Vacation Rental Photography: Draw a Guest In
We partnered with Tyann Marcink, vacation rental photographer extraordinaire, to highlight our family-friendly home in Austin, Texas, and to learn about the process of vacation rental photography. Read on for the best tips for photographing your vacation rental and putting your best face forward.
1. Stage the house before you break out the camera
Tyann started the photo shoot by rearranging and tidying up a bit. Clutter is the enemy of professional photos! Simple, uncluttered images work best in vacation rental photography. Start with a clean home. Then put away the blender, straighten the bedding (smooth beds with crisp linens look so inviting!) and hide the electrical cords. Take a look around before you start snapping away. Think of how you can make your space more appealing. Does the sofa need a pop of color, maybe a nice plump throw pillow, for example? Use contrasting colors if you can to make an inviting photo.
Don’t forget about lighting. Open all the curtains and blinds and let the natural light shine in. Turn on all lights and lamps. Closed curtains and low light will produce dark and uninviting photos.
2. Point and shoot
Take more photos than you think you’ll need and photograph all rooms from several different angles. You’ll have plenty to choose from and be able to pick the photo that best represents your space. Use close-ups and depth of field for variation.
Guests want to imagine themselves in your space, so photos should go above and beyond the usual shots of each room. Highlight the unique points of your property and really bring out the best of your home. What sets it apart? What makes it special? Maybe a deck view with a glass of wine in the photo. Or a nice fire in the poolside fire pit.
Don’t forget to highlight the family-friendly amenities in your home. Show toys on the rug or a game set up on the table. Add in a cute photo of your granddaughter on the swing outside. You want your guests to picture themselves having fun and spending quality time together as a family.
3. Getting it just right
The best photos start with RAW files then are post-processed using Photoshop or Lightbox. You can remove a yellow cast, edit out something you didn’t see when you were taking the photos and, generally, get the lighting just right, as the eye sees it. Also, resize the photos yourself, with 72 dpi and the longest side no more than 800 pixels. If this sounds daunting or you just don’t have the time, consider hiring a professional photographer to get the job done right. Professional photos are worth the expense and often pay for themselves quickly.
4. Find the best, leave the rest
Narrow down the best shots for each room and choose the very best photo for the lead image. Which photo really highlights your home’s unique selling point? It isn’t always an exterior image that should be the lead photo -- you want to showcase your home in this photo, the best shot that invites people in. What makes them want to see more?
Photos aren’t only for information but to illicit an emotional response. Draw a guest in with inviting photos that make them want to see more, read more, BOOK! Professional photos also convey trust. Setting the scene and investing your time and effort in photography makes a difference. It shows you are professional and care about your property and about your guests.
As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Get those right and you set yourself apart from the pack!
You can also read about creating fantastic vacation rental copy here: Showcase Your Family-Friendly Cred in Your Vacation Rental Description