interior design

Case Study: Interior Design / Hotel Photography - Images that sell

Good images are necessary in order to sell. All advertisers and photographers firmly believe that. But how much do they sell? That’s exactly where the guesswork often starts.

Usually interior design / architectural photographers take a lot of pictures, do their post-production magic and then deliver them. End of show. Maybe the client gives you some “ooh” and “aah”, but that’s probably as much feedback as you are going to get. For the past 4 months I have been working with a boutique hotel - - on Vieques, a small island off the Puerto Rican coast, in the Caribbean, on a complete re-branding project. It included new corporate design, website audit, new website, new mission, new social media outreach, new templates for collateral material and for all of that we needed A LOT of new photographs.  It ended up to be around 60 images to tell the story for publicity and advertising of the hotel and another 250 for social media purposes. 

The hotel had been in the market for over 6 years and recently changed ownership. The new management had a clear vision of where they wanted to go, and we went to work.

As photographers we usually do not get much insight into the direct effect images can have, but when you also get to work on the marketing, like in this project, you need to have access to detailed information to see what is working, and what is not. 

Below is a before and after screenshot of the hotel website. From old fashioned confusing design to a new fresh flat design that uses negative space, puts emphasis on images and is designed with mobile users in mind. 


Organic search increased over the first two months after launch of the new website by 180% and social media clicks increased by 250%.  

It is hard to say which role the images alone play compared to updated SEO and more efficient coding. But when we looked at the results on 3rd party platforms, where ONLY the images were changed, like Expedia and TripAdvisor, we got a better idea of the effect the images had.

At the end of November 2016 new images of the boutique hotel Malecón House were uploaded to TripAdvisor and the views grew in December and January by over 50%. It is quite a substantial increase for an already established hotel. But does this increase in views translate into more bookings? It does!  During the same period booking revenue increased by 32% compared to the previous year. Photographs do sell.

Follow me on Instagram at @stefan_radtke or contact me via email at, if you want to know more about how the right kind of images can improve your business.  

New BEFORE and AFTER page

A lot of my time I spent not behind the camera but in front of the computer screen editing images and doing post-production. I thought I would share some of my before & after images.

The "Before"  is the one photograph right out of the camera that serves as the base for the final image. "After" shows the final image after post-production, which is different in complexity for each image and can include color correction, cleaning up (cloning), straightening, changing skies, adding elements or exposures from other photographs, etc... The changes are often totally subjective and based on personal taste. There is no real right or wrong.

Just move the handle in the middle of the image to see the before and after effect and head on over the the BEFORE & AFTER page to see more of my post-production work.

before after



Before and After

In interior design photography Photoshop and Lightroom are your best friend. Depending on the subject it isn’t always possible to get the shot you want in one single frame. This shot below for Westchester Home needed to show the whole side of the room. Since the room was quite narrow this could have been achieved only with an ultra wide lens. The disadvantage of ultra wides is tons of distortion. Therefor I try to limit myself to a 24mm lens on a 35mm sensor for this kind of work.