10 Photo Mistakes to AvoidCamera300

by Emily Gerson

This is the second article in our series about inn photography. The first installment is available here.

1. Dark or shadowy photos. Take interior photos during the day so you can have your windows open and cialis sales take advantage of natural light. Turn on lamps and lights, and if you have a fireplace, light it up.

2. People in the photos. This can occasionally work, but more often than not, having people in your photos (especially in private areas such as bedrooms, bath tubs, or hot tubs) detracts from the property. Travelers don’t want to think of other people in those places—they want to imagine themselves there.

3. Low resolution. Low-resolution photos are either very small or blurry/pixilated. Make sure the photos are large files that are crisp and clear. They should preferably be digital, as scanned photos do not turn out very well.

4. Poor framing. Focus on one thing if possible, like a comfortable bed or a great breakfast dish, rather than trying to cram in too many things into one shot.

5. Lack of staging. Before you take the photo, make sure the beds are tidy and the room is clean and clear of clutter. Feel free to rearrange furniture for a photo if it will make the space look better. 

6. Too few photos. Your photos sell your B&B, so take advantage of the photo slots that you’re paying for. The more excellent photos you have, the more inquiries you should get.

7. Too many photos of surrounding area. It’s OK to put up a photo or two of nearby scenery, but make sure you cover all of the property basics first, including the exterior, bedrooms, the living area, the dining area, and the view (if there is a good one). Don’t use half of your photo slots for pictures of the garden or outdoor views.

8. Unappealing food pictures. It’s surprisingly difficult to take good pictures of food. When you take a food photo, look at it as though you are a guest seeing it for the first time. Does it look extremely enticing, or just so/so (or even unappetizing)? If your photos don’t make your mouth water, you should hire a professional photographer to take some shots.

9. Not changing seasonal photos. Guests don’t want to see photos of your property with a Christmas tree and wreaths when it’s the summer. Likewise, if you’re in an area that gets snow, you may want to sure that you have a winter photo of the property for that season rather than only photos of springtime.

10. Not using photo captions.
Is that the view from your property, or a lookout from a nearby area? Which guest room is that? Is that a common area or part of a suite? Write captions to help your guests know exactly what they’re seeing.

Results from our March Innkeeper and Traveler Surveys

We sent out surveys in March to both travelers and innkeepers to gain insight into B&B travel trends.  Below are some of the highlights from both surveys. Some of the most interesting findings are that many of the top 20 summer destinations for travelers are small towns, and close to half of innkeepers think rising gas prices may actually increase their reservations.

For the full results, click here to download the PDF of the traveler survey and click here to download the PDF of the innkeeper survey. This may not work if you use Firefox as your browser; if this is the case, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

Highlights from the Traveler Survey

How many trips are they planning and how long are they going?
Even with ever-increasing gas prices, nine out of 10 (90.3%) say they will take at least one weekend getaway this summer, and nearly two-thirds (62.3%) say they will take two or more weekend getaways this summer.   
Nearly two-thirds (64.5%) of travelers say they will take one or two long weekend getaways this summer, and 70% will take one or two week-long vacations this summer.

Where are they going?
Follow this link to see what the top 20 destinations are for summer 2011: http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/about/top20destinations.aspx

How do they choose where to stay?
When deciding where to stay, travelers rank consumer reviews the highest (49.6%), followed closely by photos (48.7%), ability to book online (44.4%) and friends’ recommendations (44%).

Why do they stay at B&Bs?
B&B travelers say B&Bs allow them to get away from masses staying at hotels, while offering unique, interesting, and intimate accommodations that are adult/couple-oriented.

Highlights from the Innkeeper Survey

How did their business perform in 2010?
More than three out of four (75.8%) said their 2010 revenue was as good or better compared to 2009, with more than half of those saying revenue was up 10% or more.
Almost 19 percent of innkeepers said revenue in 2010 was up 20% or more.

Are they optimistic for 2011?
Two-thirds of innkeepers (63.3%) said they expect their reservations to increase in 2011.  

Do they think rising gas prices will affect their business?
With no end in sight for rising prices, 61% said yes.
Interestingly, 40% of innkeepers think reservations will go down slightly due to consumers traveling less, while another 40% think reservations will go up slightly as people choose weekend stays over long vacations.

What led to success for those who had increased reservations?
Innkeepers overwhelmingly attribute online reviews (74%) for improved bookings in 2010, but also say social media like Facebook and Twitter (28.9%) and publicity (28.9%) contributed to their improved performance.




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