Articles by Michelle Chaplow
In these three sections, you can find a wide variety of articles on Michelle’s areas of expertise: travel and luxury hotel photography.
Travel Photography Articles by Michelle Chaplow has advice about taking photos while traveling, while Hotel Essence Photography Blog is a mine of information on everything to do with photographing luxury hotels all around the world. In Huffington Post blog entries by Michelle Chaplow you can read about interesting travel and hotel photography-related topics which have caught Michelle’s eye, and captured her imagination.
Michelle explains how to get the best out of your trips in photographic terms, both in Spain and abroad generally, covering many crucial aspects including the technical side and practical tips too.
When taking photographs in Spain, whether architectural photography, reportage or contemporary photography, she explains the importance of relating to local people whom you wish to feature in your photo shoot (and suggestions for how to capture them), and the central role of food in a Spanish culture, making it a key theme for imagery.
A very pertinent point when taking photographs in Spain is to use your “foreign eyes” – your perspective as a foreigner here, whether the country is new and unfamiliar to you, or you’ve been living here for decades. Your view of what is interesting will affect your perspective on any subject – angles, colours, shapes, your creative approach will produce images which appeal to the eye of your own particular audience. Even if Spanish people can’t see what is interesting about a ceramic tile, a donkey or a flower, you know that the vivid tones, forms and details will thrill every reader, client or editor back home.
As a photographer, you will inevitably travel by plane with your equipment, which can pose specific logistical and security challenges. As a hotel photographer who travels many thousands of miles every year for photo shoots, Michelle has years of experience to share, with clever insider tips for transporting camera gear – and a top tip wherever you’re headed: always make a note of relevant geographical and historical details of the places and people which you have photographed, for effective and accurate key wording.
Michelle writes for the US edition of the “Travel Vertical” – her areas of expertise are luxury hotel photography, travel photography and photography in general. On her travels around the world, Michelle is often captured by exotic details spotted in the hotels which she is shooting as an expert luxury hotel photographer.
As someone who has organised and carried out countless complex hotel shoots, Michelle explains that selling your hotel through superb, tantalising images is the fastest and most effective way to grab someone’s attention, and often through a well-chosen detail which excites the imagination. It’s all about visual storytelling – intrigue and anticipation.
She also offers inside information on a James Bond movie, and which hotels the actors prepared themselves in, and shows her love the quirkier side of luxury travel with a post about 10 teddy bears (eight bears, a cat and a tiger, to be exact) from hotels around the world, from chefs to colonial.
Michelle’s greatest love is Andalucia, and this passion for southern Spain and its stunning hilltop villages, with white houses sprawled across slopes topped by Moorish castles, or Mudejar churches, shines through as she describes her top five most photogenic villages in Andalucia. As Michelle explains, don’t spend your time in these places hunting down a particular angle or view that you’ve seen elsewhere; if you wander round with no fixed plan, you’ll come across wonderful sights begging to be photographed. Which is why Andalucia is one of the most satisfying parts of Spain, and the world, to photograph.
Covering a wide range of topics related to luxury hotel photography, this blog has a number of categories related to hotels and travel – awards Chaplow has won as a photographer; keynote speeches and conferences attended; interviews with interesting hotel personalities; food photography, and finally Michelle’s own personal projects of contemporary art photography.
If you’re a luxury hotel owner, or indeed an owner of any hotel, Michelle has generously posted her own invaluable (and free) hotel photography tips which are a must-read. From choosing a hotel photographer and managing a hotel shoot, to the importance of your hotel’s location in photography. Although it may sound obvious, many hotels do not make the most of their magnificent location, whether in a buzzing city, stunning countryside, or an idyllic beach or lakeside spot.
And it’s not just about the hotel’s immediate surroundings, but also nearby attractions, such as natural attractions, cultural draws, and globally recognised landmarks – Big Ben, Sydney Opera House and the Tour Eiffel are three obvious examples. And experiences and adventures further afield from the hotel are also key for today’s clients, from church tours to wine routes. Renewing hotel photographs is also key, says Michelle. Publications are looking for fresh images, and Social Media is a key element in any hotel’s marketing – for which visuals are the main storytellers.
Top hoteliers and consultants have given Michelle the scoop on running hotels with status, history and pedigree which make them the envy of establishments on every continent.
Michelle, who has won a number of awards over the years for architectural and contemporary art photography, has given keynote speeches at several hotel conferences all over the world, from India to the US to Spain. She has talked about topics related to hotel photography, and its crucial importance in offering the most alluring images to attract clients, offering the inside scoop on her work capturing the very essence of the world’s finest luxury hotels.