What happens after a photoshoot?
So you’ve done it! You’ve prepared your hotel for a photo shoot and you’re excited about getting your images back. Mauro explains the importance of the post production phase and explains the top terms you need to know to understand the post-production process.
JHH: Mauro, you’ve shot more than 400 hotels in the past ten years. That’s pretty amazing! Aren’t you exhausted?
MR: No, not at all. I love it. I’ve been very lucky to shoot so many amazing properties for my clients.
There is a lot of hard work involved, of course. My team and I work hard to prepare the shoot list and look at weather patterns to try and identify the best opportunities for shooting. Casting the right talent for the shoot is also very important, and we work very closely with our clients to get that right.
When you put all these elements together, you have all of the ingredients for a great result.
JHH: What are the biggest challenges for clients with photo shoots?
MR: Interestingly, the two points at which we feel the client struggles the most are the two end phases of a shoot. The post production stage and the actual point where we hand over the images.
About post production
JHH: Tell us about what happens in post-production
MR: Post production is what we call processing the raw files and turning them into images to be touched up, colour adjusted and exposure corrected.
The final goal is to prepare the images to be ready for all kinds of intended use.
The images can be used across your brand’s digital channels such as websites, social media, TV and digital signage displays, iPads and smartphones. They can also be used across more traditional print media formats such as brochures, magazine ads, posters, billboards and directories.
The post production stage is incredibly important, as it can bring a lot of the work we did to life.
JHH: Why can this be a tricky time for clients?
MR: It can be challenging for the clients, because whilst we work with them very closely on all of the planning stages, and during the actual shoot, they don’t see most of what goes on in post-production. They can get frustrated when they understand we don’t simply hand over the photos hours after the shoot finishes.
Post-production is all about making sure the images are as good as they possibly can be. We put a lot of work into ensuring the final product captures everything we had set out to achieve in the planning stages of the shoot.
I do all post production with my own digital team and we have a saying ‘Quality is the only item that should never be negotiable’. We use image editing programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom, Phocus, for Hasselblad files, Capture 1, for tethered photo shoots.
What happens when new images are ready to use?
JHH: Why do clients also struggle when they get their final images back?
MR: It’s more that some clients are not as confident about knowing which images should be used for which channels. I explain it like this: Images will consist of 2 different types: TIFF files and JPEG files.
TIFF files are the master files. They are high res images, and are often as large as 200mb. These are the ones to be sent to magazines and printers. The resolution of these files is 300 dpi (dpi stands for dots per inch). This is the industry standard for print jobs. Typical pixel dimensions for these files are 8500 x 6000 pixels (horizontal x vertical)
JPEGS are your everyday usage photos. These files are smaller in both file size and image resolution. They are usually less than 10mb with 72dpi. You use them when you want to send your images to booking websites, to your web design team, for use in slide show presentations and in other kinds of digital presentations. Many hotels also use these images as backgrounds on their in room TV screen menus, newsletters and social media.
Pixels and other mysterious words
JHH: The language of photography is probably alien to a lot of managers.
MR: Yes, that’s true. Many clients also ask me ‘what are pixels?’ I try to explain it like this: pixels are the indivisible particles that make a digital file.
The more pixels you have in your images, the higher the quality and the more information you will be able to reproduce in your prints or on your computer screen.
What is the final step for clients before they are ready to start using their images?
Once clients have a good understanding of the two different file types, they’re ready to download their new images, file them and start using them!
We transfer all of our images through what’s called an FTP website, which simply stands for File Transfer Protocol. We use this because the images are too large to email.
Clients simply receive a link with instructions for download. They just click on that link and the download to their computer begins. Clients can also forward that link on to their marketing and design teams who can take care of the file download. At this point, it’s always good to rename the images according to your cataloguing system, i.e. property name_room aspect_date.
And that’s it! You’re ready to roll. You can now use your beautiful new images across your website, social media, advertising campaigns and so on. Digital photography can seem a bit mysterious, but once you know these things, it all becomes a lot clearer. I hope my explanations have helped.
Good luck. Ciao!