Tuesday, July 12, 2011

TV or not TV?

As inns incorporate contemporary technologies into their arsenal of guest-alluring amenities, inn photographers and their clients must decide whether or not to include them in the photography. The answer is not always straightforward; however we do have some points (and photos) to keep in mind while mulling it over.

A modern unassuming TV can actually be a part of the decor.

Technology becomes dated quickly. Ask anyone who owned a Motorola RAZR. Or all of those suckers who purchased the iPad2 this past June only to learn of the better version with retina display slated for release this autumn. So, as your technology becomes passe or obsolete, remember that the photography illustrating such technologies will also become dated. For example, televisions have blessedly undergone a major facelift in recent years. If you are still hanging on to the big box models, it's probably best to keep them out of your photography, altogether.

With that being said, technology has its place in photography. Techno-savvy guests, business travelers and Reality TV junkies alike need only catch a glimpse of a tastefully decorated guestroom with a svelt tv adorning its walls or a snappy iPad posed elegantly in the coffee nook, and they may be hooked. Sure, you can list free wifi, iPod docks and televisions in the text of your website, or better yet, you could flash a snapshot or two on your homepage, and be certain that you are reaching those consumers who will probably not be reading the fine-print on your website while performing illicit web searches at the office.
Appealing to both iPod users and citrus enthusiasts.
You hardly notice the tv, right? TV addicts like me can see it just fine.
It's super-easy for the photographer to switch


Keep in mind that once a shot is set up, we can switch out props fairly easily. If you are tentative about adding technology to a photo, swap some out with more conventional media, and then you and your web people will have more options at your fingertips.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Amish Country Cool

Where historic meets hip, we found fast friends in Rebecca and Dave Gallagher at The Smithton Inn of Ephrata, PA. With a nod to local culture, the guest rooms have been tastefully accented with Pennsylvania Dutch decor, and are comfortable and immaculate as all get-out.

History buffs can appreciate Smithton Inn's pre-Revolutionary beginnings just as Bravo fans can catch up on Housewife shenanigans thanks to flat-screen cable TVs.

 Notwithstanding pastoral surroundings, guests can remain pleasantly on-the-grid as need be.

The rooms have working fireplaces--so cool!

Breakfast is 50% of the name. (In other words, why we really do what we do!) :

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Castle in the Country in all sorts of weather

Having enjoyed the property in all seasons, we wanted to take this opportunity to showcase some of our favorite seasonal photographs from one of our favorite inns, Castle in the Country.

Allegan, Michigan was a veritable winter wonderland when were last in town, and while the snow was piling up (lake-effect snow will apparently do that) outside, we photographed (and happily relaxed) in the recently renovated, fireplace-equipped Crowning Suite.
Lady Guinevere Suite with snowy views
Crowning Suite

Hot chocolate by the fire pit on a cold night
Same place, a little warmer.
Those of you who are familiar with our website have probably encountered loads of exterior photos of this property, which are some of our proudest exterior shots, hands-down. Exterior photography is weather-dependent, so we are always at the mercy of the elements. We are always crossing our fingers for cool cloud formations, extreme weather and colorful sunsets; and so far, the weather has never disappointed during our visits to Allegan!
Sunset at Castle in the Country
Clouds are our friends.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Consider us charmed.

Stately oaks and palmetto palms adorn the sprawling grounds that bank the St. Johns River in Orange Park, Florida. We were won over with perfect weather, breathtaking vistas and trademark southern charm at Club Continental.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some of that English Meadows Magic...

Rarely have we encountered such a perfect marraige between comfy and chic, but alas--we were made privy to the world of Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunk, Maine, and were instantly enamoured.

English Meadows is luxe--from the Frette linens and cashmere throws to the Malin & Goetz shampoos and soaps. The freshly prepared gourmet breakfasts courtesy of the culinary creative, Liz, are nothing short of divine. But here's the rub: despite all the luxury, guests must prepare to feel right at home. The most charming aspect of English Meadows, hands down, is the innkeepers, Liz & Eric. As photographers and as friends, we cannot wait to go back in June!! Meanwhile, here are some pics of our last visit:

Afternoon snacks
A cozy AND contemporary living room
We stayed in this one!
Another view of our "Tranquility Suite"
No need to pack the Ambien.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Down to the last detail...

In celebration of our recently published article in BnBFinder's March newsletter, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the topic of vignette, or detail photography. Since Christian began primarily photographing bed and breakfasts more than four years ago, he has been awarded myriad opportunities to digitally immortalize some pretty fabulous properties throughout the country. If we've learned one thing in our travels, it's that no two B&Bs are alike. Indeed, some lavish their guests with luxury while others strive to be that much sought-after home-away-from-home. Whether high-end or low-key, all inns could benefit from incorporating detail photography into their visual marketing portfolios. While full-room shots have an important place in your portfolio, vignettes pack more emotional punch and convey the experience you wish to sell to your prospective clients. Every B&B that we've encountered--large, small, upscale or down-home--has something special to offer its guests. Now, get out there and photograph it!

And now, without further ado, some photos:

Full room 

Full-room's super-sassy sister--the vignette
Same room, in detail
Full Room
Vignettes with people add "life" to the photograph.
Packages offer some great vignette photo ops.
A detail of a picnic on your grounds illustrates that you offer fun specials AND boast a beautiful property!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Photos from Maine

We've just arrived home from a lovely trip to the Maine Stay Inn. It was great to see old friends and fun to photograph the latest fruits of their labor since recent renovations. The Hauer family never stops updating and improving upon their beautiful property, a thriving Kennebunkport B&B.  Here's a look at a few of the before and after photos of a newly renovated cottage:
The latest look!
Before renovations '09

Bed detail (before)
Bed detail (after)
Fireplace detail (after)
Meanwhile, we enjoyed snapping a few food photographs courtesy of Johanna Hauer and her culinary genius in the kitchen:
Johanna's savory spinach crepes

Johanna's raspberry chocolate mousse in chocolate cup

Parmesan French Toast by Johanna