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How to Become a Professional Lodging Photographer

By Ron Lee
Published: 02/21/17 Topics: AirBnB, Marketing, Photography, Property Management Comments: -

Becoming a professional lodging photographer has never been easier.

All you need is a camera and business cards. Just put the words "Professional Photographer" on the cards and people will think you are a pro.

Can you imagine a doctor getting away with that? Would you go to a dentist who says, "I am a professional dentist" who didn't have the training? Yikes. Those people would be driven out of the industry.

Unfortunately, there have always been a greatly many people who love the idea of being an artist, a photographer. It sounds like such a great job. For Inns, Resorts & Vacation Rentals, photos are the way guests make instant decisions to view your property or pass on to the next.

No longer is it necessary to burn hundreds of dollars of physical film, toil in the dark room and only later learn if your photos were adequate. Now a good digital camera gives you a thumbnail view instantly that you can call "good enough."

But, great camera gear doesn't make you a true photographer any more than buying your new born child a piano and pronouncing them a "Concert Pianist."

Today, a new higher title has been added to the photography professional. Its called "High Dynamic Range," or HDR, and it is a vastly superior way of shooting, processing, and delivering world class photography. It is a requirement for almost all photos, but an absolute requirement for shooting interior architectural images.

HDR Photos are crisp, clean and brighter, but only enough to match what the human eye actually perceives. By comparison, non-HDR photos are fuzzy, bland, and actually underestimate and mis-represent the property.

Unfortunately, most professional photographers are no longer professional because they are more in love with being "Artists" than they are in spending thousands of hours mastering HDR.

That means more lodging operators are wasting lots of money hiring pros or don’t begin to understand HDR.

To see the difference between Pros and HDR Pros, all you have to do is spend a little time examining listings on your favorite websites like VRBO.com, Expedia.com, or even AirBnB.com.

A company called Evolve Vacation Rentals offers "Free Professional Photography" to property owners. Because Evolve does not have on site staff they must call any "professional photographer" they can find and hire them without realizing that non HDR photos are robbing their listings of maximum bookings.

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Vacation Vacation Rentals does the same thing. Their recent foray into Matterport 3D photos is a good start, but ignoring HDR still photos causes them to lose bookings.

Turnkey Rentals out of Austin is trying to take over the world, but right there on their home page are fuzzy, out of focus, non-HDR photos. How could a management company call themselves professional when the number one listing tool - photos - are all messed up?

All of these companies talk the professional photographer game, but non walk the walk. And all because they refuse to spend the slightly more money necessary to find and employ high level HDR photographers.

Ignoring the absolute requirement for HDR photos is like the proverbial canary in the coal mine. If your manager does not understand the difference between truly professional HDR photos and wanna be professional photographers, what else don’t they understand?

Ron Lee – Not a Photographer
Signatour Photo Team
02/21/17

My Mother Was a Liar. Dad Too.

By Wm. May
Published: 12/31/16 Topics: Comments: -

. Read more

Westport Central Reservations Kick-Off

By Trina Flanagan
Published: 10/27/16 Topics: Advertising, Westport WA Comments: -

It was an absolutely stunning day for an absolutely stunning kick-off. The new Westport Central Reservations service opened its doors with a party for local businesses and lodging providers on Thursday January 26, 2017.

As part of the Westport Grayland Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours (BAH) events, everyone was invited to the luxurious Sanderling Beach House for food, drink and camaraderie.

But what made it special on this normally cold winter night was the bright blue skies, still wind and world wide views of the mighty Pacific Ocean just feet outside the house. Many local's had never been in the Cohasset Beach Community even though its right inside the Westport city limits.

The Sanderling's furnishings are top-drawer including giant windows overlooking that might ocean, gourmet kitchen, large bedrooms each with walk in showers, sitting rooms and comfort.

Westport Central Reservations, let's call it WCR is an online and telephone service from Plumbob Publishing. Trina Flanagan introduced the presentation which compared Westport to other great destinations around the Northwest United States.

Most tourism hotspots have a central reservation service where guests can find every lodging establishment in town, The goal is to make it easy for guests to find the locations, book a place to stay and earn about how the great shops, restaurants, events and activities.

That is the mission of WCR and to make a point - drawings were held for a vacation in Leavenworth Washington and a revolutionary High Dynamic Range photography session from Signatour Photo Team for a lucky Westport merchant. Plus everyone in attendance received discount coupons to visit one of the other destinations that Plumbob and tis related businesses serve.

Businesses can support this assertive new marketing tool by subscribing for membership and advertising. Lodging operators can pay a commission for getting extra bookings.

For more information about listing on WestportCentralReservations.com visit the Website or telephone Trina Flanagan at 360-284-7010.

