A neatly made bed with minimal wrinkles and a symmetrical, squared placement of pillows and blankets looks most professional in marketing photos. While an unmade, “slept-in” bed may appeal to some guests, it does not have the same polished, luxury feel for photos.
For the most effective images, take photos of the bed from multiple angles, including straight on, from the corners and from the side. Well-styled white sheets, pillows and a coordinating bedspread capture the essence of comfort and cleanliness, encouraging viewers to click and book their stay.
In summary, choosing bedding, pillows, throws and quilts in a cohesive color scheme with subtle patterns helps create a photogenic space. A neatly styled bed with an even number of pillows and a single, complementary blanket results in an appealing yet luxurious feel that is optimized for marketing photos and attracting the highest number of online reservations.