Hotel Photography Shoot: Residence Inn at Houston Medical Center
In April of 2019 I was contacted for an architectural photo shoot of the new Residence Inn hotel by Marriott, built in the Houston Medical Center. While I photograph in plenty of hotels, often those shoots are for corporate events. I was happy to apply my architectural photography skills to a hotel interior. During the phone briefing with the client, we went over all the important details — time of day, amenities and suites to cover, and pricing.
Being as I’m based in Austin and the hotel was in Houston, the full-day shoot ahead called for an early-morning drive. I made sure I was well-rested the night before, so when morning came I packed up all my photography gear including my pole for elevated shots and my most powerful portable flashes.
Once I arrived on-site, I was checked into my suite and left my equipment there for a detailed walk-through with the client. I added more notes to the shot list we had prepared beforehand, then I began shooting the amenities of the property.
I set up and got started on the dining/lobby area. The client ended up using a wider shot from this angle instead of the detail below, but for the purposes of variety I’ve included the detail below.
Due to glare coming through the windows, strong flash was needed in order to control the light in the business area. Check out the video below to see a little behind the scenes of this next shot.
We covered several different room types, ones of them being the image below.
This was admittedly the first time I’d photographed the snack bar in a hotel. I knew that it would be a challenge due to the tight quarters, but I’m glad I gave it my best. The client ended up using it.
We experimented with having the bartender in the image and decided that the empty bar was most usable for the client’s purposes.
Here we staged photo with the concierge and another hotel worker. I asked if anyone on-site had luggage or a briefcase, and luckily we secured one as a prop for this shot.
Included below: Detail of the weight rack in the hotel gym.
Before sunset came, I had to plan out my exterior photos. Below I’ve shared my favorite exterior from the twilight potion of the shoot, taken across the street in a parking lot. This type of image can be difficult to achieve for several reasons.. The height of the building can make it difficult to correct for later on while editing (often the camera must be angled upward). Also, you encounter visual obstacles like pedestrians, cars and power lines (the latter which I Photoshopped out of the exterior photos).
Before retiring for the night, I snagged a request the client had: the fireplace in action. This was another tricky image, due to the glare on the glass not allowing much light out from inside of the fireplace. Like many of these images, I composited (blended) several different exposures for the best result.
The following morning we staged food photography in the breakfast area. Nothing says statewide pride like a Texas-shaped waffle!
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Homewood Suites by Hilton – Hotel Shoot
Commercial Real Estate Shoot – Barton Skyway
Interior Residential Shoot – Lighting Company