Cabins, bothies and shepherd’s huts photography
I’m lucky enough to live in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, and over the last few years I’ve received a fair few enquiries from new businesses looking for a glamping photographer. These rural retreats range from remote off-grid havens to farm-based cosy cottages and it’s been a real privilege to work in such lovely surroundings with clients who are so dedicated to providing something really special for their guests.
From a professional point of view, there are lots of elements that need to be covered for glamping website photography. The images must be compelling and persuasive enough to encourage bookings in a very competitive market. I use a whole variety of techniques for all these shoots – because my clients need both enticing interior shots that would give a strong idea of what it’s like actually staying in a log cabin, as well as emotive outdoor photographs to reflect the proximity to nature.
Rural location glamping photographer
Hilltops, ancient forests, woodland glens, a wildflower meadow and the shores of a lake – just some of the stunning locations I shot for these assignments. Unlike mainstream hotel, restaurant and other hospitality photography, the landscape and surroundings of glamping sites and dwellings is arguably as important as the destination itself.
Guests are looking for off-grid seclusion and true wilderness (or at least a feel of it) so the great outdoors needs to be centre stage and impactful. As ever, the weather comes into play, and during these shoots getting the light just right is critical. I wanted to capture rising mists and dusk falling, ideally a sunset or two and perhaps the sunshine hint of early morning, all to convey the beauty of the natural setting.
Cabin and hut interiors photography
Working as a glamping photographer can require a good deal of creative thinking to overcome many of the technical challenges. Getting the ideal viewpoint in a small but perfectly formed interior sometimes means there isn’t even enough space for me to be in the room when I press the shutter. The new technology in my latest cameras is absolutely amazing. They have Live View remote control so I can line up the shot, then step out of the room to trigger the camera remotely from my phone.
Sometimes it’s physical flexibility that gets me through a tight spot. I’m 6 feet tall, and trying to photograph a mezzanine bedroom with limited ceiling height means I might have to press myself into a small corner or squeeze under a table to get the shot.
What all these sites have in common though, is great design flair and some lovely texture and colour details, from vintage signs and agricultural tools mounted on a wall to the warmth of exposed wood and rugs, cushions and textiles. It’s always good to have a focal point too, whether that’s a jam jar with wildflowers or a weathered board with a loaf of homemade bread; detail shots add ambience and character and give that on-trend lifestyle edge.
Another crucial factor when working as a glamping photographer for marketing cabin, bothy or shepherd’s hut businesses is conveying the aspirational experience – the peaceful, relaxing change of scene that their guests will enjoy when they stay there.
Most have an area of raised decking, and often a funky, rustic freestanding bath or hot tub plus a seating spot. Here is when evening or night shots can be incredibly effective, with candles and festoon or fairy lights coming into their own. It’s amazing how tealights round a bath and a couple of glasses of fizz strategically placed instantly produces an inviting glow and a desire to sink below the surface of the steaming bubbles. Firepits are another excellent prop, though care needs to be taken from a technical point of view to balance the different light sources. Above all, often my hero shot would be one that conveys the comfort and style but also captures the closeness to nature and the great outdoors. Nail that, and that’s your home page image right there.
Business owner photography
I find that the people behind small businesses are often reluctant to have their photograph taken and underestimate the value of having a human face for their guests to relate to. I think it’s so important, especially for anything involving hospitality. For the enterprises featured here, I wanted to make sure that personalities and passion shone through, and tried to put them at their ease in their natural habitat – whether that was with their family, feeding hens or out and about on the farm. Their dedication and creativity was so clear to me as I talked to them during the shoot, and that in itself is a wonderful selling point for a small business.
Glamping photographer in a nutshell
Cabins, shepherd’s huts and bothy businesses are springing up rapidly all over the UK, so the competition is growing fast. In order to stand-out in this increasingly crowded marketplace, your website and especially your photography, need to be very high quality, with excellent design and styling. Don’t rely on your iPhone for this one, use a glamping photographer, especially if you want your creations to get picked up by travel writers and appear in the media. Ultimately, this is perhaps even more important than offering a Full Scottish Breakfast . . . .
Here are links to some of the wonderful creations I have featured in this blog (I love all the names)…
- Nether Glenny Bothy
- Dreamcatcher Cabins
- Arcadia Glamping Cabins
- Finglen Cabin and Shepherd’s Hut
- East Cambusmoon
You can see more of my Architecture and Interiors here and if you’d like to chat about photography for your glamping, self-catering cottages or B&B business, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 07887 676002.