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How to Become a Professional Lodging Photographer

By Ron Lee
Published: 02/21/17 Topics: AirBnB, Marketing, Photography, Property Management Comments: -

Becoming a professional lodging photographer has never been easier.

All you need is a camera and business cards. Just put the words "Professional Photographer" on the cards and people will think you are a pro.

Can you imagine a doctor getting away with that? Would you go to a dentist who says "I am a professional dentist" who didn't have the training? Yikes, those are big risks.

Unfortunately there have always been a greatly many people who love the idea of being an artist, a photographer. It sounds like such a great job. For Inns, Resorts & Vacation Rentals, photos are the way guests make instant decisions to view your property or pass on to the next.

No longer is it necessary to burn hundreds of dollars of physical film, toil in the dark room and only later learn if your photos were adequate. Now a good digital camera gives you a thumbnail view instantly that you can call "good enough."

But great camera gear doesn't make you a true photographer any more than buying your new born child a piano and pronouncing them a "Concert Pianist."

Today, a new higher title has been added to the photography professional. Its called "High Dynamic Range" or HDR and it is a vastly superior way of shooting, processing and delivery world class photography. It is a requirement for almost all photos, but an absolutely requirement for shooting interior architectural type images.

HDR Photos are crisp, clean and brighter, but only enough to match what the human eye actually perceives. But comparison, non-HDR photos are fuzzy, bland and actually under estimate and mis-represent the property.

Unfortunately most professional photographers are no longer professional because they are more in love with being "Artists" than they are in spending thousands of hours learning how to master HDR.

That means more lodging operators are wasting lots of money hiring pros or don’t' begin to understand HDR.

To see the difference between Pros and HDR Pros, all you have to do is spend a little time examining listings on your favorite websites like VRBO.com, Expedia.com, or even AirBnB.com.

A company called Evolve Vacation Rentals offers "Free Professional Photography" to property owners. Because Evolve does nor have on site staff they must call any "professional photographer" they can find and hire them without realizing that non HDR photos are robbing their listings of maximum bookings.

Headquartered in Portland, Oregon Vacation Vacation Rentals does the same thing. Their recent foray into Matterport 3D photos is a good start, but ignoring HDr still photos also causes them to lose bookings.

Turnkey Rentals out of Austin is trying to take over the world, but right there on their home page are fussy, out of focus non-HDR photos. How could a management company call themselves professional when the number one listing tool - photos - are all messed up.

All of these companys talk the professional photographer game, but non walk the walk. And all because they refuse to spend the slightly more money necessary to find and employ high level HDR photographers.

Ignoring the absolute requirement for HDR photos, is the like proverbial canary in the coal mine. If your manager does not understand the difference between truly professional HDR photos and wanna be professional photographers, what else is it that they do not understand?

Ron Lee – Not a Photographer
Signatour Photo Team
02/21/17

Westport Central Reservations Kick-Off

By Trina Flanagan
Published: 10/27/16 Topics: Advertising, Westport WA Comments: -

As part of the Westport-Grayland Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours (BAH) events, everyone was invited to the luxurious Sanderling Beach House for food, drink and camaraderie. It was an absolutely stunning day for an absolutely stunning kick-off. The new Westport Central Reservation service opened its doors with a party for local businesses and lodging providers on Thursday January 26, 2018. Read more

AirBnB Racism Faciliated by Social Media

By Wm. May
Published: 06/01/16 Topics: Comments: -

AirBnB is being unfairly criticized due to the socialism that some hosts have exhibited.

They have implemented a number of rules, regulations and oversight in hopes of stamping out unfair rejection of prospective guests. But it does not fully address the problem.

The Phenomymn is casued by one of the very precepts on which AirbnB is founded.

Surely, building familiarity with guests and hosts is a good thing. The world needs more communication and personal interaction. But the very act of showing a photograph of every host gives racists the key to shunning people they don’t like.

Reverse racism also exists but who knows to what degree. Surely some guests avoid staying with people whose race is different than their own, and also detectable by the photos.

Several websites competitive to AirBnB have popped up offering a platform that is safer for minorities. Innclusive.com in particular seeks to solve the problem, but they too ignore the obvious. Posting host and guest photos allows racism to take place on their website also.

So if AirBnB was serious about racism they would simply remove the photos from host and guest profiles. Of course, that would likely decrease the number of bookings because it would indeed be less personable.

Don't hold your breath waiting for AirBnB to walk the walk on this one. It is controlled by powerful venture capitalists all whose primary intent is maximum revenue, hoping for profit and looking for a giant payout when AirBnB finally goes public.

Avoiding racism isn't at the top of their list. Money is.

