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INTERVIEW WITH Virtual Photographer Jean Charles Garrivet

INTERVIEW WITH Virtual Photographer Jean Charles Garrivet

Interview By: Journalist Margaux Cintrano
Photography By: Jean Charles Garrivet

Margaux: Can you tell the readers a little more about “Virtual Tours Photography” ?

Jean Charles:

Creating a virtual tour for a hotel involves capturing and presenting a comprehensive, immersive experience of the hotels interior and amenities through digital means. This can be achieved using specialized photography equipment and software to stitch together panoramic images or through the use of 360-degree cameras. The virtual tour allows potential guests to explore different areas of the hotel virtually, including rooms, lobbies, restaurants, and other facilities.

The benefits of a virtual tour for a hotel include providing potential guests with a realistic preview of the accommodations and amenities, helping them make more informed decisions when booking. It enhances the online presence of the hotel and can serve as a powerfulmarketing tool, especially in an era where many travelers rely on the internet to research and plan their trips.

To create an effective virtual tour for a hotel, it’s essential to focus on high-quality visuals, user-friendly navigation, and incorporating interactive elements. This immersive experience can significantly contribute to attracting and engaging potential guests, ultimately boosting reservations and customer satisfaction. Virtual tours facilitate a thorough exploration of a space, granting potential clients, customers, or visitors a detailed perspective.

Margaux: What or who were the catalysts to inspire you to become a professional photographer?

Jean Charles:

The factors that motivated my venture into the realm of professional photography stemmed from a blend of influences and personal encounters. To begin with, my engagement with the vivid visual realm during my artistic pursuits as a juggler instilled in me an appreciation for capturing moments in a distinctive manner.

Furthermore, interactions with skilled photographers, their portfolios, and the narratives conveyed through their images played a crucial role in shaping my perspective. These individuals, coupled with my own exploration of creative photography, intensified my enthusiasm for the art form.

The prospect of standing out in a competitive field and the chance to tell stories through my lens emerged as the driving force behind my decision to embark on a career as a professional photographer.

Margaux: What do you look for when embarking on a virtual photography project? What are the key elements that catch your attention?

Jean Charles:

In the current landscape, hotels face the imperative to distinguish themselves from the competition. My focus lies in collaborating with luxury hotels that share common values, such as a profound appreciation for detail, aesthetics, exceptional service, and an unwavering commitment to enhancing the overall customer experience.

Hotels are increasingly demanding virtual tours, and thats why Ive chosen to specialise in this area. The transformative power of virtual tours becomes evident once experienced.

Looking to the future, I imagine that every hotel will embrace the concept of the virtual tour, aiding their digital transition. The transformative power of virtual tours becomes clear once you`ve experienced them for yourself.

Upon receiving a request, my initial step involves soliciting a shoot list for the locations earmarked for photography and a date. With accumulated expertise, I can precisely determine the number of panoramas required for a comprehensive hotel project. The goal is not merely to produce numerous panoramas, but to strategically capture them in key locations, ensuring they convey ample information and evoke a sense of enchantment. This often involves timing, such as waiting for the sunset in specific rooms.

Additionally, effective communication with IT teams is crucial for seamless virtual tour hosting.
I go a step further by proposing a customized interface aligned with the hotels website and brand, ensuring a cohesive and immersive experience for maximum impact.

Margaux: What do you find most successful when implementing a marketing plan for future guests that shall lead to bookings of major luxury hotels?

Jean Charles:

In crafting a successful marketing strategy, I firmly believe in the pivotal role of compelling visuals, particularly virtual tours and still photography, alongside other essential communication materials. The seamless integration and consistency of these elements are paramount to presenting a unified and engaging narrative for potential guests.
Regrettably, the industry has witnessed instances where high-quality photographs coexist with subpar virtual tours, sowing seeds of doubt among prospective guests. The challenge lies in discerning the authenticity of the experience presented. It prompts a critical question: What can one truly believe when faced with such disparities?

The contemporary consumer trend reveals a growing reliance on virtual visits to hotels, a digital exploration that offers a tangible preview of the forthcoming guest experience. This shift represents a reassuring trend as customers seek to familiarize themselves with the ambiance and offerings before committing to a reservation.

The virtual tours I curate are designed for widespread dissemination, being shareable across prominent platforms like Facebook, Google, and even Additionally, I tailor specific promotional materials for platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram, ensuring adaptability and resonance across diverse audiences. This curated content serves as the foundation for crafting a truly effective, original, and interactive marketing campaign.

One noteworthy observation is that the duration a customer spends immersed in a virtual tour correlate positively with the likelihood of conversion—convincing them to make a reservation.
This underscores the importance of creating captivating content that not only attracts but also sustains the audiences engagement, fostering a connection that transcends a mere visual encounter.

To further empower clients, Ive implemented a system enabling them to host their own site.
This grants them direct access to valuable statistics, offering insights into user behaviour and interaction with the virtual tour. Such transparency enhances the client experience, aligning the marketing strategy with a client-centric ethos.

Margaux: Now, to move on, let us talk about where were you born and raised and what were the circumstances which motivated your relocation to Lyon, France ?

Jean Charles:

I spent my formative years in France, where I developed an early fascination with roller skating, followed by an interest in skateboarding and eventually snowboarding. While pursuing a management IT degree at the BTS level, I discovered my passion for juggling, prompting me to enroll in circus school with the goal of embarking on an artistic career.

For a significant part of my life, I worked as a juggler in Italy, concurrently shouldering responsibilities for my family, with a special focus on caring for my son. At the age of 35, I made the decision to return to France and transition into an independent photography career.

To distinguish myself, I immediately delved into creating imaginative photographs, expanding my interest to include planets then virtual tours. It was during this period that I crossed paths with my partner, Pascal Reynaud, which led me to refocus and specialize in the realm of international luxury hotels.

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