Ross Honeysett Photographer

Ross's Honeysett's photography career has spanned everything from fashion to fine arts. To examine Ross's photographic oeuvre, reveals a perpetual work in progress, one that never interrupts the flow of ideas. 

Please explain the importance in the investment of professional photography to a hotelier. How will it help them stand out and tell their brand story - as opposed to stock or amateur shots.

It’s analogous to investing in the architecture (of the same product).

In architecture a client who is market aware and has a strong business plan will want a “tailored” design that suits their needs.

The client will have carefully researched their market and be ready with a concise brief that conveys their needs.

It’s the same with photography. The client will have researched a photographer who is experienced & trained to understand and represent a building / interior.

This specialist photographer will work in a much more intuitive way than stock or amateur vision could.

The ensuing photography will evoke the “vibe” of the building / interior rather than just be a record of it.

In the case of a small / medium accommodation business the photography will have a strong aspirational quality.

……………“I want to be there!!!!!!”

 

How does photography play a key role in building the right brand and in turn attract the right customer / guest (ie. sometimes the wrong direction could misrepresent the actual truth etc. Eg. you’re higher end filmic style wouldn’t particularly work for a low cost family hotel but is what’s needed for the luxury end of town)?

I’m not sure if I agree. A modest & well run establishment that is well designed may be far more photogenic than it’s more “boastful” and more expensive neighbour.

Photography with a strong narrative quality certainly could be applied to the visual language and communication of a small hotel.

The priority should be the correct brief & engaging the correct specialist for the job.

The right photographer will understand & appreciate the product and represent it appropriately in visual language.

Consequently photography will be a natural and seamless process.

 

With your years of experience and extensive business and leisure travel is there anything that stands out that accommodation business should be doing and / or stop doing to stand out and improve their reputation?

One important factor is the human interface of the business.

A small business always benefits if the owner is “omnipresent” and a “figurehead” of the business.

A guests experience will be positive if greeted by a courteous & sincere owner of a small hotel.

A wise hotelier will be aware of guest’s arrival time & date and be available to greet them.

Another key point is staff retention.

A hotel’s success is subject to its ability to retain key staff.

A returning client will notice immediately if key staff members are replaced by those who do not perform as well.

My experience tells me that local culture is a most important factor.

A business must accurately represent local culture.

For example, a small, family run, hotel in Europe or Scandinavia may be a modest building but a guest’s experience will be enriched by a hotel culture that has been passed down through generations of hoteliers.

As soon as the guest enters the hotel he or she would immediately feel absorbed into and embraced by a new and local culture.

A guest must feel “at ease” in a hotel and these hoteliers perform this task this naturally.

No amount of staff training, for example, can achieve this result ……It’s just part of the culture.

The antithesis may be the experience one would have in a large hotel in Las Vegas or Macau

Where an experience may be a dull & vacuous one where service is formulaic.

Any practical secrets you’re willing to giveaway to help choose the right photographer and / or imagery to best represent their business.

That’s easy……..

Take a sage approach to consuming photography

Choose a like minded person to provide the imagery.

One who understands the business type & can naturally take a brief to produce evocative images that will immediately communicate with the “market”.

As a specialist, I get lots of direct commissions so, providing a hotel has done their research and has decided my work fits within their business plan, I would be happy to speak to them.

Nick Bonney