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Narrative Photography for a Hospitality Startup

Shot for Voyat

Story by Wesley Verhoeve September 15th, 2015

One of my favorite recent collaborations was with the good folks behind hospitality start-up Voyat. They’re a fresh, small team, and have already gotten written up by publications like the Wall Street Journal, Techcrunch, and others.

The team has been working on a new website, and I was excited to get involved to help them best tell their story and showcase their team members. We shot some beautiful editorial portraits for future press, narrative shots to show off the product experience, and a few simple head shots for conference and corporate use.

Editorial Portraits

By shooting a set of editorially driven portraits, we created an aesthetic that is perfect for use in any future press coverage. In the fast-paced world of tech press, it’s important to have a few high quality images ready to go.

Imagine a situation in which a publication is on deadline and looking to add a last minute piece. Your pitch email might come across their desk alongside several others. They don’t have time or budget to send over their own photographer. You’re the only one with appropriate shots, and you can send them over in a matter of minutes. Boom.

Here are some of founder and CEO Benjamin, formerly the chief of staff for Marissa Mayer during her time at Google.

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When I asked him about the exact problem they’re trying to solve, Founder Benjamin Habbel explained that in today’s market the majority of hotel bookings come through third party sites. This doesn’t allow the hotel much opportunity to get to know and build a relationship with customers. Without that relationship, it’s that much harder to help a happy first timer become a loyal returning customer. Voyat uses technology to enhance that direct relationship between hotels and customers. Imagine a sophisticated loyalty program, with the class and subtlety of a beloved restaurant that knows their regular patrons and preferences.

In-Office Narrative Shots

Blaga is Voyat’s director of engineering, here in a meeting with founder Bob. Afterwards, I had Blaga step into a separate meeting room to take a portrait that will come in handy for her speaking gigs at various engineering meet-ups and conferences.

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Founders Bob and Benjamin had a need for a more straightforward headshot, for use at conferences, team pages and various other matters. We took these using natural light in a meeting room. A thorough editing process enhanced a peaceful and quiet atmosphere, devoid of distractions.

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Narrative Product Photography

It can be challenging to capture the practical use of mobile apps in the wild. We took a narrative approach, placing people in the position of the hotel’s customers, showcasing how simple a check-in can be, and how an arrival at a hotel can be quite painless and pleasant.

We worked with both a male and a female narrative, to give Voyat flexibility in terms of the voice their narrative will end up taking. These were shot on location at the Crosby Hotel, using a combination of natural light and fixtures. Excited to see this team make an impact in the hospitality industry! Check out more shots at

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New York, NY, United States