April 2018


Photography assignment at LAVIDA Hotel in Cataluña

Hotel LAVIDA is a four-star contemporary hotel situated on the PGA Catalunya Resort and Golf Course, Girona. It is a stylish and functional site with great connectivity. The hotel is ideal for visitors wanting to play golf and relax, with access to comfy beds and modern amenities; there is a swimming pool and an outdoor terraced dining area. The hotel even has its own pizza restaurant called Bella´s, complete with a traditional woodfire oven. Michelle and her team were commissioned to produce images for the hotel´s website and the OTAs (online travel agents). The subjects of this shoot included architectural exteriors, interiors, environmental portraits of the chef and stylish design details. As LAVIDA is a new hotel, the pictures were required with haste, so Michelle brought an on-site production team; this enabled Hotel Essence Photography to create images and simultaneously work on post-production.


Images from this shoot have already been published on Booking.com and The Telegraph, and feature in the promotion of the Italian interior design company responsible for Bella´s restaurant.


Crew Members:

Photographer – Michelle Chaplow

Assistant Photographer – Joaquin Alarcon

Stylist – Cheryl Gatward

Post Production – Marcos Medier

Production – Rosemary Trigg & Marta Ferrer


Testimonial by Markus Laahanen, Operations Director:


“We did a photo shoot recently in PGA Catalunya Resort and chose Michelle and her team to shoot our new LAVIDA hotel because of her style and professionalism most of all. We were launching a new hotel concept and needed the photos to speak the simplicity and elegance of the hotel. Her style is impeccable and she finds the best opportunities and angles. She understands and grasps the client’s desired outcome and concept immediately and works as part of the team for the best solutions. I very much liked how communicative and open they were during the whole photo shoot. I very much recommend working with Michelle”.

APRIL 2018

Three Nominations at the Color Awards

Michelle was presented with two Honourable Mentions and three Nominations at the 11th Annual International Color Awards. Read more about it on the Hotel Essence Photography blog.


Honorable Mention: Sun drying, Category: Still Life

Honorable Mention: The Birthday Party, Category: People

Nomination: Walking on thistles, Category: Fine Art

Nomination: Room with a view, Category: Architecture

Nomination: Welcome, Category: Still Life



Dear Michelle,
CONGRATULATIONS on being a Winner at the 11th Annual International Color Awards. 5,642 entries were received from 73 countries and your work received a high percentage of votes overall. Certainly an achievement, well done!

The Jury represented the industry’s biggest names and tastemakers including Christie’s, Paris; Grey Group, New York; The Art Channel, London; Ogilvy & Mather, Amsterdam; Publicis Conseil, Paris; Preus Museum, Norway; Art Beatus, Hong Kong; Netflix, Los Angeles; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Phillips, New York, who reviewed the entries online before making their nominations and honoring 709 title awards and 730 nominees in 33 categories. The Awards could not have wished for a better group of professionals to work with.

Congratulations once again, we wish you a most successful photography year.

Basil O’Brien
Creative Director


Route 66 on the old N-340, Andalucía

During Michelle’s continuous travels around Andalucía, she came across a very interesting bar called Route 66, which sits on the N-340 road near Tabernas, Almeria. The old N-340 was the longest road in Spain, at 1,248km, running from Cadiz (more specifically the nearby San Fernando) to Barcelona. It is often referred to as the Route 66 of Spain – inspiring this bar’s name. Just like the iconic road in the States, the N-340 has largely been replaced by the A-7, however most of the ‘old road’ can still be travelled.

Route 66 is a very unusual bar, with classic American cars parked outside and décor reminiscent of the old Wild West movies, including sunsets, barren landscapes and cacti. Many of the classic American black and white Westerns were actually filmed in this area. The owner has created a fantastic Americana style bar, without ever actually visiting the United States. When asked, ´why have you never visited the US after spending a lifetime collecting American memorabilia?´ (from barstools to vintage cars), he said: ´If I go I´ll never come back´.


Lorca Castle – Parador Hotel

Michelle has always maintained a loyal following at the Parador Hotels, and spent three years as an official Parador photographer. Lorca Castle is a fine example of historic preservation with a stylish contemporary twist.

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