5 Tips for Hotel Photos That Sell

Every month the trivago content team rejects hundreds of images submitted by hotel managers. Why? It’s two fold. First off, the photos fail to meet our quality standards. Secondly, it may sound cruel, but no image can be less damaging than a bad image.

So instead of risking it, consult our simple tips for better hotel photos and learn how to upload photos to your trivago hotel profile that will not only be approved, they’ll sell your property. We’re using  the acronym CLEAR so that it’s easy to remember. Feel free to write it on a post-it note and tack it up by your computer; making it harder to forget.

Not only will CLEAR imagery help you avoid rejection when submitting pictures for your online hotel profile(s), it will help you catch the attention of potential guests. The more time that travellers  spend ogling your hotel photos the better. Why? Because they’ll be more likely to book if they like what they see!

These tips for attractive images extend to your website and social media profiles as well. After reading this, take a look at how your hotel appears online. Do you like how your hotel appears? If not, replace the bad hotel photos or delete them until better ones are available to you.

Ok, let’s get started.


Often overlooked, the first step is to ensure the room you’re photographing is clear and tidy. Let nothing distract from the main purpose and design of the room.

If you don’t want to replace your imagery too often, avoid including technology such as computers, phones or cars. At the rate tech is advancing, these items will quickly date your photos, making the accuracy of the image questionable.

two examples, one of a clear hotel image and one of a poor, cluttered hotel image


Seasoned photographer Mike Browne explains that “photographing interiors is all about capturing the way the room looks (and feels) as naturally as possible”.  Lighting is arguably the most important factor in photography. Correct lighting can completely change a space. Consider what the traveller is looking for; tranquillity, warmth, and open space. Watch out for shadows that natural light and room lamps can cause. Instead, look for ways to discreetly place additional lighting to illuminate these dark spaces. We suggest that you watch photographer Noah Fallis show how light can transform a hotel interior to learn more about this concept.

Natural light also helps the room looks its best.  Avoid artificial lights that cast blue or orange hues on the room.  Instead, plan to have photos taken when the optimal amount of natural light is available for that space. When shooting the hotel exterior or outdoor amenities, optimal lighting is naturally available during what’s known to photographer’s as the ‘golden hour’.  This occurs twice daily; shortly after sunrise and just prior to sunset.

poorly lit hotel room images makes it look small, and unattractive to travellerl


Post production is as important as the preparation and the photo itself. Using the correct editing tools can enhance even some of your seemingly irredeemable pictures. Luckily, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on professional editing software. There are some free options on the market such as Pixlr Editor and Express. These options offer a toolbox of basic editing features and tricks that allow you to sharpen blurred images, make colour corrections and play with lighting. Typically, you do not want to become overly ‘artistic’ with filters or effects, either. Keep in mind that the final image should still appear natural and accurate.

use editing software to improve hotel images


Focus and engage. When shooting an interior there can be many restrictions that can make the size of the room appear instantly smaller. Walls are the worst culprit. To avoid unflattering distortion try shooting through a door with a wide angled lens to gain space. Compose each of your hotel photos with the facilities in mind and remember that you are controlling what the viewer sees. Ask yourself: Are you trying to show off the bedroom’s balcony access? Or additional living space? Once you have a few images, play with cropping to further manipulate the focus of the photo. The above mentioned tools will help you to crop as well as straighten photos that aren’t level.

an example of how wide angle lens helps improve images


The last and simplest point is resolution. This refers to the image size and it’s represented by the number of pixels the given photo contains. You may have seen the resolution of an image expressed before as width X height.  High-resolution hotel photos are the preferred type of imagery to be used on many metasearch sites. This is because the higher the pixel count, the sharper the image will appear when re-sized online.  Armed with a decent camera (potentially a very high-quality smart phone) and a tripod, you can take sharp images that will look professional. Ensure a 2000 pixel minimum when uploading these images to websites.

an example of a pool with good resolution vs poor resolution

Go through your pictures and check that you’ve taken a variety of photos showcasing the facilities of the hotel with a width of at least 2,000 pixels. Once you’ve selected the best ones that you want to publish, upload the files to your online hotel profile(s).  Remember:  you don’t need to invest in expensive professional equipment to have great looking hotel photos. All you have to do is pick up some professional habits and a trained eye.

Claim your property’s trivago profile today.

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If you have questions, comments or tips of your own, please share them below.

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