Welcome to Hotel Essence Photography

Welcome to our Hotel Essence blog, founded by award-winning hotel photographer Michelle Chaplow, specialist in luxury and historic hotels. Michelle shares her world of luxury hotel photography, and we also highlight individual Hotels from the cutting-edge contemporary to world-renowned heritage hotels.

To find out more about Michelle’s career trajectory, and the prestigious publications where her work has appeared, read her Bio.

We have sections on keynote speeches, hotel photography tips for hoteliers, and we share news on conferences, awards, interviews with hotel experts, exhibitions trends and travel.

Michelle also manages to find time for a number of ongoing Personal Projects, including the award-winning The Pool of Life, and you can read her individual take on various photographers, themes and topics in Contemporary Art Photography.  For friends who prefer to read in Spanish, a selection blog posts are also available in Entradas en español.

We do hope that you enjoy our Hotel Essence photography blog – you can Subscribe to the Blog and we would love to hear from you in our comments section.

The latest from the blog:

Instagram Hotel Photography

Introducing our new Hotel Essence Instagram where we share our photography of the finest hotels around the world, from luxury and historic hotels, to boutique and quirky establishments. Past assignments, #latergrams and #livegrams will keep you right up to date, and occasionally you can have the first sneak peek behind the scenes of the hottest new hotels.

Hotel Photography
Hotel Photography 
Everything on the feed will be related to hotels – we will cover architecture, mood shots, bedrooms, restaurants, pools, spas, lobbies, locations, #roomwithaview plus those all-important `Take me there’ Hotel Essence Photography details.

It´s taken us way too long to launch our Instagram feed, but now we have a spectacular store of superb hotel images to share with you over time.

Two recent photoshoots
Our first posts have included the new duplex apartments at Hotel Camiral, Girona, in Spain and the divine swimming pool at Park Hotel Vitznau Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, both are of these hotels are members of Leading Hotels of the World.

The New Duplex Apartments at Hotel Camiral Switzerland  The Pool at Park Hotel Vitznau, Switzerland © Michelle Chaplow

The New Duplex Apartments at Hotel Camiral Switzerland
The Pool at Park Hotel Vitznau, Switzerland

New hotels

We were thrilled to work on a new project for legendary hotelier Adrian Zecha and founder of Aman resorts, who in 2017 founded his own new brand Azerai.
His first property is now open in the UNESCO world heritage town of Luang Prabang in Laos. Simple minimalist elegance in true Zecha fashion.

Azerai Hotel Luang Prabang, Laos © Michelle Chaplow

Azerai Hotel Luang Prabang, Laos

Historic Hotels / heritage Hotels

The Alvear Palace in Buenos Aires, in Buenos Aires, the grand dame of South American luxury travel, was one of the first heritage hotels to be featured on the Hotel Essence Instagram feed.

It’s so photogenic, but the thing that we loved most about this hotel was that everyone we met, from the marketing team to the maids, just loved to work at the Alvear Palace – and it really shows.

A sense of pride to be park of the team at the Alvear Palace, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo from Hotel Essence photography Instagram

A sense of pride to be part of the team at the Alvear Palace, Buenos Aires, Argentina

It´s taken us way too long to launch our Instagram feed and we have so many photos to share with you over time.

Our Hotel Photographer

Michelle Chaplow carries out all the hotel photography on this feed with a professional crew providing production planning, styling, assistance and lighting – it´s a team effort from start to finish.

To see our Hotel Essence Instagram click here

Looking forward to the follows;)

Keynote on Historic Hotel Photography in America.

Michelle Chaplow will deliver a Keynote speech on Historic Hotel Photography at the Annual Conference of Historic Hotels of America to be held at the The Omni Homestead Resort, Virginia. September 2017.

Michelle Chaplow Keynote Speaker at the Historic Hotels of America Annual conference September 2017

Michelle Chaplow Keynote Speaker at the Historic Hotels of America Annual conference September 2017

Guests Crave Visual Stories:
Increase Revenue from your Historic Hotel Website and Social Media Channels with Strong Visuals.

Keynote speech by Michelle Chaplow, Founder, Hotel Essence Photography

Michelle explains clearly and concisely how to portray your hotel with strong images, and talks about the importance of visual storytelling. Heritage properties are already one step ahead for this, with their unique, intangible allure which has a huge potential to draw guests using tempting, atmospheric photography.

Too many times Michelle has been shown a hotel photo by a hotelier, and told “It’s actually much better than this!” Images can match up to the real thing – it’s a known fact that quality photography encourages social media engagement, increases reservations, draws customers in, and reminds your old clients just why they need to return.

Attendees will learn:

• Tips on how to organize a photo shoot
• How long it takes to photograph a hotel room
• Techniques to increase your social media engagement with high quality hotel photographs
• Expert advice on how to increase reservations with beautiful images


Expert advice from Michelle, on how to increase reservations with beautiful images

Expert advice on how to increase engagement with beautiful images

Michelle Chaplow is an award-winning British hotel photographer. She has 25 years of experience in the field of commercial and editorial photography and an impressive collection of published works, including two books.

Her assignments have taken her to over 60 countries and she has worked with many prestigious institutions and publications such as the Library of Congress, the BBC, The Telegraph, Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveller.

For the last decade Michelle has specialized exclusively in hotel photography. She has had the privilege and pleasure of photographing hotels in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and America, shooting some of the world’s finest luxury and historic establishments.

She is a member of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, Associate Photographer for The Most Famous Hotels in the World and Approved Photographer for Historic Hotels Worldwide and Historic Hotels of America.

Michelle Chaplow’s aim is not just to document, but rather to capture, the very essence of luxury and historic hotels – the intrinsic details that make a hotel unique, the inherent nature of the place. Her eye for capturing these details, and her genuine love for historic and luxury hotels, led her to establish her successful company, Hotel Essence Photography, in 2010.

Michelle and her Essence photography team work diligently to obtain quality visuals of luxury hotels. Over the years, they have perfected innovative, cutting-edge, high-tech digital photography and lighting techniques, ensuring that each hotel is captured at its very best.

Ask Michelle to choose between a luxury or historic hotel assignment, and she will tell you, a historic hotel every time. Why? Because, she is passionate about heritage hotels – when you walk in the door, there is that magical intangible sense of a bygone era. Also there’s the knowledge that this photo assignment is likely to be preserved for generations to come. Images that are captured today will one day become historical documents themselves, and as a photographer, she feels proud to play a small part of the hotel´s history.

This is the second keynote Michelle has delivered to Historic Hotels of America, you can read about why old hotels need new photos here and her previous HHA (Historic Hotels of America) keynote here.

Michelle Chaplow, speaking at Historic Hotels America in Hershey, Pennsylvania  2014

Michelle Chaplow, speaking at Historic Hotels America in Hershey, Pennsylvania 2014