I was delighted to fly to Fez this month to shoot some hotel and destination photography for two gorgeous 5 star hotels in Morocco – Riad Fes and Hotel Sahrai.
Both boutique hotels wanted a mix of photographs that they could use for PR, editorial, social media, sales and on their official hotel websites. I shoot in an editorial and social style, as I love a ‘hero shot’, but I also adore capturing the little details, which are perfect for sharing on social media - in particular Instagram. My partner, Robin Ball who is also a professional photographer came with me on this shoot and we spent one full day at each hotel creating content, plus one full day shooting Fez, which is an exciting destination for travel photography. Here are some of my photographs...
At Hotel Sahrai, the hoteliers wanted our shoot to focus on their Sunday brunch, which has an impressive array of Moroccan and international cuisine – poolside. We also spent quite a bit of time photographing their new roof terrace ‘The Jungle Bar’ which has cool interiors and a large roof top bar with unparalleled views of the city of Fez.
While at Hotel Sahrai we shot various F&B and colourful jungle cocktails, both hotel restaurants - French 'Relais de Paris' and Moroccan 'Amaraz', the infinity pool, Givenchy Spa and also some hotel room photography. Hotel Sahrai is an arty, laid back hotel in Fez with uber cool vibes. I would recommend to anyone for a long weekend of rest and relaxation in Morocco. In March, the temperature was 24 degrees. Perfect!
At Riad Fes, the hotel wanted some photographs of their new roof terrace bar, which wasn’t quite fully completed while we were there, but images were required in order to begin promoting it. Riad Fes is in the heart of the medina and the hotel is lucky to have incredible views at dusk. When the sun sets at the end of the day, it lights up the city in an orange glow - there really is no better place in Fez for a glass of Moroccan wine. I love this hotel for it’s beautiful architecture, exquisite tiling and fabric details.
On day two in Fez at Riad Fes, we shot some more hotel restaurant and food photography, plus the spa and other wellness areas of the hotel. We also photographed several stunning hotel suites, which needed quite a bit of professional lighting and I was pleased that I had brought along Robin to assist me. Hotel room photography can be quite tricky at times, as often there is only a short window of opportunity to set up lighting equipment and shoot a few different angles, between guests checking out of a room and new guests checking in. It really does help to have two photographers for this reason.
On our final day in Fez, the hotels kindly arranged a guided walking tour of the medina to assist us with our destination photography. Our guide, Mohammed was very patient with us… as we do take a lot of photos! He took us to all of the best places and because we were with a local expert, we were able to maximise our time (i.e. not get lost!) The Medieval medina is a maze of 9,000 streets and at times… it’s like stepping back in time. It really is an exhilarating, overpowering and exciting travel destination. All of my senses were awoken. It’s an enchanting and exhilarating place - with rainbow streets and carts of citrus, the hypnotic sound of the call to prayer echoing across the city, the smell of ammonia and animal hides at the tanneries and the taste of sweet, mint tea when you need a little break from it all.
During the afternoon of our destination shoot we had a driver who took us to the edge of the Jewish Quarter where the golden doors of the Royal Palace are located – a ‘must pose’ spot for any influencer worth their salt. With wheels, it’s easy to get up to the Marinid Tombs in Fez for an alternative, panoramic view over the city. It's worth it.
In 3 full days, we were able to produce around 400 fully edited, professional photographs for our hotel clients, covering both properties and the travel destination. We were flat out busy, shooting both day and night during our whirlwind stay, but I was super happy with the gallery of hotel and destination photographs that we were able to created for our clients. Most importantly, our clients were also very happy with the results and you can see some of our photographs on the Hotel Sahrai website now.
I would highly recommend Fez to anybody looking to awaken their spirit. Particularly if you love Morocco, but have already been to Marrakech - Fez is more in your face, more exciting. Maybe it’s because it's a place where you can get lost if you want to… while having all of your senses assaulted at the same time. ‘Fez / Being Born’ as U2 once said.
Here are a few more of my photos...
Andie Moore is a London based destination and lifestyle photographer writing about travel, hotels and destination weddings.