Hampton by Hilton appoints first ‘realist in residence’ photographer

UK: Ian Weldon, a documentary photographer, has been appointed as the world’s first ever ‘realist in residence’, responsible for capturing the real side of travel.

The decision followed research by the Hilton brand that revealed would-be travellers are more than seven times more likely to visit a destination after seeing authentic images.

28 per cent of Brits admitted to being fed up of travel images that feature unrealistic scenes, with 29 per cent calling for genuine pictures.

Weldon, over a period of three days within his new role, worked on a series called ‘This is Real Travel’. Stationed at the Hampton by Hilton in Edinburgh, he shot a collection of candid photos that showcase the real side of British travel.

Images in the seres include:

  • A troupe of Morris dancers, all retired, ready to perform in Edinburgh.
  • A university reunion of five female friends in their 20s visiting Edinburgh for a 90s club night, all dressed as the Spice Girls.
  • Two lifelong friends in their 50s taking their families to watch their local football team, St Mirren, play away.
  • Three woman in Edinburgh for a sales conference.
  • An extended family of 15 people celebrating a 50th birthday, with a younger family member preparing to move to Australia.
  • An Irish couple taking their grandson for a family weekend away.

The pictures will be used in Hampton by Hilton marketing this January to celebrate the travel moments that take place at its hotel.

Weldon said: “This series is all about celebrating those heart-warming and often humorous connections that happen when we travel, and I hope it shines a light on the fun and friendliness that can be found in every single type of trip. This series brings to life the real side of travel by celebrating the connections that make travelling experiences so special but often don’t make the photo album.”

Tal Shefer, regional head at Hampton by Hilton, EMEA, added: “With nearly 20 per cent of Brits admitting they would like to see people using no filters for travel photography in 2020, we couldn’t be happier to partner with Ian Weldon to launch our ‘This Is Real Travel’ campaign. When it comes to trips, Hampton keeps it real. Whenever you stay with us, you can count on our hot breakfast, waffles and Wi-Fi to be included as standard, along with happiness guaranteed!”

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