Images can make or break the look and feel of a website, particularly with platforms that are as visually-driven as Vizlly.
Research shows that the positive visual representation of a hotel is the driving factor for travel shoppers selecting accommodations. As a result, it’s crucial that your hotel website features high-quality images that will convert potential guests.
Choosing photos to represent your property in the best possible light can be difficult. While your success team will lend their expertise to selecting which images are highlighted throughout your website, you should ensure that you are uploading quality content into your library to provide a broad array of images for your Content Specialist to choose from.
The process of selecting these photos means meeting a certain criteria for quantity, resolution, size, and more. The following article provides a solid guide for taking and selecting ideal photos for your Vizlly website.
Taking Your Own Photos
We always recommend professional photos be predominantly highlighted on your website. Taking your own images is possible, but is only encouraged when you are temporarily lacking the images needed to build out your Vizlly website.
In a pinch, if you are waiting for your shoot to be scheduled or have added a new feature or special offer that you want to highlight online, taking a few of your own images is an ideal alternative to stock imagery. When the images of your hotel’s photoshoot eventually become available to you, it is our best practice to highlight these professional-quality images over those that are personally shot.
Angles & Lighting
It’s important to have updated and accurate visual portrayals of your property online to authentically inform guests on what to expect during their stay. If you do not already have (or do not have access to) professional photos of your property at your disposal, here are some recommendations and guidelines for taking your own photos, or alternatively, ensuring the success of your property’s professional shoot.
- Use the best camera that you have available to you. Newer smart phones can produce fairly clear images but a DSLR camera is your best option. If you have a tripod, this will help to elevate your photography, but is not necessary.
- Always ensure that spaces are well lit as you shoot them and use natural lighting if you can. It’s best to do a photo shoot on a bright and sunny day, allowing the sun to soak your guestrooms and common areas. It’s important to travel shoppers that their rooms offer natural light, so make sure to prioritize images that feature it.
- Face the windows as you take your room images to offer the most flattering portrayal of a space. This will make them appear open, well-lit, and welcoming. Avoid taking photos with the light behind you, as images will appear darker and spaces smaller.
*It’s important to note that this isn’t always an exact science. Use your judgement to decide which angles best depict your property and provide multiple perspectives.
In terms of angles, go wide! Shooting a wide image from the corners of rooms will make the space appear larger
- Shoot from more than one angle to give travel shoppers a true feel for the space. The hero images of each room should face the window but it’s always nice to have a gallery attached to each room type, giving guests a chance to tour the space before booking. In Vizlly, galleries can be as large or as small as you like.
- Try to take your images in a landscape format as opposed to portrait. Hero images and large embedded images (a format used in the majority of our themes) are displayed in a landscape format. As such, taking the photography this way helps to ensure that they render best on your site. Plus, when thumbnails are auto generated, landscape images crop in a much more flattering way.
- Do not crop, edit, or compress photos before uploading. Unedited, raw images in the highest possible resolution are best for your website.
- Take your pictures from a 1 or 2 point perspective. A 1 point perspective means taking the photo with the sensor plane parallel to the wall. A sensor plane is simply the flat surface onto which the light is focused when you are taking your picture. 2 point perspectives are achieved by shooting into a corner.
Sizes, Aspect Ratios & File Types
Use the following multi-media guidelines for your hotel photos, videos, and virtual tours. These are intended to be used as targets for your photography. If this criteria is unattainable to you, do your best to achieve images with characteristics as close as possible to these recommendations.
Size – 2048 pixels (px) or more (on the longest side)
Aspect ratio – 16:9
File types – JPEG or JPG are best. Vizlly libraries will also accept TIF, BMP, GIF, PNG, or PSD formats.
Amount – depending on the size of your property and your profile of on-site amenities and facilities, this can vary greatly. Aim to provide at least 2-3 images of each room type, amenity, and facility that you hope to highlight or showcase online.
- Virtual Tours
In general, we don’t heavily feature or recommend featuring virtual tours on Vizlly sites. If you do want to include some, try to meet these guidelines.
Size – 7000 px by 1750 px
Aspect ratio – 2:1 or 4:1
File type – Raw JPG
- Video Slideshows
For your digital brochure, we always recommend including rich media to incentivize local travel shoppers to visit your website. If you don’t already have any produced, we are happy to prepare one for you using the images in your Vizlly library and a third-party software. When uploading your own, aim to meet this criteria as closely as possible.
Size – 1920 px by 1080 px (HD)
Aspect ratio – 16:9
File type – MP4 or FLV
Length – anywhere from 45 seconds to 1 minute is recommended.
- Full Motion Videos
Rich media is a powerful storytelling tool. If you have professionally produced videos of your property, we can feature them in our hotel gallery page.
*A great alternative to uploading your videos into your Vizlly gallery is to simply upload them onto YouTube or Vimeo and provide your success team with a link. This allows us to responsively embed the video directly on your website and feature it as prominently as you like.
Size – 720 px by 480 px (SD) and 1920 px by 1080 px (HD)
Aspect ratio – 4:3 or 16:9
File type – MOV, AVI or MP4
Length – depending on what you’re depicting in the video and where you hope to have it featured on the page, this can vary. In general, we don’t recommend videos shorter than 12 seconds and no longer than 1 to 2 minutes.
To download this information in a printable format, check out our Quick Reference guide to hotel media and keep all of our best practices on hand.
The more images the better! While we always want you to focus on providing quality content for your Vizlly library, your Content Specialist should have a wide selection of images available at his/her disposal. Depending on the size of your property, variety of room types, and selection of amenities, there isn’t an exact number that you should strive to meet. Find some general guidelines for image quantities below:
- Room types – Aim to provide at least 2 images of each room type, as well as a depiction of the washroom facilities.
- Amenities – Upload at least one image of every amenity on-site but aim to provide 2-4 of each if possible. Again, the more media the better, particularly for the services or facilities that you are looking to highlight with your new website.
- Property – This is a great opportunity to showcase stylish or welcoming common areas, your exterior, green spaces around the property, or any other hotel attribute you want highlighted. Aim to provide at least one image of each aspect that you would like to feature and label them correctly. Giving guests a full picture of your property is important – this means your common spaces too!
- Local area & attractions – This category is often overlooked by hotels when considering their property’s selection of images. We encourage you to provide any and all images of your local area that you can. Depending on where your property is located, we may be able to source stock images of your nearby attractions, but this is never a guarantee. Providing your team with actual images of the important attractions to your guests will lend more authenticity and personalization to your property’s website.
Tell the best possible story with your hotel images by following these multi-media guidelines for hotel photos, videos, and virtual tours. Every hotel’s story is unique, show travel shoppers why they should book a stay with you by providing them with an ample array of quality images.
For more information on selecting the perfect images for your Vizlly website, feel free to reach out to your Success Manager who is always available to offer their expert recommendation.
Written by Kala Cox, Content Specialist