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To design the right photo service it's important to provide standard photos for your activity so that you guests receive a consistent service and it becomes a natural part of your photographers' workflow. The specific photos that you choose for your activity are called photo locations and this post is the first in a series that will help you choose those locations.

This post covers the 5 foundational priorities of every photo service. Regardless of workflow or technology, you'll want to follow these 5 priorities when choosing photo locations. This post provides 5 priorities, in order, that you should follow when deciding where you want to take photos and videos.

The priorities are represented as a pyramid with the highest priorities at the top.

Choosing Photo and Video Locations (1)Safety

Safety is always the first and top priority for any activity! Safety is the most important thing to consider when choosing photo locations. You want to consider the safety or your guests and the photographer when you are choosing a photo location.

Never choose photo locations that require guests or photographers to circumvent any safety procedures, whether having them placed in unsafe positions, or by defeating any safety equipment, even temporarily.

Guest Experience

Next you want to effectively capture the guest experience, you want to pick the moments that enhance the experience that they are going to remember. Remember that intentional photos convert guests into advocates far better than random action shots.

Every activity has some unique features that can be highlighted in photos. You know your activity best, after all you do it every day. Each guest is often only there once and they won't know when, where, or how to take the best photos.

Long Point Eco Adventures - 2018-09-23-14-50-34-742-qcep-1Here's an example of a unique tree on a course where the guests would never know to stop and take a photo.

As you're waiting for guests to all arrive at the next activity location you can use that time to take photos of the guests who are waiting.Long Point Eco Adventures - 2018-09-23-14-14-13-692-qcdn-1

Having a variety of predetermined shots lets you enhance any guests experience. If they're the daring type have them lean off a platform like in this example. They'll do something they probably wouldn't have done otherwise. And you can take a photo that they wouldn't have been able to take on their own. We have more details in our blog post Improve Guest and Staff Experience with your Photo Marketing Service.


Time is also important as we know most activities have a schedule to keep. Keep in mind how much time you have while planning when and where to take photos and videos. You want to choose locations that fit within the schedule.

Think about your standard tours and activities and identify points along the activity when you have some spare moments to take photos and videos. Some natural opportunities might be:

  • When guests are first getting ready and are waiting to start.
  • Maybe there's a water break at the halfway point.
  • While waiting for guests to leave or arrive between different activity locations.


Next up is consistency. One of the reasons we recommend standard locations during your experience is because you will get to know the best way to photos and videos at each location. If you make standard photo locations a part of every activity then you will know how to take the right photo at each location at every time. Keep in mind that Intentional Photos Convert.

Just like any other part of your activity you want every guest to come away with the best experience. You certainly don't make it up as you go along for your main activity, so don't do that for your photo service either.

Remember, your guests are usually only there once. They won't know that you repeat the same shots for different groups.

Long Point Eco Adventures - 2018-09-22-12-54-38-450-q6lp-1Long Point Eco Adventures - 2018-07-14-11-11-06-716-cw1h-1


Photographer Experience

Then there's also photographer experience. Taking photos can be a fun way to engage with your guests and improve their experience, but also make it more fun for the photographer providing the experience.

Just like it's important to be positive and enthusiastic with your guests to make sure they have a great time, make sure you do the same when directing them to take photos. Surprise your guests with some goofy selfies they didn't know you were taking as you guide them through the activity.

There are set photo locations, but every once in a while something different will happen and you want to give the photographer the flexibility to have fun and take unique photos of your guests, as long as the photo of video meets the other guidelines that we recommend.

Photographers can also increase TripAdvisor reviews by including a thank you video.

In Closing...

If you keep these 5 foundational priorities in mind when you're choosing your photo locations you'll end up with a consistent guest-pleasing service that is integrated into your activity. And you'll be able to choose from all of the possible photo locations to pick the ones that will result in the best, most consistent guest experience.

Topics: Training, Tips

Ryan O'Grady

Written by Ryan O'Grady

Ryan specializes in assessing the photo and video solution needs of clients and has worked with hundreds of businesses around the world to maximize their marketing impact through photos and videos. As a pioneer in the adventure photo and video industry, Ryan loves to share his knowledge and is a presenter at many adventure conferences throughout the year.

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