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Expert Tips for Taking Better Photography of Your Short-Term Rental Property

“The pictures you post on your Airbnb listing are one of the most influential details impacting whether your home or apartment is selected.

Here are some essential tips on how many and what kind of pictures to post, as well as tips and tricks on how to take the best pictures to keep your property rented for the whole season.

Why the Quality of Photography is Critical to a Great Airbnb Listing

Your listing gets viewed, shared and rated in the unforgiving world of social media. Having professional quality pictures that accurately reflect the space for rent help present your apartment or house in the best light, without misrepresenting what guests find once they arrive.

Request Professional Photography

If you don’t already know this, this tip makes it worth the time you spent reading this article. Airbnb offers professional photography. They send a local photographer to your place to take better pictures than you’d get with your iPhone!

Since it’s a highly desirable service, you should be prepared to wait your turn. It can take up to three weeks to get on the calendar, so sign up for it as soon as you open your Airbnb account.

How Many Photos Should You Take?

You can add a lot of photos on the listing, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Try to limit your shots between 10-12 pictures so that potential guests are intrigued rather than overwhelmed. Regardless of the total uploaded, the first three frame the space and help the user decide whether to stay or keep clicking. Make them count.

Use high-quality pictures that show off convenient amenities, artsy rooms and other unique selling features that distinguish your property. Airbnb recommends using large photos (1024 x 683px or better) that capture the best features.

Which Type of Photos Should You Take?

The kind of photos you need depends on the type of clientele you want to attract, such as:

  • Couples go for photos showcasing comfortable beds, cozy couches to lounge on and an upscale dining area or nook.
  • Families want proof that their luggage will fit in the apartment and shots of a functioning kitchen that can save them money on food.
  • Business people smile when they see pics of Wi-Fi access, a computer monitor, and free coffee and tea available.

Show What Your Rental Really Looks Like

Your pictures need to show your property in the best light but don’t mislead potential guests. Make sure they get what they expect after viewing the pictures. Otherwise, you risk getting a bad review that can influence future bookings.

Also, don’t stage photos with props and decorations that you plan to remove after the photo session. If you don’t own a sparkling castle on a hill, just be honest and you’ll still attract renters at a reasonable price point.

Tips on How to Take Better Photos

Even if you take advantage of the Airbnb photographer, the light has to be just right. Take well-lit shots that feature unique perspectives to supplement your gallery. Natural light is restful and gives people a better idea of the space, so open curtains, and shades, but watch out for glare.


Take extra care to declutter before you take photos so that your place is spotless. Keep old magazines and ratty furniture out of the shot. Then, make sure the place still looks like the pictures when the guests arrive.

Panoramic Shots

Panoramic shots showcase an entire room in one photo. Alternately, the wide-angle lens on your smartphone takes nice panoramic shots that translate well online. When Airbnb clients see the shots, they’ll know you aren’t hiding any major defects.

Take Photos from Different Angles

Your guests want to see something unique, especially if they’ve invested a lot of time looking through hundreds of listings. Mix it up for them with photos taken from the ceiling and pointing down, or from the ground looking up. Just don’t cut out any great amenities you offer.

Need some help nailing your Airbnb photography? Chat with the team at MaisonNets for expert short-term rental management and advice.