The Team behind Hotel Essence Photography

Photo of Michelle Chaplow


Professional photographer, Director and Founder of Hotel Essence photography

Michelle has 20 years experience in the field of luxury hotel and travel photography. She is passionate about all aspects of photography and especially the Hotel Essence project.

Photo of Joaquin Alarcon


Assistant Photographer

Joaquin has more than 15 years experience in working alongside Michelle on various locations around the world and in her studio. He loves working with models, is passionate about architecture and enjoys travel. A great team player. Joaquin studied Fine Art and Photography at Seville University.

Photo of David Doyle


Assistant Photographer

David has worked in conjunction with Michelle in numerous European assignments over the last decade. He has considerable experience in lighting and food styling. A keen sailor and skipper he crosses the Atlantic at least once a year – loves travel and culture.

Photo of Cheryl Gatward


Art Director

Cheryl has worked for many international clients – including the British Government, the Commonweath Secretariat and the Centre for Development of Enterprise. Cheryl is a perfectionist and her eye for detail and constant creative energy bring a unique look to every project she is involved with. From Art direction, production, co-ordination of props to storyboard creator, Cheryl carefully guards and enhances the clients image.

In her work as an art director Cheryl has had plenty of experience when it comes to digital work flow from camera ready images – downloading, key wording and cataloging to print – and also organising the photo shoot schedules. Cheryl and Michelle have collaborated for over 12 years on photographic projects.

Photo of Dennie Passion


Hair and Make up Artist

Dennie’s impressive portfolio includes ten years in fashion advertising and television contributing to markets in Miami, Sydney, Paris and London. Her Editorial credits include Vogue, Details, The Face, Elle, Harpers and Queen, Vanity Fair and Marie Claire. Dennie was a design artist and consultant to Trucco cosmetics and Rimmel London. Her most recent celebrity clients have been Mr Tony Blair, Jamie Oliver and Miss Dita Von Tesse.

Photo of Annie Bennett


Writer - Hotel reviews

Annie has been writing for the travel sections of UK national newspapers and magazines for around 18 years. She is the Spain expert for The Telegraph, for whom she regularly reviews hotels. She also writes about hotels for Elle and Red magazines, as well as for Time Out and National Geographic guidebooks.

Photo of Rebekah Thompson


Production Assistant

Rebekah is a genuine all-rounder, documenting production requirements assisting the crew, organizing props, liaising with press and P.R departments. A born multi-tasker and a scholar of Spanish and International Media Communications at the University of Nottingham.

Photo of Josephine Quintero


Travel Writer

Josephine is a travel writer who loves to write about luxury hotels. As a Lonely Planet writer she has authored more than 35 LP travel guides with destinations including the Canary Islands, Mexico City, Spain, Dubai, Tuscany & Umbria, Victoria (Australia) and Cyprus. She has also written and updated European travel guides for AA Publishing, Insight, Fodor's (USA), Cadogan, Thomas Cook and Rough Guides, and writes a monthly travel column for Easyjet inflight magazine. Josephine is also a professional copywriter with past clients including Kuwait Airways, the Gibraltar Tourist Board and Marriott Hotels.

Photo of Pam Elson



British journalist and stylist Pam Elson covers the fields of travel, interior design and gastronomy for glossy magazines and websites. She has worked as a stylist alongside many international photographers in London, France and Spain. The goal of photo hotel styling is to make a photograph look as though there wasn’t a stylist involved – naturally beautiful. This art involves a mastery of color, composition, style and design. Pam works with art directors, photographers, clients, project managers and others to communicate the desired impression. College educated she went on to work at the UK’s best selling woman's magazine title, specialising in home, food and lifestyle, and has worked for some of the UK’s major companies. She now continues to work in the field of styling for both international and European hotel and media clients.

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