April 2015

Not all professional photographers are equal...
I get to hear so many stories from disgruntled accommodation owners who tell me about the 'professional' photographer they used. In so many cases, the photographer turns out to be whats known as a general photographer who will have a go at photographing anything as long as there's money involved. One day they'll photograph a wedding, the next its baby portraits and after that, its passport photos. They won't turn down any work, whether they can actually do a decent job or not. I suppose everyone has to make a living. I also see the less than fantastic results produced by web designers who convince their clients that they don't need a professional photographer - the web designer will do the photography for them instead. If I sound a little cynical and annoyed, its simply because they are doing their clients a disservice and it means that you are nt getting the best person for your needs. I only photograph property and occassionally food (for hotels, food producers etc). Photographing interiors in particular really is an art in itself: tight spaces and multiple light sources often catch out even the most experienced general photographers. However, its something I do day in, day out. On top of that, I have years of experience in the holiday accommodation world and have a good idea of what photographs will actually produce enquiries and bookings.
So if you are going to book a photographer to produce images for your accommodation, please check that they actually have the correct experience in this field as it could be a costly mistake.

Holiday Cottage Bookings for 2015 - up or down?
By this time of year you should be getting a good feel of how this year's bookings are looking. Despite increasing our prices, our own cottage is having a successful start to the year and hopefully your holiday property is enjoying an equally good 2015. However, if bookings are not quite what you expected, its still not too late to do something about it. The internet is everything these days so its worth reviewing what content you have online. Does the text sound OK or does it need a freshen up? As ever, its photography thats going to play the biggest part here. If you use an agency, does the quality of photographs used accurately reflect the quality of your property? The issue is that so many holiday properties use professional photography now (I'm photographing properties pretty well every day of the week) so anything not up to par simply doesn't look good.
I regularly check out a website called Holidayletsforsale.com as they have some great insights in to the current market. The author, Charles Cawley has recently written a review of the market; here's an excerpt:
Quality has become more of an issue. With greater numbers of pictures, the maturing of feedback systems, and an increasing ability to use search engines in a sophisticated way, transparency and the competitive environment have radically increased. In the old days of, ‘two or three photos if you were lucky’, quality did not shout out. If you have something really good, it makes sense to broadcast that loud, clear and long.
To read the rest of the article just follow the link here: http://www.holidayletsforsale.com/articles/
Recommended website
I'm always on the look out for interesting websites. This time I've come across something a little different. Its called Houzz and its great information centre for people who are interested in house and interior design. Its full of real life projects, perfect for gathering design and decoration ideas and a great place to browse and save beautiful home photos. On top of that, it has a facility allowing you to easily find design and construction professionals to help with your plans. Its massively popular with a community of over 25 million homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals—across the country and around the world. Well worth a visit, here's the link: http://www.houzz.co.uk