Wm. May – Director, VRIA
Vacation Rental Association
06/01/16

El Nino Looms; Don't Fret Too Much

By Taylor May
Published: 01/12/16 Topics: Comments: -

A magazine For skiers, snowboarders and everything snow started in 1964 now an online source of with news, comments, articles, photos and videos. If you slide, visit our Website and join the email list to get instant mountain info year round. Read more

Clammers Rejoice! Christmas Present from Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

By William May
Published: 12/16/15 Topics: Fishing Comments: -

Pardon the triteness, but, a Christmas miracle is in the works! The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife may allow Razor Clamming on Copalis beach during the Christmas holiday. Read more

Best Halloween Advertising. Cheapest too.

By William May
Published: 10/31/15 Topics: Advertising, Marketing Comments: -

Many experts will rattle your brain with every kind of advertising and marketing. But the restaurant - Two Doors Down - exceeds them all with their latest Halloween advertising idea. It may not be what you expect. Boo. Read more

Drones Will One Day Be Old News

By William May
Published: 05/01/15 Topics: Hotels, Photography Comments: -

Hoteliers are all anxious to get aerial photos of their properties from drones. Good idea and we do them. Here is why they would be better off to invest I High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photos instead. Read more

How to Choose a Vacation Rental Photographer

By William May
Published: 03/01/15 Topics: Photography Comments: -

Guest give websites but a few scant seconds to decide if it's professional, if it has what they need, and whether they are willing to look further. In one seconds, people read only a few words but glancing at a photo reveals dozens of thoughts and conveys quality, emotion, and content. Read more

Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk

By William May
Published: 01/23/15 Topics: Communications, Football, Sports Comments: 1

Why does Seahawks Football Team Quarterback Russell Wilson talk so much. Even have a well called play he can not shut up. Neither should you if you want to achieve the kind of success he has. Read more

Christmas Trees Endanger the World

By William May
Published: 01/17/15 Topics: Government Comments: -

This is not a story about prohibiting Christmas trees from governmental property due to freedom of religion restrictions. Instead, it’s a new taking of your ability to put a Christmas Tree in the lobby of privately owned condo buildings, restaurants and more. Geeeesh. Is nothing sacred? Read more

HDR Photography is not HD

By William May
Published: 01/01/15 Topics: Comments: -

Only one in every ten thousand amateur photographers, and only one out of a thousand professionals have an understanding of High Dynamic Range (HDR) photos. That terminology has nothing to do with the common High Definition description of TV's and monitors. Everyone in lodging should know the difference. Read more

A Map, a Map, My Kingdom for a Map

By William May
Published: 07/20/14 Topics: Comments: -

Folded like origami (Japanese paper art), maps have been an indispensible tool for travelers for centuries. But today with Global Positioning Statellites (GPS) and Smart Phones, travel can be much easier but it does require some common sense. Read more

Outdoors-For-All, the Heros Among Us

By William May
Published: 06/09/14 Topics: Comments: -

Donate your home to charities for their use and fundraising and post your generosity on VacationRentalAgents.com. See how the Ski-For-All Foundation gave property owners the great satisfaction of helping disabled kids and adults to ski. Read more

Fast efficient mobile websites for Vacation rentals

By William May
Published: 05/23/14 Topics: Comments: -

It may not sound earth-shaking but Redstone Systems, creator of the HelpBook.me software has just added their evolutionary new mobile websites to our system. Check it on your mobile phone now. Read more

Crowing About Our New Mobile Website

By William May
Published: 05/01/14 Topics: Comments: -

It may not sound earth-shaking but Redstone Systems, creator of the HelpBook.me software has just added their evolutionary new mobile websites to our system. Check it on your mobile phone now. Read more

What I do for a living

By William May
Published: 04/08/14 Topics: Comments: -

After a tragedy that has taken dozens of life in the small town of Oso Washington State, first-responders open the door to untrained volunteers after realizing they are better equipped at working in such difficult conditions. Read more

Varoom Vacation Rental Cooperative Springs to Life

By William May
Published: 02/23/14 Topics: Comments: -

Even with the thousands of advertising websites catering to vacation rental owners, guests often search in vain to find the perfect accommodations. Now the website www,Varoom.biz, the world's first Vacation Rental Cooperative matches guests with property owners and managers to increase bookings. Read more

Vacation Rental Huts on Wheels

By William May
Published: 10/15/12 Topics: Comments: -

How about a vacation rental on wheels, and no its not a mobile home Not exactly. Tom Kundig is an architect who had an interesting problem and more interesting solution. They're called Rolling Huts. You'll want to know more. Read more

Netiquette - How to Write an Email

By William May
Published: 07/18/12 Topics: Comments: -

RSVP: Not everyone remembers what this means, but if you need a response include it and/or remind the user to respond such as "Please let me know your thoughts one way or the other." Read more

Stealing Music for Your Video is Expensive

By William May
Published: 06/23/12 Topics: Comments: -

Creating a swell video for your vacation rental home is easier and cheaper than ever. You'll be tempted to use your favorite song to set the mood and reel in more renters. But becareful with which tune you pick or it will cost you dearly. Read more

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