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How to Take Professional Airbnb Photography

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“A picture is worth a thousand words”. This statement is particularly true when it comes to taking photos of your home or the place you plan to rent out.

Many of us choose to stay at an Airbnb when we travel somewhere. The places listed on the website are often cosier and have a better quality than a rigid hotel room.

But would you ever choose an Airbnb that presents ugly images? Even if the place has a fantastic location and is a good value for the price, you will judge the home based on the photos.

We tell you the tricks to take your Airbnb images to a professional photography level. Whether you are a host or a professional photographer who wants to learn how to take the best shot for Airbnb.

Interior of a living room shot for airbnb[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]

Why Do You Need Beautiful Photography for Airbnb?

The answer is very simple. People tend to choose the Airbnb listings that have inviting photos. The ideal pictures present the place so that it feels like home.

When I book on the website, I always look through the pictures and try to see the furniture and space. If the bathroom or the kitchen look dirty, I don’t book it. Even if it’s next to the Empire State Building in New York.

Airbnb Inc has official statistics about the impact of using professional photography.

Let the numbers convince you. Hosts with professional photos earned 40% more than people without them. Photos are one of the main reasons that guests choose an Airbnb listing.

Hosts using professional photography had 24 % more bookings.

Last but not least, hosts who upgraded their photos managed to increase their nightly price by 26%.

It is clear that first impressions matter. The photo gallery can be a real deal-breaker when it comes to choosing an Airbnb.

A 'Welcome to Our Home' wall-sign

What Is Airbnb Photography?

Airbnb Inc offers professional photography services in certain cities and regions. As a host, you can request the service and schedule an appointment for the photo shoot.

The company assigns the job to the closest photographer who within a 30-mile radius. The Airbnb photographer comes to your home and takes 3-7 photos of each room you requested.

The price depends on the size of your place and the region you live in. You only have to pay after the photos are live on your listing. The company deducts the photography price from your next payouts.

Sometimes Airbnb Inc offers the photography service as a bonus for super hosts. They can either choose the photoshoot or travel credit for their great performance.

How Can You Become an Airbnb Photographer?

Being an Airbnb Photographer means flexible schedule, easy money, meeting nice hosts and seeing cosy homes.

You can apply to freelance for Airbnb if the service is available in your region. You need to have an online portfolio that represents examples of interior and/or architectural photography. If you’ve done real estate photography, it is important to include. They do not consider Instagram or Facebook portfolios.

Your equipment needs to be suitable for professional photography. A DSLR or a mirrorless camera with full-frame and a tripod are essential.

DSLR camera

When there is a job in your area, you get a notification. You can accept it and then get in touch with the host. Airbnb reimburses your travel expenses if they are within a 30-mile radius.

You need to take 20-25 photos of the listing and then edit them according to the company’s style guide. Then you upload them and get paid in a few days.

The payment depends on the region you live in. According to several forums and Glassdoor reviews, you get $75-$125 per listing. Airbnb Inc owns the rights of the images so you cannot use it again or sell it to the host.

You also have to follow the professional photography guidelines by Airbnb.

How to Take Beautiful Photos for Your Airbnb Listing?

Whether you are a professional photographer or a host who wants to boost her/his listing, there are a couple of guidelines to follow.

The photo tips below will help you to get stunning images. Our recommendations also include a few guidelines by Airbnb for photographers.

1. Tidy up the Scene

A clean and tidy home is always inviting. Put away everything you want to show in the listing. It is distracting for the viewer if they see several objects hanging around.

Try to act as if you were an interior designer or a real estate photographer. Place some nice flowers around the house and arrange magazines or books on the table. Fluff the pillows, close the toilet lid and take out the trash.

Your listing should look organised but real and inviting. Put some fresh fruits in the kitchen, fold a few guest towels on the bed. But don’t show anything that you don’t provide with your listing in reality. Better to underpromise and overdeliver!

Interior of a kitchen shot for airbnb

2. Use Natural Light

Brightening up the place can work like magic. Open the curtains and shoot by daylight. Try to avoid using lamps or artificial lights.

Airbnb doesn’t recommend using flash. It can trick the guest into thinking that the place is much brighter. The more natural light, the better.

Choose the time around the Golden Hour for the photo shoot. The best light you can get is around sunrise and sunset.

If there are many white objects or white furniture in the room, make sure you adjust your white balance.

3. Shoot From the Corners

You want to make sure to show as many details as possible. Shoot from the corners of the rooms to incorporate more space. Try different angles to capture the atmosphere of the listing.

You cannot use extra wide-angles or fisheye lenses because they are misleading. Your picture should be realistic.

Focus on a point in the middle of the room to get the optimal depth of field. This gives an idea to your guests about the size of the listing.

Squat or lay down to change the perspective and capture the essence of the room. Changing your perspective also adds more dimensions to your listing.

Bright and airy bedroom photo shot for airbnb

4. Compose Your Pictures

Like in other areas of photography, the composition is essential for getting the picture right. Use the rule of thirds or the golden ratio to create aesthetic results.

Make sure that the horizontal and vertical lines are straight in your camera. Use the windows and the walls as reference. It doesn’t give a realistic impression if the doors or the bookshelves are leaning in the photo. Use symmetry when you can.

Try to engage the viewers and tell a story even if it is about the home they will rent for only a few days. The more the picture talks to the viewer, the more likely they get attached and book the listing.

Bright and airy interior photo shot for airbnb

5. Capture the Special Amenities

What makes the listing unique? Is there a living room with a fireplace? Or a guitar that guests can use? Make sure the highlight those extra features that make your listing stand out from the crowd.

If breakfast is included, set up a pleasant scene with coffee and some fresh pastries for the photo shoot. If you leave welcome notes for the arrivals, show it in the photos. Remember, whether you are the host or the photographer, you are selling this place!

Frame the scene so that it captures the true essence and atmosphere of the place.

Bright and airy living room photo shot for airbnb

6. Take Pictures Outside

Don’t forget to include the exterior in your Airbnb photography! People want to know what is outside and nearby your listing.

The location is crucial for guests. But it is also important to get an impression of the neighbourhood. If it looks dodgy or dirty, they might consider booking something else.

A street photography scene in France

Take photos of the exterior the building so that people can recognize it when they arrive. Do not include house numbers or street names in your photography.

If there is a nice garden, a charming café or an interesting church nearby, capture them too. People love everything that makes a place special.

A row of pretty houses

7. Pay Attention to the Technical Details

Shoot your photos in a landscape format because this is how they are presented with the listing. Pay attention to the resolution. The photos should be at least 1024 x 683 px.

If you are working as a photographer for Airbnb, you can upload JPEG files only. The required photo measurements are 4200 pixels wide x 2700 pixels long and 72 dpi.

Use a tripod to make sure your photos are sharp. The lack of sufficient light can ruin your photography if your camera is not steady.

Try to minimise the editing of your photography. The listing should look realistic. A home that people can relate to.

Bright and airy living room photo

Conclusion

Aesthetic photography is crucial for getting bookings on Airbnb. You can do it yourself with the tips above or hire a professional photographer.

The pictures influence the guest’s first impression of your offer. If you do them right, the photographs can increase the number of bookings and your total earnings. It is a small investment that comes back with high returns.

For a consistent look to all your images, try our Preset Collection

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