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The importance of good photographs on a website
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paul
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: The importance of good photographs on a website Reply with quote

I've been re-taking shots of our holiday apartment so thought I would just share them. They are not perfect, but I think they show that how, with a little bit more attention to detail and a half-decent camera, you can see significant improvements on pictures that you take quickly with a point-and-shoot.

Here goes:

BALCONY

Balcony shot - existing pic:



Balcony shot - new pics:





Also new - this shot showing the view a bit 'closer' but with our balcony railing just in shot:



MASTER BEDROOM

Existing pic:



New pic:



Alternative new pic (which I think I prefer):



Another new pic:



SECOND BEDROOM

Existing pic:



New pic:



What do you think?

I'm fairly happy with the results and think it has the potential to have a significant impact on bookings.
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barry100
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think the first photo is bland but the rest are really good. I provide a professional photography service in Central Scotland so I know what Im talking about here. Even during daylight, to even up the light in the foreground (on your balcony), you should use a flashgun and keep it just 1 notch up from level. This will remove the shadows from the scene. If your using Auto settings, put a flsh gun on your camera and expose for the sky then move your camera down to compose the photo and the scene will even its self out when shot.

For the internal shots, I normally dont go so high up. I like shots that are down low as you are down low when lying on your bed. Also I would have tried to slightly under expose the shots and used a flash gun on maybe 2/3ds of a stop down from full and bounced the light off the roof. This will even the light from the outside to the inside. Again if your useing Auto on your camera, expose for the window, add a flash gun and then shoot the room. This will really even out the scene and give a really warm glow.



Good pics.. well shot.
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paul
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you say the first shot is bland, do you mean the very first shot in my post (which is the old one), or the re-take of it?
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planetZest
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Paul, Your new shots are a vast improvment on the originals! They look much more exciting, rich in colour, lighting and much better framing. A nice day and some lovely sunlight makes such a difference too. Smile

Your holiday apartment looks very nice, where is it?
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Piers... it's in Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are quite an improvement.

Actually takes a bit of self-discipline to go over stuff like this and improve but definitely worth the effort in this case. Well done.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful place the Lake District, only been there once and we spent a lot of time in the countryside. Very peaceful and extremely stunning!
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Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! The new photos are much more appealing than the old ones for several reasons:

- the "dressing" of the rooms is much better

- the lighting is also a big improvement

- the composition is better

They're just better photos in every way and do make the property look more appealing.

I sometimes find that when I'm taking photos of a room that the wide-angle lens is a big help. It does mean having to cart extra equipment around but the improved quality of the photos often makes it worth it.

After all, you are trying to sell the idea of staying there - you want to make it look as attractive as you can.
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Kay.

Yep, I still think there's some room for improvement but for now they sell the property in a much better light than before.

As it happens I have just had some posters, postcards and business cards made up with the same photographs so now I need to get to work on getting them distributed...


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Kay
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The postcards are a great idea! You could leave a small supply of them in the apartment for your visitors to use. Plus you could send them out to various people when you go to various places on holiday yourself.

It's hard to measure the ROI of offline promotion, but I'm a great believer in it. I have loads of pens with the URL on the clip and I give heaps of them away to various places, such as British pubs overseas - especially if they run pub quizzes or expat events.

My strategy was to find non-competitors who benefit from giving away my little freebies. Pub owners, for example, can give the pens away to their visitors rather than having to buy their own supply of pens. It saves them money and the visitors like to get them.

I guess you're already doing it, but what non-competitors would welcome a few of your postcards to give away?

Of course, you might not want to give your secrets away here. Wink
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kay wrote:
The postcards are a great idea! You could leave a small supply of them in the apartment for your visitors to use.


Yes... that's the plan. Smile

Kay wrote:
It's hard to measure the ROI of offline promotion, but I'm a great believer in it. I have loads of pens with the URL on the clip and I give heaps of them away to various places, such as British pubs overseas - especially if they run pub quizzes or expat events.


That's a good idea but yes... very hard to measure something like that, I imagine.

Kay wrote:
I guess you're already doing it, but what non-competitors would welcome a few of your postcards to give away?


Because the postcards are so pertinent to us... I'm not really too sure that anyone not staying with us would have a use for them. Afterall, the picture is of our accommodation and has our URL on it.

I think they have a sole purpose, really... and that's to be used by people staying in the accommodation. I suppose I could use them myself to send past guests a note saying "hey, our 2013 tariff is out now..." or something like that, but it's kind of easier (and much cheaper) to do that by email...
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Kay
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you could send a card to your existing customers with a Happy New Year message or a birthday card or something.

It's a case of engaging with the customer. If they're dithering about where to book their next holiday, a card from you might remind them of the great holiday they had before and to decide, "Hey! Let's go there again."

OK, it costs postage, but I thought it was cheaper to retain customers rather than find new ones.

Quote:
I'm not really too sure that anyone not staying with us would have a use for them. Afterall, the picture is of our accommodation and has our URL on it.


Use your imagination, Paul! Get them where the tourists go. If there's an event in town where tourists and holiday makers might go, then give some postcards away there too. An annual cheese festival or something like that? OK, so they're not staying with you this time but they might consider it for their next holiday.

Quote:
...it's kind of easier (and much cheaper) to do that by email...


Yeah, and a lot less personal. It's the difference between, just another promotional email and, "Ooh look! We've had a card from that nice guy Paul".
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kay wrote:
Quote:
I'm not really too sure that anyone not staying with us would have a use for them. Afterall, the picture is of our accommodation and has our URL on it.


Use your imagination, Paul! Get them where the tourists go. If there's an event in town where tourists and holiday makers might go, then give some postcards away there too. An annual cheese festival or something like that? OK, so they're not staying with you this time but they might consider it for their next holiday.

I think Paul's probably right on this one. I have to say I do seem to remember us deliberately sending friends freebie cards, either from places we hadn't been to or from airlines we hadn't used on that particular occasion. But I don't think it's a particularly good strategy generally.

As Paul says, it's essentially a picture of accommodation with a bit of scenic view in the background - the sort of thing you'd want to send from a luxury place to stay, rather than a more touristy card with an arrow and "We are here" in biro.

On the other hand, I like the idea of sending them to your satisfied customers. That could have some mileage in it.
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Kay
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I do seem to remember us deliberately sending friends freebie cards, either from places we hadn't been to or from airlines we hadn't used on that particular occasion.


But that was just a joke. It wasn't any kind of marketing strategy. Just a game to always send postcards you could blag for free. Plus it was almost 20 years ago - long before the days when the recipient could have a look for themselves by checking out the offer on the Internet.
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw the business cards as more the kind of thing to dish out at a cheese festival (or whatever). I also wonder about giving those cards to people who I see in town who are obviously holidaymakers (you tend to know who's local and who isn't when wandering about town) but maybe that kind of 'cold' approach is just a little too direct. As one person said on another forum, that would perhaps 'cheapen' what I'm offering.

I can see some mileage in sending postcards to past guests but you have to bear in mind that many of them (most of them, in fact), I never meet... so, despite the emails, etc. at the time of booking, I don't really have that personal a contact with them in the first place (with a handful of exceptions). I am trying to turn that around a bit by engaging with them more and trying to extract more information from them at the time of the booking (eg. finding out their reason for booking and seeing if I can help with anything relating to that purpose).
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