Story Newsletter - Winter 2016

The Importance of Good Bedding
No matter how fantastic your holiday cottage is, what a fabulous location you’re in or what beautiful views you have, you won’t have returning guests if they didn’t sleep well. The quality of the beds and bed linen in your holiday home can make a terrific difference to the feel of the whole property. I've been photographing holiday properties for many years and its noticeable just how the standards in the holiday letting world are constantly being raised.
Lets look at a few pointers:
First the actual size of the bed; this will of course depend on the size of the room but generally, the bigger the bed the better - if you have the room. A big bed simply feels more luxurious.
Flexibility for guests will maximise your bookings so using beds that zip & link together can be a great idea. Again its down to space but being able to join two singles together to make double and vice-versa can be very handy. The down side is that you have to have a lot of spare bedding with a good combination of toppers, duvets and linen required.
One really big issue is the actual quality of the mattress. I would highly recommend a good memory foam mattress as a minimum and go for hotel quality if you can. Pay attention to how this should be physically rotated through 180 degrees to even out any wear. Its also possible to actually flip some mattresses over, again to maximise wear though this is often not possible with some memory foam mattresses.
Oversize duvets always give the bed a better look – so super kings on king size beds, king size duvets on double beds, double duvets on singles beds. Personally for duvets and pillows I prefer feather and down, ideally with a higher down content than feather. They will always fluff up to make your beds look inviting.
Never underestimate the power of quality bed linen: it gives your bedroom an instant uplift and helps your guests to get a better night’s sleep. A high thread count will not only last longer and look nicer but I find when photographing cottages that with a little tweaking, your bed can look immaculate.
With regard to colour, white is by far and away the safest option. Many guests see white as a symbol of luxury, and the bet is that you’ll feel more luxurious — and sleep more luxuriously — in a white bed. This isn't some idle idea; most of the world's top hotels have investigated this thoroughly. Erin Hoover, vice president of design for Westin and Sheraton hotels says “Visually, the idea of the white bed is important. Something about an all-white bed connotes luxury and a good night’s sleep.” Many people dislike patterned linen but I have yet to find anyone who dislikes sleeping in good quality white linen. Colour can be added by using such as throws and cushions which can add warmth and a touch of luxury to your beds. Make sure that these are easily washable and it’s always best to have two sets.
Remember that you get what you pay for; this goes for mattresses, duvets, pillows and linen. It’s an investment work taking as happy guests equal more return bookings and recommendations.
Holiday Home Bedroom

The Ultimate Northumberland Holiday Let?
Whenever Northumberland is seen on the TV, whether its some crime drama, an edition of Countryfile or a news report, ninety nine times out of a hundred, the backdrop will be the beach at Bamburgh with the castle in the background. Its become an iconic Northumberland image. So actually owning a holiday apartment within Bamburgh Castle must a be a marketing dream. I was recently asked to photograph Neville Tower, a beautiful place located within the grounds of the castle and it really is a stunning place. It was recently renovated to a very high standard and is set over three floors with the highlight being the impressive top floor living area with incredible far-reaching views to the north and south over Bamburgh beach, the Farne Islands and Holy Island.
The period styling includes heritage colours by Farrow & Ball, Jim Lawrence lighting, bespoke curtains and cushions in sumptuous crewel, linen and velvet fabrics and beautiful wool throws by innovative Welsh designer Melin Tregwynt. Some how I think this one may rent out rather well...
To see more photos of Neville Tower, just click on the link here: Neville Tower
Sea Views

Before and After photos
I must admit that I can get a little frustrated when someone tells me that my photographs are so good because 'you have a good camera' . In reality, there's so much more to it than that and partly in response to this and to highlight the difference a photographer with experience and an eye for detail can make, I came up with the 'See The Difference' page on my website. Very simply, I take a photo of the room I'm about to photograph properly, just as I walk, in the same way that an estate agent or amateur photographer might. Then I dress and light the room properly and photograph it again. The results are posted on my website and they make for an eye-opening experience. Its still quite amazing how so many obviously beautiful properties are often photographed so badly. As I always say, the cottages with really good photography will ALWAYS get the most enquiries and the most bookings. If you don't believe me, take a look for yourself: look at cottages with great websites and photography and then look at their availability calendars. I guarantee my photography service will improve the number of enquiries you receive: see prices below. To visit my 'See the Difference' page just click here:See the Difference

Before & After

Photography Options and Prices
I thought it may be useful to quickly outline what I do and how much its going to cost: I am conscious that every property and client is unique and therefore my approach to each is tailored accordingly. I offer three simple packages that cover the most popular requirements though of course I am happy to chat about tailoring a service to suit your individual needs.
1. Photography covering both interior and exterior of the property. You can choose five images which are digitally enhanced. This is ideal for smaller properties that appear on listings where the number of photographs are limited or the images are to be used on a leaflet or business card. £175.00
2. A more in-depth shoot covering property interior, exteriors, details and views. You can choose 10 images which are digitally enhanced. This is my most popular package and is perfect for a holiday cottage or small B&B/hotel with it’s own website, where getting across the atmosphere and quality of your property is important. £250.00
3. A full day shoot covering property interior, exteriors, details, views and area shots (if possible). You can choose 30 images which are digitally enhanced. This package is ideally suited for cottage complexes, larger B&B and hotels. £500.00
I will always take a large selection of photographs to ensure you have a good choice and extra photographs can be purchased at an additional cost. I am happy to be as flexible as required in order to produce the images that you require. Whether you are new to digital photography or are an experienced web designer, my dedicated download site allows you to access your photographs quickly and easily.