Case Study: Drake Bay Getaway


Drake Bay Getaway Resort, an award winning Costa Rica eco-luxury boutique hotel, offering adventure tours, wellness, and spectacular ocean and mountain views.

Drake Bay 4 (web).jpg

Commercial photography: “Commercial photography is an area of photography capturing images used to sell, advertise or market a business, a product, a service, a person or persons. Magazines are filled with adverts. Photographical images within these adverts are commercial photographs. Billboards, packaging, brochures, leaflets and posters all fall under the banner of commercial photography. It’s basically any photograph being used for business, sales and making money (Heather Evans for”.

Process: Confirm client needs, Buy Sunscreen, Prep + Pack necessary photography gear, Map Out Shot List + Schedule with client, Knock-out shot list efficiently so as not to be in the way of hotel guests, hydrate, Retouch Images, Transfer All Final Files to Client

Role: Creative Direction, Photography, Post Production

Tools: Lightroom, Photoshop, Acrobat, Teathered shooting from my laptop, tripod

Pain Point: Crowd Sourced Imagery

Drake Bay Getaway has been asking its guests to submit their favorite photos they took throughout their stay so they could use them for promotion.

When your Resort is catching the attention of Forbes Travel Guide, Trip Advisor and Conde Nast Johenson’s to name a few, they require top notch imagery. No acceptions. Unfortunately, due to the nature of their guest-made imagery, Drake Bay Getaway had little to show.

Crowd funded photography. Economical, plentiful, yet inconsistent, and often poor quality.

Imagery pulled from @drakeaygetaway Instagram. 

Solution: Go Pro

Scrap the crowd sourced imagery and fly in a pro. A professional photographer guarantees that the whole story will be told in a consistent style.

The photo editor at Forbes Travel Guide, for example, requires images to be a minimum of 300dpi at a certain dimension for optimal viewing cross platform. Why not have someone making imagery that speaks the editor’s language?

Prep: Mostly SPF 75

Based off of pre-determined client needs, pack smart so as to maximize production and optimize travel efficiency. Bring the right tech to get the job done. Priorities were:

  • Hotel Interiors/Exteriors

  • Hotel Grounds/Landscape

  • Food

Bring the right gear to capture everything above. Anything more would be a hindrance. What about all the cool animals, you say? I didn't have room for any massive zoom lenses. But I was pretty darn sure that many of the guests would, I let them do the heavy lifting.

Shot List: Stick to the plan, Stan

The most important thing to understand was that I’d be shooting in-between guest departures and arrivals. Efficiency was key as well as accountability. Get in, capture carefully but quickly, clean up, get out.

Drake Bay Getaway is known for its award-winning food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were on the shot list as well. I had to be down 15 minutes ahead of time to capture the food before any guests sat down to eat.

When I wasn’t shooting a guest cabin, the food or editing, I was exploring the town, planning out certain shots which often called for an early morning (sunrise, baby!) or some late night exploration.

Results: Forbes Calling, Line One...

Each element of the Drake Bay Getaway experience is thought out to ensure top end service and an unforgettable adventure. Now, you can see that for yourself from the comfort of your own home thanks to their newly revamped image library.

Next stop, Costa Rica.

The Best Refuse to Settle, Period.

Having 301 Original photographing and editing on-site meant that the Drake Bay Getaway had a proper library of imagery to pull from when the Editor of Forbes Travel Guide emailed them. Not only that but they were able to deliver everything same-day.

As your business gains legitimacy, potential guests and publications’ first touch point is your photo library. 301 Original’s team will capture the experience your guests rave about.

Schedule a time to chat about how your hospitality could benefit from the 301 touch.