10 Things I’ve Learned Working As A Hotel Photographer

As some of you know I worked as a hotel photographer in Mallorca the past two months. It may sound easy to some but the reality is: it wasn’t! Working 9 hours a day, at temperatures of 40°C at 80% air humidity, shooting families with small children who don’t want to be photographed can be really exhausting. In fact I was doing what I love but working together with so many different types of people messed up with my mood some days. + the heat made me feel exhausted all the time. 

I’m writing this article to sum up my whole hotel photographer experience. Here are some things I’ve learned:

It’s about quantity not quality.

What? Yeah, you’ve read it! In a company which runs a whole business with photography it’s about the numbers not the image quality. So sadly those people are in fact business people with great animation skills, not photographers. Photography still is art and should be seen as an act of creating a great piece of art. At least for me it is. No matter if I already took family portraits for 1000 families. I get the point that with a higher number of photos it’s more likely to sell more but STILL it has to be a specific quality in my opinion. 

Everybody can be a photographer (that being said after point #1).

I mean everybody sees himself as a photographer today. Almost everybody I know takes pictures with their phones. Which is not a bad thing but don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t make you a photographer. There is so much about this to learn and even me myself would say that I’m photographing for 7 years now but I would call myself a professional photographer only after my experience in Mallorca. I’m constantly learning new things, start to see new angles, compositions and more and more I see photography for more than just capturing a moment it’s about telling stories through it. 

Just because you have a great, expensive camera doesn’t mean you know how to use it.

Haha, how many times I believed that some people with great cameras I see must be really great photographers. Truth is: they have money but not the skills. I talked to some of the guests which had cameras about photography and gear but more than half of them told me they use it only in automatic mode. Appearances can feint.  Which leads me to the next point:

People are never as they seem at first, give everybody a try.

They may seem to be photographers at first but when you get to talk to them you realize they’re not. Kidding, why I’m writing this point is about giving people a chance in order to change your first impression about them. I stumbled upon some nasty clients who were unfriendly when I was asking if I can take a picture of them who later turned out to be really nice and even wanted me to take some pictures of them. Another really freaky looking family (everyone was looking at them in the hotel) turned out to be the nicest people I’ve met in this time.  

Conclusion: Normal people with ordinary life stories, try to understand and you will see the world different. 

Beautiful women have the biggest complexes about themselves.

What the hell ladies? Learn to accept & to love yourself! I got to photograph some amazing girls, really beautiful and photogenic girls. Guess what? They weren’t able to choose few „good“ shots of them. I can tell that I liked almost all shots because a beautiful person looks beautiful from each angle. But nah, not beautiful girls/women. Seeing women all ages being unsatisfied about themselves really made me sad. It’s hard to accept yourself but in the end you’re the one you have to live with all your life, so it’s easier if you love rather than hate yourself. 

„Ugly“ people tend to like most pictures of themselves.

Don’t want to say ugly because beauty lies in the eye of the beholder but let’s say random people, not the most photogenic ones tend to be happy about the results of a photo shooting. They just don’t bitch around when showing them their photos. I like those kind of people. Easy going! 

Taking photos of children is awesome.

I got to love it! They are just so pure and beautiful, their souls shine through every single photograph. Hard to photograph but easy to impress. 🙂

Most of the people have no idea about photography.

People buy over exposed, blurry what so ever pictures. Says it all.

Photography still is underrated and not valued enough.

„8 € for a photograph? Are you kidding me? I can print it myself for couple of cents.“ Seriously dude? It’s worthless wasting energy about those kind of people I had to deal with. BUT:

Photography gear is worth couple of thousand euros + editing programs + huge the amount of time one is investing on learning about photography. Could you all please take one moment to think about it before you expect somebody to take (and don’t forget the post processing) some pictures of you for free or before you say „Omg, that’s so much money, it’s  just some pictures.“ 

Thank you! 

Every experience brings you one step further

I found out that working with people can be really hard and challenging but also amazing! I used to capture mainly landscapes and stars but I really challenged myself to take a step further to communicate, to get to know people and start to capture also faces.

Photography teaches me so much about myself and my deepest fears and I really think that what motifs you photograph the most says a lot about your personality. Me for my part learned a lot through this experience in Mallorca and I am happy that I took the chance. It showed my clearly what I want and what I’m ready to do by being a photographer but it clearly showed my what I don’t want. 

AND it showed me that most people who spend one to two weeks in an all inclusive hotel are pretty boring because their lives are so random, working all day so when they’ve got some free time they just want to lay around the pool in the hotel and do nothing. Not even walking 2 minutes to the beach to swim in the sea … how sad, isn’t it?

BUT I also was lucky to meet some awesome, young families who made my time there a lot more fun. I know some of you are reading so – Thank you for supporting me and making me have a good time in the hotel. Wish you all the best. ♡

What about you? Somebody reading right now who worked as a hotel photographer? Where? How was your experience? 

Would you like working as a hotel photographer? 

Portrait, Beauty, Festival & Travel Photographer, based in Vienna.