© 2012 Mario Madau

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Anatomy of Hotel and Resort Photography: A Guide. Episode 10 Photographing Lobbies

Anatomy of Hotel and Resort Photography: A Guide. 

Episode 10:          Photographing Lobbies


Lobbies have to be the most difficult and most satisfying image you can take of a hotel and resort.  A lobby is usually the first interior a guest sees and feels. A lobby should recreate the feeling of home, of comfort and of romance.  As a public space a lobby has a lot to do.  The furniture and architectural layout of a lobby should encourage rest or  work( on tablets or laptops) within a seemingly transitionary space.


First impressions are always crucial.  That is why photographing lobbies can be challenging.


What is a lobby?  Is it the comfortable arrangement of tuffed armchairs and floral arrangements?  Is it the architecture?  Is it the front desk? Is it the lighting? Is it the fireplace? What about the vibe?


I say a lobby is all of these.  As a photographer, I’m always asked if I can get all of these into one shot.  There is the challenge.

I loved the architecture in this shot. 


You might get a shot of a really cool architectural feature, but then is that the ultimate shot of the lobby?  The front desk, which can be beautiful, also is not the lobby.

So the basic challenge is to try to get at the heart of the lobby you are photographing.  Many times, I will rearrange the furniture to make the shot more appealing.  Some times, I’ll bring in floral arrangements and large plants.  Sometimes, depending on the shot, I remove all the plants.  Every lobby shot is different.

This lobby had a huge walk-in fireplace.  I mean you could actually walk into it so I figured it should play a dominate role in the shot. The warmth of the fire and wooden interior invite the guest to sit and relax.


Time of day is critical as well.  Most of the time I shoot early in the morning or in the middle of the night so as not to affect the guest’s experience.


 This lobby had a cool vibe going on and I wanted to make sure the gorgeous exterior stood out.