What hosts need to know about hiring a professional photographer for Airbnb

Deciding on whether to hire an Airbnb professional photographer is something to consider.  It isn’t just a detail on a to-do list, but rather a crucial factor for the success of your rental business. We often invest a lot of time and money in our rental homes. However, when it comes to taking photographs, we may assume that any picture will showcase our vacation rental in a positive light. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Short term rental (STR) photography, especially on websites like Airbnb or Vrbo, can make or break your booking numbers and directly impact your income. Independent studies show that just by having better photos revenue increases by up to 40%.

Why some hosts don’t get the photos of short term rentals right?

While we have high-quality cameras on our phones, it’s important to notice that just because a photo has excellent quality or a lot of pixels doesn’t mean it’s a good photo that ‘sells’ the property. 

The interior itself and a photo of it are not identical. Design and furniture can be wonderful, but photography has its own rules that differ from three-dimensional space.

On the other hand, it’s not necessary to put overly artistic photos of your listing. Too much editing is a mistake. It can make the space seem unrecognizable or strange.

You can easily disappoint guests by presenting them with photos that create false expectations. For example, using strong filters can alter colors completely. You don’t need such a thing.

Hiring a professional photographer for your Airbnb VS Doing it yourself

A professional photographer

Many experts will advise hosts to hire a professional photographer. That’s the easiest way. 

But it doesn’t mean you can’t do it yourself. Without spending money and time searching for the right photographer.

You can make great pictures that will attract bookings using your smartphone. You just need to inform yourself about some basic concepts of photography. And avoid common pitfalls. 

Attractive vacation rental photographs aren’t just about the pictures’ quality. There are also marketing tips that hosts should consider. 

For example, the decision about what picture to pick as the cover picture (also called the hero image).  That is the first picture people see while scrolling down the listing.  Eventually, it is your decision which one to put, even if you have hired a professional.

Also, hosts often forget to stage the property before filming. If you have plates, and nice glasses put them on the table. If you have a nice bathtub fill it with water or put a nice towel in front of it. 

Staging the apartment helps customers imagine themselves being there and using the amenities. People can relate to it better. 

An experienced photographer should know these tricks. However, hosts should explain what they want clearly.

How to choose an Airbnb photographer to hire?

Hosts can research basic concepts of real estate photography and take perfectly fitting photos with their smartphones. 

However, some hosts may find it unnecessary to learn photography skills. They may perceive it as a hassle and a waste of energy.

In this case, the solution is to hire a professional photographer.

A prtographer

If you belong to this group, ask someone who’s into vacation rentals to recommend you a good photographer. Look at the portfolio of real estate photographers in your area and choose one whose style you like. The photography service should include a defined number of pictures per season, as well as post-processing and editing.

Make sure you express your ideas clearly before the job starts. As a host, you know best which amenities are attraction-getters and which ones should be de-emphasized.

What makes a good photo of a short term rental?

Simply put, it’s a photo that sells.

Excellent listing photos of vacation rentals convey a professional impression. This doesn’t necessarily require expensive cameras or professional gear. You can take super cool and professional-looking photos by using an average phone camera. You only need to apply some tricks and concepts of real estate photography.

A great photo, with some marketing tips in mind, can work miracles for your bookings.

Whether you’re going to hire a professional photographer for Airbnb or do it by yourself, remember that more than half of guests decide what to book based on pictures.

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