You don’t have to hire a professional for your photos, but you should think like one. Be mindful about everything when you begin a photoshoot, and use as much natural lighting as possible. Open the windows, turn on the lights, and make sure there’s not a single mess to be found in your property. Move shoes away from the entry, and ensure that no mirrors have watermarks on them in any photo. It’s these little details that people never notice until it shows up in HD on their screens. Even if you don’t have time to completely clean your property, you can still move a mess from one room to another while taking pictures. Simply clean one room at a time, make it perfect and then move on to the next. While you’ll have to clean everything before guests arrive, your number one goal beforehand is to get the best pictures possible to ensure that your property stays competitive on the marketplace. An immaculate photo shows an immaculate house, and you want your guests to feel enticed by your listing from the very first picture.
What should be in the photo
While you shouldn’t blindly take photos without caring about the angles or composition, you should also avoid getting overly fancy as well. For a bedroom photo, stand either in the corner or under the doorframe to get a shot that features everything in the room. Every good photo should clearly show:
- The space of the room
- The dynamic
- The included furniture and amenities
- Windows and lighting
For lights, try to avoid overly white and clinical fluorescent lights as they can appear cold to guests. Opt for warmer lights, and turn them to a medium level if necessary. If it’s pouring rain outside, wait until you have a bit more sunlight to naturally enhance your photos.
You can also take photos of unique or deluxe items that you offer to your guest. If you have an extra-large television, a new stovetop, or a coffee machine that makes the best lattes in town, add it to your profile! Take advantage of posting as many pictures as possible to give your guests a complete view of your property. On average, listings with more photos will get more views and bookings than those with fewer.
This is especially true for the apprehensive or first time Airbnb user. You have to convince them that they will be safe and comfortable in your property. Show them that your property is spacious, clean, and full of everything they need to have a great time. Go big, be grand, and have fun with your photos!
If you’re not the best photographer, you can always look at either top Airbnb listings or nearby hotels for inspiration. If you’re still uncomfortable with a camera, either with the composition or technological aspects, a nearby professional is always available to help. You’ll get what you pay for, and while hiring a photographer may be a bit pricey, it’s better to spend more for higher quality photos than to redo it all later. So take it slow, aim for quality, and lay the foundation at the beginning for a solid listing!
Keep Your Photos Realistic
Don’t overedit your photos or use unrealistic filters to artificially enhance your property. While it’s perfectly fine to lightly touch up a photo, you don’t want to give your guests the wrong impression about your place. If they expect a brightly lit home with a spacious interior but find it to be dark and tight, their disappointment will last throughout the duration of their stay. Even if there’s a problem with your home, be upfront about it so they know what to expect. People will be much more forgiving if you’re honest, and you’d be surprised at what guests will accept if it lowers their budget!
Taking Pictures on Your iPhone
If you don’t have a DSLR available then here are out hand hints to taking a good quality picture with your iPhone.
- Use a selfie stick, if you’ve got one of these available use it as your homemade tripod, the key to a great photo is keeping it still
- Turn on HDR (High Dynamic Range) This will help with deep shadows and bright windows but automatically combing 3 different exposures into one photo
- Shoot in landscape mode only. When Airbnb process the picture, you have a much large space to show you pictures off if they are in Landscape mode
- Use the volume button on your headphones to take a steady shot
- Use as much natural light as possible. Try to take your shots on a bright sunny day when you have as much natural light streaming through those windows
- There’s an App for that. Try Curb Appeal and Exposio, they both great for HDR real estate photography. They can straighten the images, adjust lighting and much more to make your shots look like a pro.
Before and after using HDR on your iPhone
Airbnb Provide Professional Photographers
To make everything easier, Airbnb may be able to provide you with a local professional photographer to showcase your property. The availability and pricing depend on your area, and you can get a free quote to see the general price before committing. Some things that affect pricing include the size and layout of your property along with the general demand of your area.
You can schedule a time for them to come over, and they’ll take care of everything (except cleaning!) for you. They will then send the photos to Airbnb, and once approved, the photos will be uploaded directly to your listing. You can rearrange them however you’d like, and the payment will be deducted automatically from your next payout. This process is not refundable which may make perfectionists worried, but the service is great for those who are unable to take pictures themselves or can’t find a local photographer easily.
Some Helpful Videos
Beginners guide to interior photography