As a full-time marketing consultant my job requires me to help clients display their company, product, or service in the best way possible. It should be of no surprise that I outsource all photography work to a professional photographer. Although some clients complain about the price of having to pay outside costs–the benefits ALWAYS outweigh the costs.
There is nothing worse than using poorly shot, low-resolution camera phone photos for marketing purposes. Don’t get me wrong–the camera on an iPhone 6 is pretty amazing–but it’s nothing in comparison to a professional grade DSLR or mirrorless camera.
The same advice I give to my clients is of equal importance to hosting on Airbnb. If you want to maximize your potential for success as an Airbnb host then you need to have professional photos taken by an Airbnb photographer!
The photographer doesn’t necessarily have to specialize in Airbnb photography, but they do need to be a professional. I recommend hiring a photographer that has experience in shooting real estate like Tyler Tyndell Photography. Although Tyler does not only specialize in Airbnb Photography, he does have an extensive real estate portfolio and commercial photography.
I interviewed Tyler and asked him to provide Airbnb Guide readers with 7 tips from a professional Airbnb photographer on how to perfectly capture your Airbnb listing. Below are his suggestions:
Explore The Space
Everything has a face. Any object, whether naturally attractive or not, has a particular way that it photographs best. This requires the photographer to explore various angles, and shoot from multiple directions and heights, to ensure that the best angle of any geometric space is shown the best that it can. Take photos of unique objects that guests might find interesting or entertaining. Show them the entire space.
Nothing is more attractive or inviting than a clutter-free space where Airbnb guests will feel comfortable knowing that the house or room that they’ll be staying in has been well maintained. When it comes to Airbnb photography, I recommend staging your listing like you would when selling a real estate property. Add some books to your coffee table or put a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table. These minor touches will add personality to your Airbnb listing.
Use Natural Light If Possible
In some cases this may mean using a tripod and slower shutter speed but the benefit outweighs yellow mixed light from most residential light sources. The white light captured from natural light is clean and consistent. This look will be more appealing to guests and will transform your space from dingy to clean.
Apart from using a tripod to ensure sharp photos when shooting at lower shutter speeds, using a tripod also allows you to make sure that the horizon and vertical lines in the image are straight. Crooked photos, in a real estate photography sense, are unprofessional. The message you want to convey to your Airbnb guests is that you take this seriously and want to provide them with the highest quality experience possible.
Use Wide Angle Lenses, But Don’t Go Too Wide
I recommend using wide angle lenses 35mm or wider to capture multiple corners of rooms in one photograph. This sells the idea of open space. But while using wide angle lenses will help open up the room, you don’t want to go wider than 24mm. An 18mm lens will give the room a fisheye look. Don’t try to be too artsy!
Photograph The Surroundings
Most Airbnb guests are looking for a quaint place to stay but are also interested in what’s going on around them in their temporary home. Take photos of outdoor areas and attractions within a few miles of the property. Going the extra mile will pay off. More photos on your Airbnb listing equals more bookings. More bookings equals more money!
Don’t Over Edit
There’s nothing wrong using photo editing software to clean up scuff marks on the floor or other minor imperfections, but don’t go overboard. A natural and clean color edit should be used to keep your photos from looking cheesy. If you’re hiring an Airbnb photographer to photograph your space, take a look at their previous work to ensure you choose someone who can photograph your listing in a style that matches its personality.
At the end of the day, your Airbnb photography is what attracts guests to your listing. You can describe your listing beautifully–but no matter how many words you write–nothing can compare to professional photos taken by an Airbnb photographer!
A big thanks to Tyler Tyndell for sharing his insight on how to photograph Airbnb listings. We will be releasing another article with his recommendations on what camera and gear to buy if you want to try your hand at Airbnb photography! You can contact him directly by visiting his website, liking his Facebook page, or following him on Twitter.