New England Romantic Getaways: Photography Key to Good Website

ch_common_room_jrWhen we bought Hampton Terrace in 1999, we took some pictures. My sister-in-law’s college-age brother was majoring in photography, so we took some more. Soon after the renovation of the carriage house, a guy walked in the front door with a camera and a business card, so we added a few of his to the mix. Three years ago, we had about a thirty minute opportunity to shoot our newly constructed king suites….the space of time between getting our certificate of occupancy and our first guests checking in. I took the digital camera out there…and you know what comes next…

Many people have complimented us on our website over the years….but I always felt that our photographs undersold the property. They were small, dark, and taken in an era when it was fashionable to put a wide angle lens on your camera, stand in the corner on a stool, and try to capture as much of the room as possible.

So last Spring, we were very lucky to host Marti Mayne overnight. Marti is a well-known inn publicist, who does the same for the website. Before staying here, she had, of course, seen our inn on the web….and when she told us that our photos had to go……it was the final small push I needed to make the commitment to good inn photography.

She recommended Mark and Matthew of Jumping Rocks Photography in Philadelphia, two guys who had their own inn at one point. The photography at their Woolverton Inn was so spectacular, that they were asked to shoot other inns. Ultimately, they sold their interest in the Woolverton, and now they live on the road…having now photographed literally hundreds of the most historic and prominent inns in the country. There is a several year wait for their services, but a call from Marti on our behalf resulted in our being plugged into a cancellation spot six months later.

If you have run across this blog entry somewhere on the Internet, then I encourage you to hit “Hampton Terrace Home” on the link above and marvel at the pictures these guys took. They were here about three days, and put in long hours. Each room was tackled as a separate challenge….finding the right angle, setting up the lighting, and then placing a book here…a vase there…to invite the viewer into the frame. From my point of view, there was not a single photo in the collection that did not maximize its subject and end up somewhere on our redesigned website.

So thank you Mark and Matthew. Your reputation is well deserved. And an added bonus to us for the experience: we actually see our home now from a renewed perspective. Over the past ten years, as we have hosted, entertained and fed tens of thousands of guests….as we have routinely performed the housekeeping, the maintenance and the business details….we had begun to take for granted the crystal sconces in the living room, the carousel horse, the color of the main hallway yellow….. As many of you know….picking the right yellow can be very important and “haystack” was the result of two dozen yellow cards taped on the wall. As we followed Matthew and Mark around the inn and heard them effuse about how to capture this detail or that…. I developed a fresh sense of pride in Hampton Terrace.

And without a doubt, that new appreciation has been reflected in the names we have chosen for our guest rooms. Even though Hampton Terrace has been an inn since 1937, no one had bothered to name the rooms. It has been suggested to us many times that naming rooms would be important (I never really thought it was myself). But after my rediscovery of the house’s details and my heightened appreciation for the people who placed a sconce here, a fireplace there…..the names of the rooms came easily. My last fourteen blog entries cover each room and why we named each.

Enjoy our new photography on this website. Then allow us to fulfil Mark and Matthew’s intention of inviting you into the photo, by inviting you into our inn itself.