We have been busy (when not out shooting!) the last couple weeks preparing for our presentation on Tuesday January 29th at 2:15 pm at the Innkeeping Show in Las Vegas. Here is a description of our presentation:

Learn from the Experts: Do-it-Yourself Guide to Shooting Exteriors and Gardens
Every savvy innkeeper knows the power of photography to the bottom line. Learn secrets from the experts on how to get terrific shots—the kind that make people say, “I want to be THERE!” This workshop will provide specific techniques—using ANY camera—for composing, styling and lighting your own photographs to make your property stand out on your home page, internet directories and booking engines.

This is a sort-of-follow-up to the presentation we did a few years ago on Do-It-Yourself Food Photography at the conference in Charleston.

Just last week we were shooting at The Garden Gables Inn in Lenox, MA (a really beautiful inn) and while scouting for angles, Mark snapped a quick shot with his iPhone that illustrates how you can get darn-good photos with a VERY simple camera, if you have the right time of day, perspective and some basic know-how.

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Images captured with a professional level camera and specialty tilt-shift lenses

 

Here’s Mark’s iPhone image:

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Mark’s iPhone image of the same subject

Not a bad, eh? You can do this with just a few simple tools. Great exterior pictures are less about all the right equipment and more about time of day, light and composition. IPhones are not great in low-light, not not too bad either. I see far worse pictures on the pages of sites like bedandbreakfast.com. Sorry bb.com, but its true!

OK, we did cheat a little bit in our pro image. Those tire tracks in the snow were really distracting, so we removed them in post-production before we delivered the image to our client.

Hope to see anyone who attends the show at our presentation. It should be fun and informative.

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2012 was a great year for us, with lots of new places, new faces and visits to some of our favorite locations. Thanks to all of our clients and friends for being a part of our lives. Here’s a look back…Happy New Year to all!

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At this time of year, we hear the word peace quite a bit. It’s a great word–short, but loaded with so much emotion and power. In these times, peace is remarkable, in that it is one of the few universally-positive, non-confrontational, apolitical, non-religious concepts. Who can argue with peace?  As photographers, we are often tasked with portraying this elusive, yet compelling idea within the context of an inn. Because when you distill the yearning that people feel nowadays to a single desire, it is really a desire for peace. That’s what inn guests are often looking for–an escape to a place of peace.

 

We looked through  photos from 2012 and chose a few that we thought represented this visually. Most of these are from inns; some are from other places where we have found peace our our travels. We hope these images provide a peaceful moment for you.

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Interior of guestroom at Inn at Woodhaven Louisville KY

 

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Awesome: The North Rim of the Grand Canyon near sunset. Just to give you a sense of scale…check out those figures on the left corner of the photo

 

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Gazebo with resident geese at Inn at Turkey Hill, Bloomsburg PA

 

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Dogs create peace…Callie, the Inn dog, and a couple enjoy a moment of peace at Inn at Meaner Plantation in Virginia

 

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Peaceful, easy, feeling in a bathroom at Squam Lake Inn in Holderness NH. The vibe here is just right.

 

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A garden chess game at L’Auberge Provencale in White Post, VA

 

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Hiking at sunrise on Gooseberry Knob at The Swag Country Inn, on the border of the Smoky Mountains National Park, NC

 

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Kayak launch on a misty morning on the grand country property of Fort Lewis Lodge in Bath County VA

 

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Robin eggs in late spring at Inn at Warner Hall in south-eastern Virginia

 

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A peaceful view of Tuscan Hills from our villa bedroom at The Hartstone’s Foodies Cooking Adventure  in Italy this fall.

 

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A misty morning at Woolverton Inn in Stockton, NJ near New Hope, PA. The sheep set the mood.

 

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One of the most interesting places we visited this year: Bryce Canyon Nation Park. Sunrise over the canyon in the fall

 

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We shared a pre-dawn moment on the porch of The Swag Country Inn with these peaceful visitors

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Long-time innkeepers Mary Jo Brink and Michael Salmon of The Hartstone Inn in Camden, Maine began a new venture (and adventure!) in 2010: Hartstone Inn European Culinary Adventures. We’d heard rave reviews from seasoned travelers who had been on the tours, so when Mary Jo and Michael asked us to document the adventure, we were delighted to help. They currently offer trips to the The Loire Valley in France as well as the Tuscany region in Italy; we photographed the Tuscan tour. As part of the adventure, Mary Jo and Michael rent a stunning villa in the Tuscan countryside and provide daily food-themed excursions for the small group, complete with local guides. Everyone returns in the evening for cooking classes with Chef Salmon. Participants actually prepare that evening’s meal. The quality of the the food products that Michael gathered was top-notch every day and the food was “off the charts”. After experiencing Michael’s cooking and Mary Jo’s hospitality while working for them at the Hartstone Inn in Camden, Mark and I had high expectations for the experience….and those expectations were exceeded, in a big way. If you are interested in attending one of these tours, plan ahead–they are often booked the moment they are announced.Visit their website for more info on the tours.

Check out a few images of the excursions, the cooking classes, food and beauty of Tuscany:

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Farm-to-Table is a wildly popular trend, found in fine dining rooms around the country. Owner, founding innkeeper and farmer Al Granger at Glasbern Inn in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley (about an hour from Philadelphia) was doing farm to table long before there was a buzzword for it. Since 1985, the inn has grown from a six-room bed and breakfast to a luxurious country inn with 34 rooms in 7 historic buildings. How often can you enjoy an heirloom tomato at a restaurant that is so fresh it is still warm from the afternoon sun?! The cattle and sheep you see grazing in the pastures on the farm will also be on the menu. Breakfast is also a special treat with super fresh eggs and homemade pork sausage from Glasbern’s pigs. You can dine in either their soaring elegant 1800′s bank barn or the cozy tavern. The cuisine ranges from elegant composed plates in the fine dining room to a fabulous and hefty Glasbern grass-fed burger in the tavern.

The rooms are also pretty amazing…but that merits its own post!

In the last year Glasbern launched a new website by White Stone Marketing – check it out. They did a great job telling the story of this complex property.

We’ve got hundreds of high-res images from our shoots over the last 7 years at Glasbern on our press site, Jumping Rocks Media Bank. For access and password, send us an email.

Glasbern2012 Rooms Packhouse Lower 03 XL Pasture to Plate at Glasbern Inn

View of Glasbern cattle from the Pack House Suites

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Burger from the tavern featuring Glasbern’s grass-fed beef

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Butternut Squash Apple Soup from the Glasbern Dining Room

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Fireside breakfast featuring eggs and sausage from Glasbern’s pasture

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Hours-old lambs at Glasbern’s farm

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