Hank’s Annexe photography case study: Owner vs Professional

Oct 18, 2022smart marketing, Still photography, Websites

One of the comments we hear time and time again is, “Do I really need to invest in professional photography to get the best photos of my holiday accommodation? I can get really good quality ones with my own camera or phone”. Well, as professional photographers, you can probably guess our response to that. But to see for yourself, have a click through the case study slideshow below.

Hank’s Annexe case study by ACT Studios

The project

As well as being the owner of Hank’s Annexe and Executive Chair of the Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK (PASC), Alistair Handyside is a keen photographer. When this gorgeous new addition to the collection at Higher Wiscombe in Devon was ready to start marketing, Alistair wanted to get it seen as quickly as possible. So he took some photographs with his DSLR camera, which he uses (with fantastic results) for general purpose photography. The plan was to use these until images from the professional photo shoot he’d booked were ready. When he received his portfolio of professional images, Alistair got in touch with us. In his role at PASC, and as a board member of Premier Cottages, Alistair also has many conversations with holiday cottage owners questioning do they really need to invest in professional photography. So he gave us permission to put his photos side-by-side with the professional images to demonstrate why it’s so important.

How do we do it?

Have a look through the slide show above. What really jumps out is how much warmer and brighter the professional images captured by Marcin are. He’s done this by using specialist equipment during the shoot as well as doing a lot of skillful editing. (By the way, that’s all done by hand, for each image). Marcin has had years of experience honing his skills and throughout this time has continuously improved his technique. He is very talented! He’s really set the scene to help potential guests picture themselves there. The fire has been added, along with the sky. The door is open inviting viewers to step outside, breathe in the fresh air and take in those views.

A professional photographer arrives fully prepared. They’ll bring:

  • a full frame camera
  • lenses
  • a tripod
  • lighting

They’ll speak to you to find out what is really important to you. What is the killer shot from your perspective? But remember, they’ve been doing this for a long time. So they might see potential where you don’t. They’re often seeing your property for the first time, just like many guests do. So sometimes they’ll surprise you with an absolute knock-out image that you’ve never even considered before. You can trust the professionals, they know their stuff.

They’ll take multiple images from the same position, each one with slightly different lighting. Then during the editing process they layer these into one image. That’s how you can see outside as well as in. It’s so difficult to do that without the right equipment and editing skills. It’s about framing the shot right as well. That really can transform an image from one that’s nice to one that’s outstanding.

Photography results

You’ll receive a full portfolio of beautiful images of your holiday accommodation to use across all of your marketing. On your website, listing sites, social media, in adverts – both online and print. You could make some into postcards or wall art. It’s up to you. What’s important is that you’ll have high quality photographs that not only show the features and facilities. They’ll show the location and give a sense of space and perspective. Most importantly they’ll capture how it could feel to be there. Some of the images will be inspirational, akin to something from a lifestyle magazine. Perfect for Instagram. They can create desire. “I deserve to be there. I want to treat myself!” or “That is the perfect place to spend quality time with my family”. Images that not only stand out in a search, but draw people in so they want to see more.


Please get in touch if you’re thinking about booking a professional phot shoot for your holiday accommodation. We design and build websites too. So if it’s time to get your own website or update your existing one, give us a call on 0333 3446897.