Revitalizing Downtown: New Hotel Photography

With an ever-changing social scene, keeping up with the times can be an ongoing issue for older cities. Adding new modern hotels and highlighting renewed local attractions can be key to revitalizing downtown areas and breathing new life into an urban community. Providing photography of a new hotel is only a part of truly showcasing the experience a visitor may have when staying in these newly revitalized areas. Capturing surrounding attractions and local businesses can be just as important as highlighting the hotel itself, especially when appealing to potential customers. This was my task when I recently shot the new Residence Inn by Marriott, Jersey City for True North Hotel Group and Marriott Hotels.

Residence Inn by Marriott, Jersey City | Exterior - Architectural Hotel Photography

In a tightly developed neighborhood such as downtown Jersey City, it can be very challenging to find a good vantage point to shoot exterior images. For this particular hotel, it was imperative to shoot from an elevated location to emphasize not only the hotel, but also the surrounding businesses.  In a high traffic, busy downtown location this can be a daunting, if not impossible, challenge.

Nightlife | Jersey City - Architectural PhotographyRestaurant | Jersey City - Architectural Photography

While scouting locations to shoot the exteriors of this new hotel, I happened upon a newly revamped commercial district booming with restaurants, local shops and outdoor attractions.

Grove Street Path Station - Architectural Photography

Adding these types of photos to a hotel’s catalog of images, can help potential guests get a feel for some of the local attractions they may find interesting when visiting the community.

For an experienced photographer it is also important to know a bit about the nearby tourist attractions and local event venues. This new Residence Inn happens to sit on top of the Grove Street Path Train Station, which provides a direct route into the heart of New York City. Visitors looking for the New York experience while staying outside the city may find this to be a huge bonus when booking a hotel.

Views from the interior and exterior of the hotel are absolutely essential.  Imagery must draw the viewer into the space and give them a near personal experience with the property.

Residence Inn by Marriott, Jersey City | Suite Balcony - Architectural Hotel Photography

Waiting for the perfect light can be both agonizing and absolutely rewarding at the same time. You never know what tricks Mother Nature may have up her sleeve.  Certain seasons may give you a beautiful spring day or a late winter blizzard.

Residence Inn by Marriott, Jersey City | Lobby Sitting Area - Architectural Hotel Photography

A good photographer can highlight the best attributes of each space while diminishing other distractions. You may never know from these images, but this lobby is located on a bustling street corner with other businesses and plenty of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.  When and where that is communicated to the view can be crucial.

Residence Inn by Marriott, Jersey City | Lobby - Architectural Hotel Photography

By setting the scene, staging the lighting and shooting from the ideal angles, the lobby can shine on its own without being overshadowed by outside distractions. The same can be said for shooting guest suites as well.

Residence Inn by Marriott, Jersey City | Guest Room - Architectural Hotel Photography Residence Inn by Marriott, Jersey City | Guest Suite - Architectural Hotel Photography

The difference between dusk and day as well as various room angles can be simply stunning. The images above may appear to be completely different spaces but are actually the same guest suite shot just hours apart.

Residence Inn by Marriott, Jersey City | Lounge - Architectural Photography

While I have been shooting hotel photography for over 20 years, it is just recently that I have found clients are becoming more and more interested in including images of not only the hotel, but surrounding areas and attractions in their portfolios. The new Residence Inn, Jersey City is a perfect example of a hotel that should showcase the revitalized surrounding businesses and shops to potential visitors. It is always a pleasure to work with Marriott and True North Hotel Group to photograph their new exquisite properties. If you are considering upgrading your hotel portfolio, please contact us at Architectural Photography, Inc.: 888-688-5510 or visit