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Why aren’t there more people in the photos that ski resorts are sharing?

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I love the Snowbird tram.

Before I started skiing, KSL TV’s Ski Utah show used to featured the iconic red and blue cars frequently and I always felt like that was making it. If you rode the tram, skied Regulator Johnson, and could pull a sweet daffy, you’d be “in”.

Perhaps that’s the reason I was drawn to, and surprised by, a few photos of that same tram that popped up on Facebook recently.

The Shots
Here are the photos that caught my eye. Just a simple gallery of five images.

First off, they’re beautifully made pictures. Matt Crawley is doing a fantastic job on that front. Right off the bat I love this set. But something about it seemed…well…different.

For a while, I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then, like the obvious slap in the face it was, it hit me. There are people in these photos.

The Difference
Now, there are a lot of photos of amazing things that resorts are sharing. Really, really amazing things. Typically, you see one of two things. Either:

  • There are photos of scenic vistas
  • There are photos of people doing fun/cool/exciting things

Let’s run with this on the assumption that, among other things, we’d like our photos to inspire people to visit our resort. The thing about scenic shots is that I simply don’t know if I can see the same thing if I come. For all I know a photog hiked 5 miles on private property to capture the image.

The Third photo in this set is one of those scenic images. Yet, the thing I noticed is that simply by having people in the foreground, I knew that if I rode the tram I too could see this view. In other words, the people made the photo more real.

Next Frame
And how do I know that the tram could fly me to such a scene? Well, in the next frame, we learn how they got there (along with the fact that the view going up is just as good as the view at the top).

The girls aren’t posing, they aren’t modeling, they are just there. Just like you or I or Jim down the road would be if we went and bought a ticket to ride the tram.

Too Deep?
Maybe I’m reading into this too much, but let me see if I can sum up my thoughts after looking at these and then a few hundred resort photos since that time.

Maybe if there are more shoe wearing people in resort photos we can get more people to picture what it would be like to be in their shoes. Maybe if we can get them to picture what it’s like to be in those shoes, they’ll want to stand in those same spots in their own shoes.


About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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