It sometime it amazes me how person are often left unprepared for their Airbnb photography photo session of their vacation rental unit.

Its often the simple things that matter and attention to detail is overly important. Now I must admit as a good friend of mine reminds me every so often… “Rashad you just have a problem, you have that touch of OCD.”

This may sound like a joke but its not ill tell you about that later.

Preparing for Airbnb photography goes beyond just surface cleaning, cutting the grass and straitening chairs. Its often the small things that are overlooked however with a camera there are a few things to keep in mind.

Photos are also top of my list of 7 things you can do to increase your Airbnb bookings.

Airbnb photography relies on 6 main areas, the hero shot, the dinning room, bedroom, bathroom, sitting area and the yard.

Not just because of the advent of photoshop does it mean that your photographer will be willing to go that extra mile without charging you for the work and besides Airbnb has its own criteria that their freelance photographers follow… like myself.

Depending on the type of images you are paying for and the type of listing you have you may want to consider plugs, wires, putting out flowers or fruits, flowering plants, sitting areas outdoor space clean pool and other minor but major details.

What type of images are you expecting?

Before you go and.. over do the cleaning up consider the type of vacation rental photos you will be looking for.

If you didn’t know there are different techniques used to capture real estate photos and can be very different from Airbnb photography photos.

For now I will give an over view.

  • Basic flash images – which means the photographer will most likely come with just a camera and possibly a flash attached to the camera. This type of photography is the cheapest type but still better than cell phone photos in many cases.
  • HDR Images – Using a series of multiple images to blend into one image.
  • Architectural photography – The most expensive whereas multiple lights are used to portray a sharp very dynamic and well lit image.

Knowing which one you will requested will go a long way in how your stage you rental. The first type doesn’t require much work as a surface level clean is good enough, the photographer will most likely depend on capturing the overall size and layout of the unit.

The second is where you have to clean up a bit more. Taking multiple shots to blend together will expose flaws in your home such as wall cracks papers under a table and many little details.

The third can go two ways either you may want a spartan look where your unit looks clean and spacious or you can add the amenities such as flowers and other accessories to show a comforting home.

Bahamas Real Estate

Tip#1 Airbnb photography – The Hero shot

The hero shot in Airbnb photography, is that one shot that is usually the first image a potential guest will see. Its often am image of what is considered to be the best part of the entire property. this can vary from place to place It could be a pool area, a view the design of the home, a garden or any thing that persons will see and want to book your listing for.

Take your time when staging your hero area you want this to stand out as it will be the one thing that makes your unit stand out from the many others in your area.

Airbnb photography

Tip#2 Airbnb photography – The Dining Room

There are two ways you can prepare this room. Of course a good cleaning is in order especially if the room stands alone away from other rooms. The table has to be cleaned thou-rally especially if it is glass or reflective. Wood tends to show dust more than other surfaces so you have to make sure you give it a good clean.

Depending on your space you can dress the table for a formal dinner. This works best for larger homes and stand alone rooms not in an open floor plan. Use, as we say in the Bahamas, your best china nicely decorated and ensure that your bulbs are of the same time.

If you have an open floor plan this may make the table look a bit busy, all depending again on the space between this section and the next. If its a smaller location then it may be best to keep the table clear with just a nicely designed center piece.

 Bahamas airbnb photos

Tip#3 Airbnb photography – The Bedrooms

When it comes to selling a home the kitchen is usually the selling point but when it comes to vacation rentals the selling point seems to be the bedroom.

Take your time in this location and make it very welcoming. However the trick is to consider the guideline that less is often more.

A clean room with a smooth bed spread is always preferable. When I say a smooth bed this can be tricky. Many times beds are nicely made but the wrinkles in the sheet make it look unkempt.

There are a few ways to do this. If you have a steamer this is the quick way but if you dont have on but have a dryer place the sheet in the dryer for a short burst of about 5-10 minutes if you can at low if longer.

Take it out and make the bed the sheet would remain smooth.

Airbnb photography

Tip#4 Airbnb photography – The Bathrooms

Vacation rentals in the Bahamas are primarily traditional homes. This means the bathrooms are often small. Small however does not mean you can avoid it as this is also an important room in your rental.

A good cleaning is in order but pay attention to your tiles and definitely the mirrors. Any shiny items like silver faucets aught to be clean, lime deposits are a no no scrape them off and use lime away to help remove them.

Show clean towels in the bathroom but be careful of having name brand soaps or other products out in the open. Sometimes depending on where you post your images such as Airbnb or VRBO although taken by you there can be a conflict with company names. I recommend either turning the labels away or removing the entire

Airbnb photography  Bahamas

Tip#5 Airbnb photography – Sitting or T.V. areas

Common areas should never be neglected, this is where your guest will be spending most of their free in house time.  There is something about gathering around the tv or sitting around chatting after a fun day.

To showcase this area at its best keep a few things in mind. If you have an open living space, try not to hide the view from one end to the other with big table center pieces.

You can arrange the remotes neatly on the coffee table but most often they are best hidden away in a drawer. You T.V wires should be hidden as best as possible. I cant state how many times I’ve had to photograph and area with a t.v and the power cord is dangling along the wall or the cable wires are bungled up together in plain view.

Try your best to hide them even if you have to use those wall edge tubes to hide the wires. Trust me its never a pretty sight. 

The couches should have fluffed pillows nicely arranged and kept as clean as possible. Magazines can be a nice touch on coffee tables but be careful as they can date the image.

You don’t want to showcase the same images a year or two later but have a magazine with the date visible on it in bold or something that happened that was commonly known. You wan to be able to use your images for a long time.

 Bahamas Real Estate Photographer

Tip#6 Airbnb photography – The Yard

The outside of your property is just as important as the inside. This goes along with the Hero shot especially when you have a really nicely designed home with some great outdoor features such as a view of the beach or on the beach, a pool, gazebo, fruit bearing plants or just great landscaping.

Look for symmetry and make sure the lawn is nicely manicured. Paint any bad patches on the house and remove unwanted items from the yard. A hose across the lawn doesn’t help the curb appeal. 

Preparing your vacation rental for a photo shoot does and will take some time. Don’t rush it but be thorough and intentional with your cleaning and staging.

If you are not sure just remember the camera will see more than you think or expect, so if its visible to you its visible to the camera.