Neil will be providing helpful top tips so you can produce high-quality images without paying for a professional photographer. To help you get to know him, here are eight of his favourite hospitality shots – examples of what you could reproduce for your own business. By Juliet Horner
Neil Fraser is a professional photographer of interiors, architecture and design.
His passion for high quality imagery has taken him all over the world. His work has featured in a number of magazines, reports, brochures and various marketing materials.
Can’t afford a professional photographer?
Neil has a wealth of knowledge concerning holiday home photography.
Neil will be contributing to the next few magazines to provide insight and experience to help you with your own holiday home photography skills.
Starlight Cottage Shephards Hut
Neil said: “I tend to come across a lot of shepherds huts and many look very similar but I particularly liked the sheep-themed decor in this one!
“They are small and cozy which makes them difficult to photograph. It is however their main selling point. The trick is to make them look snug and inviting. A place for a couple or single person to get away and relax.
“To make your photos feel warm, switch on the lights and maybe add some sparkle with fairy lights. If you know what you’re doing with photography software add a subtle warming filter. If you have a wider lens for your camera this is where you’ll need it.
“I timed this shoot for golden hour, shortly before sunset, so that I could get some deep blues in the sky outside. This wasn’t totally successful due to a big bank of cloud moving in. You just can’t rely on the UK weather.”
Chateau de Montoussel
Neil said: “This beautiful chateau in the heart of the french countryside near Toulouse was possibly my favourite shoot. They had three gîtes to photograph, each with very distinctive decor.
“The owner had worked in fashion so knew the value of subtle styling when it comes to capturing engaging images.
“The object of this shot is not to simply show the space but to show genuine features and, through subtle styling, humanise the space and have the viewer aspire to be there.”
Neil said: “This gîte located between Bordeaux and Toulouse was a joy to photograph. The owners were on hand to help out whenever needed and, very important this, had cleaned, so the place was spotless.
“It may seam odd that this is one of my favourite shots from the shoot. It’s not an image that gives much information of what the rooms are like or the layout of the building. It does however, when used alongside images that do, add plenty of atmosphere.
“It was a bright and sunny French summer’s day but this part of the house was north facing. There was no direct sun resulting in lovely soft light, which, in conjunction with the ajar door adds a sense of mystery. The viewer wants to know what lies beyond.”
Neil said: “This former keepers cottage was a local job for me so it was easy to arrive early and work out the best angles to photograph the property from.
“The building is tucked away on its own in the Sussex countryside with no neighbours, which is obviously a huge selling point. I needed an image that placed the property in its surroundings. I did this by taking a wider shot and setting the tree and foliage in the foreground to frame the building. It’s one of my favourite images because everything fell into place, from the composition to the morning light, showing off the wonderful setting.”
Chateau de Montoussel
Neil said: “This was another of the gîtes at the chateau. I love the warm and inviting colour palette of these two photographs. Again the styling is not in-your-face but subtle and understated.
“The props are towards the back of the table in order to not dominate the photo or look deliberately placed. I have matched the colours of the props to the distinct gold, brown and green colour palette of the room.”
Neil said: “Sometimes less is more. This small converted barn near Bodiam Castle in East Sussex had a beautifully designed interior with very graphic lines and shapes.
“The classic design of the chair would have been hidden had I added a prop blanket, as I often do. The cushion mirroring the red of the picture is all that was needed.
“Switching on the lights makes the hall behind the stairs warm and inviting rather than it looking dark, shadowy and cold.
“The conversion was very recent so there were no scuffs and scratches on any of the walls which makes my life much easier.”
Hause Hall Farm
Neil said: “I love the Lake District and this photo showcases one of its many incredible views as seen from this stylish converted farm house. I took this image for the property owner and also the hot tub rental company.
“Shot on a very cold and crisp January morning the model, on this occasion my wife, was brave to make it to the tub along an icy path in her swimsuit. She was very happy once she was in though and didn’t want to leave when we’d finished!
“When setting up the shot light was key. This is why we were there early to catch the sun rise. Sunrise/sunset is when the light is at its most dramatic and also doesn’t cast such strong shadows. Meaning you retain information in the shadow areas of the picture. I had worked out from which direction the sun would rise/set prior to arriving so that I would be shooting at the perfect time.”
Neil said: “Castle Cottage B&B is a fantastic rental, consisting of a large converted summer house, a converted barn and a really impressive tree house. The tree house could easily have just been teleported from Africa.
“This shot of the converted barn shows a lot of busy detail. I enjoy the shabby chic aesthetic but when there is a lot of clutter, it does tend to make it harder to ensure there’s nothing unwanted in the frame. The image shows both key architectural and decorative details as well as giving a good idea of the space.”