The Serras, Barcelona © Michelle Chaplow

Hotel The Serras, Barcelona, Suite 501

2020 Photography highlights

After many years of documenting my photography projects on a month-by-month basis, I have decided to change how I update my readers on this website. From now on, I will divide up my travel and hotel photography assignments into an annual round up, hand-picking highlights from spring, summer, autumn and winter to share with you here on my website.

2020 A worldwide pandemic
2020 was the year when we were locked down into our homes and curfews and empty streets became the norm; the year we grew accustomed to seeing everyone around us, even those on the media, wearing masks; a year of tragedy, with so many of us losing family members to the virus; and a year of kind gestures. Some say we have been fast-tracked into the future and that the workplace and academic studies will never be the same again. Yet so many of us yearn for human connection, and some revisit photos of festivals, poring over something that was once such a normal sight but which now catches our visual attention. The way we see the world has changed – even our everyday expressions have adapted as we learn to smile with our eyes. Here in Spain, the fun loving, tactile and gregarious Spaniards, who are strangers to the idea of personal space, have found maintaining social distance abhorrent – greeting each other with elbows seems so at odds with Spanish life.

2020 will go down in history and photography will serve as visual documentation of this extraordinary period in our lives.

Interpretation of photography during the coronavirus

In a blog post, Michelle reflected on how the pandemic has altered our subjective interpretations of images. She questioned how different people might now react to a photo of a crowded scene, for example. Read more here.>

Hotel photography must adopt a ‘new normal’

Michelle spent a long time contemplating and troubleshooting the issues that might arise for hotel photography in the wake of the coronavirus. How will a more health-conscious public respond to certain images, and how can the best impression of hygiene and safety be communicated to visitors and encourage them to hit ‘book’? Michelle offers some guidelines for the ‘new normal’ of hotel photography here.

Badly prepared hotel beds in a “Covid Cautious” world

Michelle has always had a strong aversion to badly made hotel beds – but bearing in mind the ‘new normal’ required for hotel photography, she wrote a blog post about the importance of capturing the perfect crisp sheet, especially during a pandemic.

Spanish Parador hotel love in the time of coronavirus

Spain’s ‘Paradores’ are a chain of state-owned and run hotels in historic buildings dotted throughout the country. Offered by the government to the authorities during the pandemic, these buildings could now be turned into coronavirus hospitals. Read Michelle’s blog post in which she assesses the viability of this idea and its impact on the cultural and touristic landscape of Spain.

Michelle´s expert opinions on hotel photography published in Boutique Hotels News

Michelle was delighted to have her expert opinions on how to create compelling and reassuring hotel photography during the coronavirus cited on the Boutique Hotels News website. Read more here.>

Stock photography of Andalucia, Spain

There are about 1000 villages and hamlets in Andalucia, and one major ongoing project at Andalucia.com is to capture an on-going library of images from this beautiful region of Southern Spain. This is a long-term project that has already been ongoing for more than 25 years; pandemic or no pandemic, the documentation goes on.

Andalucia in the Spring © Michelle Chaplow

Andalucia in the Spring

13th Annual International Color Awards

Michelle received five nominations.

Dear Michelle,
CONGRATULATIONS on being a Nominee at the 13th Annual International Color Awards with:

Nominee in Advertising | Red Wings
Nominee in Americana | 4th In the Park
Nominee in Architecture | The Lines
Nominee in Architecture | The View
Nominee in Still Life | Blue Back Kitchen

6,093 entries were received from 73 countries and your work received a high percentage of votes overall. Certainly an achievement, well done!

Photo shoot in La Val Hotel & Spa Brigels, Switzerland

La Val Hotel Brigels Switzerland © Michelle Chaplow

Hotel La Val, Mountain Spa, Brigels, Surselva, Switzerland.

This boutique spa hotel has been photographed by Michelle and her crew since 2012. Knowing a hotel so well has many advantages as the crew are instantly familiar with how the light rotates around the property, but on this visit there had been so many continual upgrades and renovations in the hotel that the photoshoot extended to 10 days, plus 10 days of quarantine for the whole crew prior to the assignment.

New Bathrooms at La Val Hotel

New Bathrooms at La Val Hotel
Room 12 Suite Tumpiv

The team’s shot list included new suites, bathrooms, gardens, communal areas, gastronomy, their award winning chef Rudi Moeller, landscapes and details that captured the essence of the establishment. They worked with local stylist Sonnja Haberstroh, who has a background in textiles. Since hotel beds are such an important part of hotel photography, her keen eye for detail was invaluable. Reflecting on her ongoing relationship with the hotel, Michelle commented, “It is very satisfying to see a privately owned hotel flourish throughout the years and to be a part of the documentary process; it’s a real privilege.”

Photoshoot at the Serras Hotel Barcelona, Spain

This is a five star boutique hotel owned by the Serras family and is a member of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts Lux collection. Carrying out a photoshoot during a pandemic does have its challenges, however, it also has advantages as the scheduling of room availability was much easier.

The Elegant Mediterranean Suite at Serras Hotel Barcelona © Michelle Chaplow

The Elegant Mediterranean Suite at Serras Hotel Barcelon

The shot list included all room categories:
The mezzanine Leve El Nine
Roof top dining & pool
Architectural shot of the facade
The award winning restaurant El Informal
Food photography
Michelin star chef portrait of Marc Gascons
New York-style Lobby
Hero shots for publicity

Hotel The Serras, Barcelona, Rooftop Terrace  © Michelle Chaplow

Hotel The Serras, Barcelona, Rooftop Terrace

Michelle and her team had the full cooperation of the hotel’s management and everyone worked together to ensure that the best possible photographic results were obtained for the hotel. All the images will be launched in a brand new website due for summer 2021.

Breakfast at Serras Hotel Barcelona © Michelle Chaplow

Breakfast at Serras Hotel Barcelona

“We were made so welcome at this boutique hotel that it really did feel like a home from home. With views to the Marina and a great location, this hotel is such a fashionable place to stay in this cosmopolitan city.” – Michelle.

15th Annual Black & White Spider Awards

Michelle received two nominations.

CONGRATULATIONS on being a Nominee at the 15th Annual Black & White Spider Awards with:

Nominee in Children of the World | Pure Joy
Nominee in People | After the Fiesta

6,378 entries were received from 69 countries and your work received a high percentage of votes overall. Certainly an achievement, well done!

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