To say that great photos of your space are valuable is an understatement. They’re the first thing prospective guests look at when considering a property on Airbnb and what will eventually make or break their decision to book your space. Generally speaking, listings with beautiful photos receive more eyes, more interest and more bookings, so take some time to make them shine. Draw in potential guests, highlight what’s amazing, and set their expectations appropriately. Let guests book with confidence. Airbnb offers free professional photography in many locations, but if you’re shooting your own, here are five of the most important photo tips for making your space and your listing look better than ever.
Brighten up the inside
Light is a photographer’s best friend. It brings out natural depth, color, and contrast in a setting. Great lighting makes your photo look more professional overall, which makes you look professional as well.
Shoot during the day, turn on all the lights, open the curtains and let in all of the natural light. Most modern cameras will adjust for bright spots by darkening the rest, so focus the camera away from the windows if possible.
Shoot into a corner
This technique shows a broad range of space and adds dimensionality to the photo. Shooting flat onto a wall can make a space seem smaller than in real life, while corners help give a sense of true perspective.
Composition in a photo is very important. Consider the rule of thirds for balance and visual queues to keep the eye moving. Create a unique experience for the viewer and your place will pop!
Clean the scene
Take some time to remove the clutter from your living space. It’ll be less distracting to the viewer and generally make your place seem more inviting and spacious.
Pretend you’re an interior decorator—arrange some flowers, fan some magazines, dust surfaces. Be as tidy as you’ve ever been. Clean up, but be sure the photo aligns as closely as possible to the actual space when they arrive. Let photos be a true reflection of how guests will find it.
Highlight unique amenities
Do you have a sweet backyard patio? A barbeque? An awesome kitchen? Are there kids toys in a room built just for kids? Is there a jaw-dropping view? A washer-dryer? A fireplace? Let guests know with photos. All these things set your place apart from places that don’t have them—both homes and hotels—so document them with photos.
People love the little details too—things that fill your home with life and personality. If you have a guitar signed by Tom Petty, or a collection of US Civil War-era china, or chickens in the backyard, add pictures of them to your listing. Don’t be shy—people love interesting spaces.
Take photos outside
What’s outside is just as important as what’s inside. Help set people’s expectations of their arrival by photographing your place from the outside. The best time to shoot outdoors is the first and last hour of sunlight of the day, known as the “Golden Hour.” This is the time of day where light is softest (most diffuse) and brings out the broadest range of color.
And don’t forget your neighborhood! People get excited about their destination as well as the place they’re staying, so take pictures of your locale. They’ll brag about what was within walking distance so if you live close to a local attraction, a great restaurant, or gorgeous scene, post pics of it.
Generally speaking, more is more, so the more photos you have the more excited people will be to browse them. It provides your guest the most reference with which to make their decision, and allows them to spend more time with your listing. Try not to shoot the same thing a hundred times, but throw in a variety of subjects. Go broad, and go detailed.