Case Study – photographing phases of a hotel refurbishment

Sometimes I have the opportunity to work on projects at hotels that require multiple return visits, making me feel like I’m part of the team. One such assignment was at Danubius London Regents Park.

The hotel recently appointed a new General Manager who initiated an extensive soft refurbishment of various areas within the hotel. Each time a section was completed, I was called in to capture photographs. I tend to think of properties I’ve photographed as old friends, so after several visits here, I felt quite familiar with the hotel.

Starting with Photographing Bedrooms

We began with the bedrooms. Unfortunately, being mid-January, I found myself grappling with the challenges of low winter light and short daylight hours. This compounded the difficulty with room lighting, as each light source emitted a different color temperature, resulting in blue or orange glows. To tackle this, I employ a technique of shooting different frames with each light source and then merging them together in Photoshop. This process involves spending some time in the bedroom, toggling lights on and off, and firing flashes in various directions—perhaps appearing a bit eccentric to an outsider.

With 370 bedrooms and a variety of room types, I returned several times as each floor was completed. Naturally, I didn’t photograph every single room, but we worked our way down from the master suite, boasting glorious views over London and a stunning bathroom, to the ground floor, where I captured shots of the public spaces, including Minskys restaurant where breakfast is served, and the Pavilion Bar.

Then the public areas

The Pavilion Bar is a remarkable space; despite its size (reflective of the hotel’s scale), it’s been thoughtfully designed to feel intimate and inviting. Its name pays homage to the hotel’s proximity to Lords Cricket Grounds—I can only imagine how bustling it might get on match days.

The hotel specializes in hosting international guests, with its location adjacent to Regents Park being ideal for visitors to London, catering to both business guests during the week and leisure travelers on weekends. Additionally, the hotel has a contract to accommodate Air Canada crews, some of whom I had the pleasure of meeting very early one morning when I shot the reception and lobby area. Like many bustling hotels, it’s often impractical to photograph these areas at any other time, as I would inevitably be in the way of guests. Nevertheless, it was worth it, as the Air Canada pilots were incredibly charming.

Danubius Hotel, London Regents Park

Shooting a refurbishment is a bit of a juggling act; the photographer needs to slot in between contractors leaving and guests arriving. However, the importance of capturing images cannot be overstated. Exceptional photography is crucial for marketing, especially when showcasing a freshly refurbished hotel.

The impact of professional hotel photography

asked my client if the photography had made an impact on marketing efforts, and he responded with a resounding yes, stating that every image on the website was one that I had captured.

We’re not quite finished yet; I have another visit scheduled in a few weeks to photograph the meeting rooms. As a professional hotel photographer based in London, I am committed to providing high-quality images that showcase the beauty and uniqueness of each property.

Art Deco Hotel Bar, Palm Court, South Devon