Photos go a long way in drawing guests to your vacation rental, giving them an idea of what to expect, and helping them visualize their vacation in your home. High-quality photos can help your home stand out from others, and are often the deciding factor for guests choosing between two similar rentals.
“Anyone can snap a quick photo of their home and call it a day. But attention to detail, patience, and a decent camera can be the difference in getting a booking or not,” says Vacasa Lead Photographer Kimberly Stevenson. Capturing your home in the most flattering way can go a long way, but it’s important to also be realistic in how you portray your home to make sure guests have a positive experience.
It’s certainly worth considering hiring a professional photographer to photograph your home. But for those taking their own pictures, Kimberly has a few tips for how to best showcase your vacation rental.
Walk through your home before you begin. Straighten up, smooth surfaces, put the toilet seat down(!), and try to remove any clutter to make sure your home look its best.
Turn on all the lights and open the blinds. You’ll want as much light as possible in your photos! But be sure to pay attention to the view outside the windows or any reflections you might be capturing.
Use the best camera you have, and a tripod too! Your iPhone camera can do if you’re in a pinch, but you’ll ideally want more professional, HDR photos to showcase your home. If you have a DSLR or can borrow one from a friend, this is the time to use it.
Photograph every room, including every bed and bathroom. Guests will want to know what to expect. It’s better for guests to see an outdated bathroom now than be unpleasantly surprised upon arrival. Be sure to also include photos of your home’s best features, like a hot tub or a cozy fireplace (with a fire going).
Set the scene. Place some fresh flowers on the counter, set the table for dinner, or rest a cup of coffee on the patio so guests can truly picture themselves enjoying your home. Little touches go a long way in staging a photo and making your home look inviting.
Take the time to edit. Small adjustments can take a photo from good to great. With a basic editing program, you can add a little contrast or saturation to make things pop, or add a slightly warmer tone for a cozier look.
Consider the different seasons. A snow-covered cabin in Maine looks enticing for guests booking a winter stay, but those planning their summer getaways may be turned off by the snowy scene. Swap out photos for the upcoming season if you can.