Photos are one of the most important aspects to consider when listing your vacation home online. Appealing photos can easily double the number of bookings that a homeowner receives. When taking photos and preparing a photo shoot, a few tips and tricks can help to improve the whole quality of the photos.

Plan Your Shoot

For your vacation home to get the best ranking on booking portals, we recommend:

1. Taking and uploading at least 25 photos
2. ca. 3 photos per room
3. Including detailed shots that accentuate your vacation home’s unique features

It’s important that the amenities listed and sleeping options match the photos you’ve taken. Things like pools, grills, terraces, bathrooms and living areas should be shown in your photos. The more information you can give the better.

Prepare the Shoot

Telling the Story
The photos you provide are the first impression your guests will have of your vacation home and help show them its uniqueness. Tell a story with your photos and guide them through it!

You should ask yourself: “What are some unique features of my home? What gives my home character?” You can answer these questions with a few photos that display your vacation home’s unique assets, called “detail photos”, which helps it stand out from the rest.

Time of the Day
Choose a bright and sunny day, with a clear, blue sky. Natural light plays a vital role in photographs and creates an image that is bright and inviting. We recommend you take the photos in the morning or early afternoon to avoid shadows and poor lighting.

Notice the differences in the photos?

  • Bright exterior but dark interior
  • Interior lights turned off
  • The angle of the shot not showing the full room
  • Bright lighting that is warm and inviting
  • Interior lights turned on
  • Great angle that shows all aspects of the room

Home Staging
Be sure to thoroughly clean your home. When photographing your home it should look like it does everytime a new guest checks in.

1. Remove any unnecessary clutter
2. Pay attention to details (lower toilet seats, make the bed)
3. Clean all surfaces
4. Turn off all screens
5. Turn on all lights in your home

Taking the Photos

Now let us take some outstanding shots. For the best results, we suggest:  

1. Taking the photos from chest level
2. Taking all photos in horizontal format. You want to show as much of the room as possible without distorting the proportions of the room
3. Not tilting your phone when taking photos. This causes the objects in the image to appear distorted

These days, you don’t necessarily need an expensive, fancy camera. Most modern phones have high quality cameras and you can follow these essential steps to get a strong result:

1. Make sure your camera is on “Photo” mode
2. Disable flash
3. Enable HDR (High Dynamic Range) and the “grid” function if available

Why is the grid function important?

The grid allows you to align all your straight lines (vertical and horizontal) in the photo. Straight lines include walls, pillars, door frames and even furniture. When all lines are parallel in the photo, it creates a more aesthetically pleasing image and encourages potential guests to continue to explore your photos.

Notice the difference in the photos?

  • The camera is tilted at an unflattering angle
  • The main object (pool) is not centered
  • None of the lines (horizontal or vertical) are parallel
  • The umbrellas are used as a reference for the vertical lines
  • The pool is used as a reference for the horizontal lines
  • All lines are parallel, which creates a symmetrical, aesthetic shot

Be sure to avoid cutting off the main object being photographed. For example, when photographing a sofa, be sure to include the full piece of furniture. When photographing a room, try to get at least two walls in the shot. Using the grid function to get a symmetrical image is useful here and aligning your horizontal and vertical lines will add to the aesthetic appeal of the image. To get a sharper picture, tap the screen to focus on the image.

Since the appearance of your property’s listing is critical to your bookings, you should take time for taking good photos. Let me assure you – it will be worth the effort!