Trina Flanagan – General Manager
Westport Central Reseravtions
10/27/16

AirBnB Racism Faciliated by Social Media

By Wm. May
Published: 06/01/16 Topics: Comments: -

Surely, building familiarity with guests and hosts is a good thing. The world needs more communication and personal interaction. But the very act of showing a photograph of every host gives racists the key to shunning people they don’t like. Read more

Server Crash All Night Bash

By William May
Published: 03/25/16 Topics: Self Improvement Comments: -

Getting good folks to work for you is easier than you think. All you gotta do is put yourself in their shoes, and do it literally. Leaders do the toughest jobs, not the easiest. Leaders must be outfront or they are really only stragglers. Read more

El Nino Looms; Don't Fret Too Much

By Taylor May
Published: 01/12/16 Topics: Comments: -

A magazine For skiers, snowboarders and everything snow started in 1964 now an online source of with news, comments, articles, photos and videos. If you slide, visit our Website and join the email list to get instant mountain info year round. Read more

Best Halloween Advertising. Cheapest too.

By William May
Published: 10/31/15 Topics: Advertising, Marketing Comments: -

Many experts will rattle your brain with every kind of advertising and marketing. But the restaurant - Two Doors Down - exceeds them all with their latest Halloween advertising idea. It may not be what you expect. Boo. Read more

BookingSync.com is right about photography

By Noel Poage
Published: 07/01/15 Topics: Comments: -

We have to hand a prize to Sébastien Grosjean, CEO of BookingSync a vacation rental software and channel management company. In his recent video posts he covers the basics of shooting photography. But how about HDR? Read more

Cell Phone Photos Are Not Just Fine

By William May
Published: 06/01/15 Topics: Comments: -

Would you think that major vacation rental websites would know photos are the number one method to attract more guests, more bookings and higher rates? So how come some think taking snaps on a cell phone is good enough. When good enough never is. Read more

Drones Will One Day Be Old News

By William May
Published: 05/01/15 Topics: Hotels, Photography Comments: -

Hoteliers are all anxious to get aerial photos of their properties from drones. Good idea and we do them. Here is why they would be better off to invest I High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photos instead. Read more

Website Magazine Warns Blogging Copyright Infringers

By Joseph Romain
Published: 04/01/15 Topics: Copyrights, Legal, Photography Comments: -

Website Magazine covers everything digital and in now is taking a strong stand to educate readers about how stealing copyrighted materials is a big no-no and one that will cost them lots of money when copyright holders catch them in the act. Read more

How to Choose a Vacation Rental Photographer

By William May
Published: 03/01/15 Topics: Photography Comments: -

Guest give websites but a few scant seconds to decide if it's professional, if it has what they need, and whether they are willing to look further. In one seconds, people read only a few words but glancing at a photo reveals dozens of thoughts and conveys quality, emotion, and content. Read more

Mouse in the house. Or Rats, Bears, Ants, Termites, Cockroaches, etc.

By William May
Published: 03/01/15 Topics: Property Management, Vacation Rentals, Wildlife Comments: -

Because second homes are not occupied at all times, pesky mice, rats, ants, cockroaches, bears, and other unwanted creatures have a sixth sense of knowing they are good targets. They give little warning which are unpredictable but easily resolved. Here is how. Read more

Expert Says Photos Best Return on Investment

By Joseph Romain
Published: 02/01/15 Topics: Marketing, Photography, Vacation Rentals Comments: -

Matt Landau, founder of VactionRentalMarketingBlog.com has some surprising insights into the top 10 steps that can help property owners and managers increase bookings and revenue. His research reveals much about photography. Read more

HDR Photography is not HD

By William May
Published: 01/01/15 Topics: Comments: -

Only one in every ten thousand amateur photographers, and only one out of a thousand professionals have an understanding of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos. That terminology has nothing to do with the common High Definition description of TV's and monitors. Everyone in lodging should know the difference. Read more

Christmas Trees Endanger the World

By William May
Published: 12/31/14 Topics: Government, Holidays Comments: 1

The latest target of political extremists is the lowly Christmas Tree. They have pronounced that live- fresh versions are terribly dangerous when located in public places, like hotels, condo buildings, restaurants and even correction facilities (Double speak for jails) Read more

Vacation Rental Pet Peeve Week

By William May
Published: 10/08/14 Topics: Comments: -

If anyone deserves to have a pet peeve, it should be people who manage vacation rentals. Although most people are friendly and kind, there are some things that drive people in this service centered industry nuts. Read more

A Map, a Map, My Kingdom for a Map

By William May
Published: 07/20/14 Topics: Comments: -

Folded like origami (Japanese paper art), maps have been an indispensible tool for travelers for centuries. But today with Global Positioning Statellites (GPS) and Smart Phones, travel can be much easier but it does require some common sense. Read more

Outdoors-For-All, the Heros Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: -

Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more

Crowing About Our New Mobile Website

By William May
Published: 05/01/14 Topics: Comments: -

It may not sound earth-shaking but Redstone Systems, creator of the HelpBook.me software has just added their evolutionary new mobile websites to our system. Check it on your mobile phone now. Read more

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DETAILS: We work to keep this information up to date, but details do change from time to time based on circumstances, often on short notice, and sometimes beyond our control. To verify any answer or other information you may need, please call or email us anytime. Allow a reasonable amount of time for response. Only legitimate inquiries will be answered.