June 07 2018 By: Sean D. Altice

A Homeowner’s Guide: Vacation Rental Photography

Put down the shaky cell phone or cheap outdated camera. You don’t need to be a professional photographer to capture captivating quality photos but there are some important details to consider when trying to take a perfect photo.


Your photos will be the very first aspect of your vacation rental listing to catch the attention of potential guests. From the very first picture, your potential guests will be judging and creating assumptions about every possible and potential scenario. What is the owner like? I wonder what the service will be like? Is the bed comfortable? Will the house be clean? Regardless of what your description may say or what services you may provide, your potential guests will answer these questions themselves with your pictures.

First things first – If you’re using your cell to take property photos, make sure you have some sort of stabilizer or tripod and it’s preferable if your phone is a recent model with the best camera quality possible. If you’re using your own personal or professional camera equipment, just grab your tripod and go!

Photography Tips

  1. Create Good Lighting
    1. Take photos at dawn or dusk to soften light. Prevent taking photos with direct bright light coming through windows
    2. Open blinds – don’t take photos with blinds closed. It will make the space seem dark and small
    3. Turn lights onHigh Dynamic Range
      1. When shooting rooms with windows, shoot pictures in High Dynamic Range (HDR) when possible. HDR allows for maximum exposure in order to capture the light inside the house and the light outside of the window. This allows for trees or landscaping to be seen outside the windows, instead of the white blurry light which the picture will expose otherwise.
  2. Spacing & Staging
    1. Provide a clear picture of what the space looks like
    2. Do not focus too much on one item or section of the house, unless you’re doing a specific vignette shot
    3. Always feature something interesting in every shot
    4. Shoot horizontal pictures, prevent shooting vertical unless shooting directly for mobile only
    5. Get multiple angles of rooms
      1. Use stools to get angled shots for a large area with wide fields of views ie. Landscapes
      2. Use lower angle shots for small rooms to give it a bigger feel
    6. Move furnishings to properly fit into the frame
  3. The Details
    1. Show amenities or special features
    2. Use pillows wisely
    3. Use bright colors
    4. Turn-off TV or computer screens
    5. Iron all towels and linens to prevent wrinkles
    6. Clean all areas thoroughly
    7. Remove clutter
  4. ​​​​Be sure not to capture your own reflection or any reflective surfaces including mirrors, glass picture frames, TV’s and large metallic surfaces.
  5. ​​​​​​​Use a wide angle lens on camera, if available, to capture tight or awkward spaces.
About The Author
Sean D. Altice

I am the Co-Owner and COO of Altez Vacations. I believe that vacations are a way to cleanse the mind, body, and soul. As a result, I find great passion in connecting travelers and guests to the local communities and cultures that make each destination unique. Through our shared experiences, we are able to break down barriers and share within our commonalities.

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