Tips From a Professional Photographer for Creating
Eye-Catching Listing Images
It would be an obvious and colossal understatement to say that incredible photography of your short term rental is KEY to having a great listing. I am going to be honest, and admit something that I shouldn’t - your photography may even be more important than great design.
(Ugh! That was painful.)
A well-designed space is crucial. But if you have a beautiful rental with lackluster listing images to sell it, no one will want to book. Your photos are by far your most significant selling tool. This is what grabs the travelers' attention and pulls them in. These pictures are what paint the picture and sell the dream of having a fantastic getaway in your space and city.
Don't just take my word for it. Recently I was able to catch up with my old friend Ashley Scott of Lovely and Limitless and ask her a few questions about how to capture great photos for short term rentals. She is a modern day multi-hyphenate. Entrepreneur - Travel Enthusiast - Art Director - Graphic Designer - Blogger - Social Media Influencer and most importantly to this conversation - an incredible photographer. She shared some of her gorgeous photos along with tips on how she creates eye-catching images for her clients.
(TSH) What are a few of the biggest or most common mistakes you see in listing photos?
• (AS) If your goal is to really make your listing shine, you're going to need high-resolution photos of your space that are not only crisp but also have the proper color correction done to them as well. There is nothing worse than have a beautiful space but the photos have a yellow or blue tint throwing them off. Daylight is your best light source possible. Open the windows and brighten your space as much as possible using natural light sources. Also, think wide angle! Most professional architectural photographers use wide angle lenses to really amplify their photos making even the smallest spaces feel large and inviting. Staging is also a huge game-changer for listing photos. Dress up your spaces with a pop of color using a throw blanket or add some planters to help give some texture to your photos. Make sure your counters are clean from clutter and anything that may be seen as distracting from the overall layout of the space.
(TSH) What is THE most crucial element of a great interior photograph?
• (AS) It's all in the details! The most crucial elements in interior photography are those little touches and attention to detail. For example, if your living room has a coffee table, why not dress it up with a cute welcome booklet and magazines related to the area to give visitors a real sense of place when staying on your property. It helps provide an inviting feel to those potential clients who are looking to book a stay.
(TSH) What is the best time of day to shoot? Should you have a combination of daylight and nighttime shots?
• (AS) I typically shoot all interior photos midday. The most natural light the better. For past rental owners, I have shot exterior photos at sunrise or sunset to really amplify the colors and give their space a warm and inviting feel. This helps avoid any hard shadows that can distract from the overall look and feel of the location. Also, do you have a beautiful patio that is perfect for star-gazing? Show it off by having a professional photographer take a night-time shot to really show visitors what it's like to enjoy the view from the deck.
(TSH) What are some easy ways to make an image pop?
• (AS) Edit edit edit is my advice! Even raw files straight from a professionals camera need to be adjusted after the fact. Using programs like Lightroom or Photoshop to improve the clarity and color balance of your photos will do numbers on the final end result.
(TSH) How many shots should you expect your photographer to take?
• (AS) Typically I've delivered 20 final edited photos to my clients. This gives you interior, exterior & detail shots. I've also had owners ask I take some other shots out while visiting the area to share on their listing page. This can help showcase the area around the rental as well for those looking for more activities in the area.
(TSH) What are some of the ways Hosts can use their photography to market on Social Media?
• (AS) Social media marketing is really taking over the advertising industry. Not only is it great to have photos on your social media feeds but it's also instrumental in sharing on Instagram - for example using Stories. This way you can share your space with followers to keep in their mind that your rental is out there and, as an added benefit you can geotag locations and use hashtags so that people using the platform as a search engine will come across your photos faster and direct.
(TSH) Why hire a professional photographer?
• (AS) Have you ever heard to term "a picture is worth a thousand words"? Well, that couldn't be more true! You have only seconds to catch the eye of a potential client swiping past your listing to tell the whole story of your rental space. Hiring a professional photographer increases your chance that you're listing will be clicked as well as really elevates you from the competition.
(TSH) Any other tips, tricks, or trends we should know?
• (AS) Look into social media marketing and its full potential! Word of mouth is huge for Airbnb or HomeAway listed properties, and local bloggers or social media influencers that stay at rentals tend to share it with others and their followers.
Want to find out more about working with Ashley?
Head on over to her website lovelyandlimitless.com to find more about her services, links to her stunning Instagram feed, and Pinterest page where you can find travel inspiration.
Ashley has over 12+ years of experience working on a variety of projects as both a graphic designer and art director. Currently her work has been focused on web based marketing and advertising, creation of brand identities, art direction for video & editorial projects as well as social media marketing and content creation for brands.