In Dessewffy street, right in the downtown of Budapest, a new hotel was opened (and then closed): Hotel Cortile. Photos of the interiors were taken in two sessions: the first session was in December after the rooms had been built, while the second session took place in April by the time community areas had received their final arrangement and outlook. The concept of the hotel design is to create a green oasis with colours, lights and installations. The photo shooting of the 36-roomed hotel with 4 room types was the first that occurred on a snowy day.
In the morning before the shooting 15 cm snow covered my Honda, and it was a challenge even to leave home. In the case of a downtown hotel, the view, where the snowy can be quite showy, rarely can be seen in the room images, except if the room has a terrace connection. Here the rooms had. The first, by the way, East-facing room photo was shot right after sunrise, therefore, the terrace was snowy and at the same time the room was sunny. Most of my colleagues believed that I was using a flashlight to pretend that there was sunny weather. Yet not, it was really like that.
Moreover, the sun was shining not only in the morning, but all day as well. We had chosen the order of the rooms to be shot in a way that we could have the most direct sunlight so that the photos would have warmer impression. One of my customers said a sentence once that has always come to my mind since then: Greg, we want guest magnet photos. We definitely did not have direct sunlight in all rooms due to the low incidence of the December sun. I use the application SunSurveyor to see the expected angle of incidence of the sun, therefore, I can always be aware when and where the sun will shine.
The April round. The hotel closed the next day
April arrived, and the rooftop pool and the community areas had already been constructed, so we could go for a next photo shooting round. Entering the hotel, our route crossed the lobby to the breakfast lounge, which also has terrace connection. As guests were scarce in the hotel by that time, we were not disturbed by anything during our shooting. Taking photos of community areas is always a challenge due to the presence of the guests, thus we try not to work during the time of check-in/check-out. We also have a method for taking photos of the breakfast lounge: guests usually can have breakfast until 10 am, therefore, after this time food shall be reloaded only to a slight extent, and the area can be immediately shot. Additionally, chefs always offer us some post-breakfast. This invitation ought to be accepted politely. During the late breakfast it was announced that borders would be closed up, and only Hungarian citizens could enter the territory of the country.
The rooftop pool
We intended to take a photo of the pool in the golden and the blue hours at any costs. This is a key point of Hotel Cortile. I aimed to take such photos that gives the prospect guests a feeling that they would love to see the sunset from this pool. Where the Cathedral can also be seen. We were just taking photos of the pool in the golden hour, when two guests out of the five remaining ones turned up. We were surprised, as we hadn’t expected that anyone would turn up at this low booking rate. PS. In the case of high booking rate, most of the time the given areas are closed up for the time of the photo session. We had not prepared this way, yet we didn’t get stuck, we tried to compose the images in a way that the two guests could bring some life into the photos. The threw the colourful inflatable cushions on the surface of the water, and then they started to take photos of each other at the other end of the pool. They started to use the space, and I could take a photo of them while they were using the space. This way the photos became even better than without them.
We took off with the drone in the late blue hour, since at that time the glass surface of the rooftop did not reflect any images. We didn’t have more than few minutes to take these photos, yet, we exactly knew from which angle we would want to shoot the photos of the rooftop and the pool, as we had fixed the compositions during the test flights made at around noon.
Photos published in Octogon Deco magazine
After handing over the prepared photos, I was enquired by Octogon Deco magazine to publish a collection of my photos in their next issue; therefore 13 of my photos were included in the 2020/2 issue, which made me really delighted. I already scheduled 3-4 photo shootings for this year in January and February. I profoundly hope that as the pandemic situation is getting better, tourism can restart, and you can read a lot of similar blogposts.