Shooting for Hotels in London.

I've been fortunate enough to work with two very well known hotel in London being the o2 intercontinental and the Taj hotel in St James. Working with them showed me another level of photography and how much difference it is compared to everyday real estate stuff I usually do. It even trumped the highest end property I've shot in the heart of London in Mayfair. I showed me another level of perfection and attention to detail. On my first shoot, I may have taken the job without full and proper preparation. I did some research and ask my other photographer friends for tips on hospitality photography, but it wasn't even still as each hotel is different and working with 5-star hotels photographing their penthouses and restaurants it really threw me off.

Luckily the photography techniques I use to shoot are usually used on the high-end property so it is very easy to transfer those skills over to hotels. my starting point was strong and I didn't have to worry about my ability to photograph these immaculate places. The greatest thing I struggled with is I could use a longer lens it didn't matter about showing off how much space the places had and more on composition and the interior design and the layout is far more important in showing off a premium brand. It really took me back to the days I used to shoot with a 50mm at weddings to take away an option and gave me one less thing to think about and made me more creative as a photographer.

I always thought that photography was photography, that because I shot real estate that it would be possible to shoot a hotel room. it turns out while some of the basic principles were the same most of the time it was preparing the room for photography adding small detail like candles, having the right flowers in the room, the right height the right colour were all far more important than just having flowers in the room. Making sure that the room was prepared as best as the hotel could offer all having optional welcome packs in the room.

Hotels aren’t a joke to shoot, it requires more equipment and even an assistant in my case to help out moving things and moving lights around. All in all i love shooting hotels as they look stunning they lighting is great and just needs to be emphasized. You really get to stretch you photography legs and you really learn what you are good at and what you aren’t good at. It forces you to perfect your images as they expect nothing less because they are paying a lot of money and they want the same end product as you.

Please take a moment to look at my work on my site.

How home staging makes a difference to the final images.

One thing my clients are doing more is home staging, it’s something that I usually only see with Hotels and Airbnb’s but more people are doing it for residential listing which I think really makes a house a home. It completely allows the viewers to be drag into the photo and imagine their selves there already, encouraging them to buy/let the property. Whether they look the look or not they start to move things around and make it their own without anyone saying a word. Which is why the London clientele I have always allow time for home staging before I go in and photography the luxury they have created.

In terms of photographing a luxury property that’s been home staged, it allows it's much easy to get the feel of the character of the home and how people may actually use it. It allows you to feel the flow of the home making the photos I take that much more storytelling without even be conscious of what's happening. It allows the natural or ambient light to really play with the decor and you get a sense of textures and colours that complement each other and really pull the whole house together.

Being a London photographer a lot of the properties I go to it already looks impeccable as there are a lot of quirky styles, decor taste and so many unique things about each property. It really makes me think about each shot more what should and shouldn’t include in each composition. How much of certain aspect do I ‘NEED’ to show. Should it be horizontal or vertical? All these things are going through my head when I go somewhere that has been home staged.

Luxury properties in London and around the UK could all do with a fresh touch from a home stager/interior designer so as a photographer I strongly want people to get them as it makes a massive difference to how much attention you property can get.

In the set of photos, I posted below are with the help of the following team;

Home via;

Staging by;

Shooting for the o2 Intercontinental Hotel...

I remember the first house I ever photographed, it was a new build 4 bedroom detached house worth £340,000. I never thought that i'll be in a luxury hotel penthouse 2 years later, it was such an amazing experience, so it was really cool to be in the penthouse seeing how the rich live! 

Honestly, it was such an eye-opener, there were rooms that had rooms in, hidden showers, 3 exit and entrance doors. the attention to detail and hospitality was out of this world. From the chandeliers to the fridge with specific things the customers staying asked to be available even the magazine based on the customer's preference. 

Take a moment to look through the photos below;


Why It's a Good Thing to Have a Bad Day Sometimes...

Everyday is different and many things can affect our mood, for example i love music i listen to it as much as i can. I listen to quite a wide spectrum of genres too, and the reason is that it changes my mood, but it all inspires me to be better by the time the song has finished. 

  Now why i say its a good thing to have a bad day sometimes, is purely because it means that you are still growing. Just 2 days ago i felt like why aren't i satisfied with a recent shoot i was at and i felt quite down about it as i take a great pride in what i do as it is what i love to do. I was in a very negative mood and i found it hard to concentrate til i found answers to why i was feeling this way. I know how to fix my self when I'm in this mood now and that is to quite simply get inspired again. Just like when i listen to music to change my mood, photography does to same to me and i have a craving to better and get more creative and try new things.  Now, whilst in my most recent one i felt like i had reach a point where my photo was all looking the same, which is a good thing. Don't get me wrong i love consistency, but i wanted to have a signature style something to say " That's a GaryAskew photo" which got me googling photographers i look up to that are world class. I studied their work for a few hours and tried to work out how they produce the result they do and how i can put my own twist onto it. Then suddenly as if by magic it came to me! 

   I knew what i needed to buy in order to switch things up a little bit to feed my craving. I took to Amazon to order 3 things to make a small difference in my work, which i will update this blog once the items have arrived with some example pictures of how i may use them. They are very cheap items and wont break the bank to buy to experiment. 

I challenge everyone that will or wont read this... TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT... there are more than one way to do things so no matter what industry you are in, try something different, be brave. Stand out in your market!