Nothing hurts an Airbnb listing more than bad photos. It doesn't matter how amazing your Airbnb property is, if you don't have great photos your listing will continuously get beat out by the competition. The good news is, you don't have to be a professional photographer to get amazing listing photos. These eight Airbnb photography tips will help you take better pictures of your property and ultimately help you consistently convert a prospective guest to a confirmed booking.
Tip 1: Clean and stage
Before taking photos of your property, you should thoroughly clean and stage the property, making it as tidy and decluttered as possible. Remove unnecessary appliances or items from countertops, shelves, or flooring. Then add finishing touches, such as a stack of books on the side table, a coffee cup or tea kettle resting on the dining table or kitchen area, or freshly folded linens on the bed or in the bathroom. While it may feel silly adding little touches like these, when done properly, they can really improve a photo.
The goal of cleaning and staging the space is to evoke the feeling of a clean, open, and inviting space while providing an accurate representation of the property.
Tip 2: Use proper lighting
Avoid having a dark or drab photo by using proper lighting. Natural light can do wonders when taking a photo, but it's important to use the lighting to your advantage. Avoid taking photos of a window when the sun is directly outside. Instead, highlight the natural light in the room by taking a picture of the room with your back to the window. Take pictures of rooms with large windows when the sun is above the window, and make sure the scenery is appealing, not just a view into the neighbor's yard.
If your home has limited natural lighting, use the lighting that's available in the home as best as possible. Turn on all the lights and frame the shot, seeing which lighting helps or hurts the photo. Some lights will produce dark spots when they're on, which takes away from the quality of the photo. It may also help to replace your current light bulbs with tungsten bulbs, which more closely match the color of natural light.
Tip 3: Take high-resolution photos
No matter what camera equipment you are using, whether it be a nice DSLR camera or a smartphone, make sure you take high-resolution photos, with a minimum of 1024 x 683 pixels (px). Taking photos with a lower resolution will result in grainy or blurry images when enlarged on the website.
Tip 4: Frame the shot
Framing the shot means setting the shot up for optimal composure. Play with the different angles of the room, balancing the exposure of the wall, ceiling, and floors so that each object or area of the room holds equal visual weight in the photograph. While some rooms will look great straight on, others are better featured with the corner being the focal or center point of the photo. This can add depth, making it a more visually appealing photo.
Tip 5: Take multiple photos
If you're taking the time to clean, stage, frame each picture, and set up lighting, you want to make the most of your efforts and get as many shots as possible. Take multiple photos of each room from multiple angles, including the exterior of the home. Whenever possible, take landscape photos, not portrait, as landscape shows the space of the room better. Don't be scared to get creative and take detailed shots of certain room features in addition to wide shots of the space as a whole. This can be a fun way to highlight unique features as described below.
Tip 6: Highlight unique features
Consider highlighting certain areas of the home that have unique features or amenities, fun decor, or add to the overall ambiance of the room. Getting detailed shots of these areas like a deck, pool, patio, grill, or clawfoot tub can really make your listing stand out against others.
Tip 7: Edit your photos
Editing your photos will help improve the quality even further. You can reduce or increase exposure or saturation to bring out the natural light or colors of the room. If you don't have software to edit photos on your computer, consider hiring someone to edit the photos online. Hire a photography student from your local college or university, or hire someone online from a platform like Upwork or Fiverr.
Tip 8: Hire a professional if needed
If you're not up for taking the photos yourself, you can hire a professional photographer to do a photo shoot of your home. The Airbnb platform offers a photography service that allows you to hire a photographer directly from their site or you can hire an independent freelance photographer in your local area. If you do decide to hire outside of the Airbnb website, make sure the photographer has experience with real estate photography.
While it's not necessarily required to achieve great photos, it helps to have someone experienced with Airbnb photography to help highlight the best features of your vacation rental. An experienced photographer will not only know how to frame the shots and have a high-quality camera, but they will also have professional lighting equipment. This means you'll get the most of the photoshoot rather than being limited to the lighting or equipment you have.
Whether you hire a professional or choose to do it yourself, use these photo tips to help improve the quality of your Airbnb photographs.