Photographing a Venue – The Skotel

mt ruapehu at sunset with the skotel

Recently Professionalphotos was commissioned to photograph an amazing venue in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand. The Skotel (Ski Hotel) is a great hotel located at the base of Mt Ruapehu in the Tongariro National Park.

The brief called for a selection of photos ranging from examples of all the rooms through to photos of the amazing landscape beauty all around the hotel. The weather did not initially cooperate but I was lucky to get a few moments when everything was just right.

A photo of the balcony units of the skotel

a superior queen room

Mt Ngauruhoe in the morning with cloudsPhotography is a mixture of technical knowledge, creativity and luck. A big key is to maximize your luck by keeping a watchful eye on conditions that are favorable and then seizing the moment when it shows. You can read another blog that is a story about how preparation and some luck enabled me to take one of my most popular Auckland City photographs.

the hot drinks selection in the rooms

the toiletries in the rooms

Preparation and luck were certainly the case in this assignment. I was inside photographing the various rooms but was keeping a close eye on the weather outside. I was waiting for a fine spell when I could photograph the hotel with the mountain behind it. The sun came out and I dropped everything (except the camera) and raced outside to a spot I had scouted out before and the clouds were sitting perfectly over the mountain. It did not last long so if I had not been quick enough in seeing the weather change, or had not already scouted the location, I would have missed the shot.

mt ruapehu with the skotel f

Any photographer with a good deal of skill could have done this job but it is these extra moments and some planning that means that I can supply photos with that extra X factor that I am employed for. If you are a photographer, think about what you can do that will set you apart.

the skotel dining area

I wish I could say that it was a nice relaxing time staying at a hotel and enjoying the facilities and the views, but the reality is that most of the time I was working on meeting the brief. I photographed from 7 in the morning through to around 9 at night with just a two hour break in the middle of the day. I guess that most people might see the glamorous side but don’t realize the amount of work that goes into a job like this. The good thing is that if you are doing something that you enjoy, hard work doesn’t seem so bad.

tables and chairs outside the skotel

skotel reception

people eating in the restaurant

wine glass on an outdoor table

Just a side note, a big thanks to the owner of the Skotel for providing any assistance that was needed. Most of all, a big thank you to my assistant, who sat on a laptop logging my shots, carried camera gear and assisted with setting up room lighting.

Mt Ngauruhoe at sunset covered by pink clouds

The client was very happy with the results and I believe that I would like to go back to this place as a guest and enjoy the atmosphere and breathtaking location. Keep an eye out for a blog when I do.

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