A black and white illustration of a man taking a picture in a living room.

AirBnB Photography Tips: 15 Secrets to Top Listings

Master the art of capturing stunning AirBnB photos with professional techniques that will make your listings stand out and attract more guests.

High-quality Airbnb photography can take any property listing from boring to beautiful.

Excellent photography can help your apartment or house stand out from all the others on Air BnB while capturing it at its best.

In this guide, I’ll cover some pro-Airbnb photography tips to help you earn top listings.

15 Tips for DIY Airbnb Photography

In the world of Airbnb, the competition is vast and stiff.

Let’s discuss what you need to get that professional photographer look in your listing.

What Equipment Do You Need?

While a camera may seem like an obvious piece of equipment for professional photography, you can use either a modern smartphone or a digital camera here.

For professional photos, you’ll also want to bring:

  • A tripod to ensure great photos even in low light and to prevent blurry photos that can occur from movement.
  • If you’re going the camera route, a wide-angle lens is your best bet in ensuring you get the entire scene in front of you, helping your photos tell the story.
  • Photo-editing software is another must-have for your Airbnb photo shoot as it can help sharpen your photos and enhance their overall aesthetic. Ideally, you’ll work with Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom.
  • Decor such as plants, vases, and artwork will all help elevate the look of your listing while giving potential renters a feel for the vibe.

What Are the Airbnb Photography Guidelines?

Now that you’ve taken photos that help your property shine, you’re almost ready to post!

Here are some guidelines to follow when posting photos of your Airbnb listing:

Use high-quality photos: You want clear, high-res photos that paint a vivid picture of your property to entice potential renters.

Use the right size: Photos should have a width of at least 1024px and a height of at least 683px.

Avoid watermarks: Airbnb prohibits watermarks, text, and logos on top of your photos.

Show every room: If your listing includes three bedrooms, but you only show photos of two, you’re not only doing your property a disservice but also deterring future guests.

Leverage natural light: Ideally, you’re taking photos on a warm sunny day when there’s plenty of natural light. If you’re in low-light conditions, opt for an external flash.

Showcase the exterior: Whether you have funky-colored shutters or a breathtaking backyard, give your guests a good representation of the property’s interior and exterior.

How Many Photos Should You Take?

I suggest sharing about 20-50 photos so you have images that speak to every room and the property aesthetic while highlighting the details you feel are best sellers, such as stunning views of the cityscape or skylines that enhance a modern interior.

Whether you’re hoping to attract guests to your own vacation rental or hoping to start a vacation rental business, the right photos can make a big impact.

10 Tips for Taking the Best Airbnb Photos

Taking Airbnb photos may seem effortless, but a lot of work goes into making sure your space looks inviting and the exterior has curb appeal.

Let’s dive into specific ways to take the best Airbnb photos.

1. Showcase Unique Exteriors

A blue door and brick building.

While this should seem obvious, not every Airbnb photographer manages to successfully showcase a property’s most unique features, inside and out.

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Think of an ordinary brick house with a vibrant colorful pop in the form of its front door as shown above.

2. Get Romantic

A cabin in the woods with a tree in the background.

Tons of Airbnb photographers take exterior shots, but adding a romantic element to your shots can really help them stand out.

While the property above is gorgeous on its own, the photographer has managed to capture the trees surrounding it to bring a sense of romantic escapism.

3. Highlight Details

A living room in a tiny house.

Every room in a home has its own personality and showing the whole space allows it to speak for itself.

You want to make sure your photos capture the personality found within little unique details, like the shiplap, coffee table, and wooden ladder above.

4. Spotlight the Surroundings

A cabin in the woods next to a pond.

Take showing your property exterior a step up by showing striking features from a distance.

Capturing the natural beauty around your property will allow potential renters to get a feel for how secluded their getaway is or conversely, how conveniently located it is to the nearby city.

5. Feature Outdoor Gathering Spaces

An a-frame cabin with a fire pit in the woods.

If you invest in exceptional outdoor amenities, they deserve some attention!

This means showing firepits, lounge chairs, decks, and more is highly recommended.

6. Capture Unique Selling Points

A wooden deck with tables and chairs.

Cozy bedrooms and spacious kitchens are nice, but you need to highlight the things that will make your listing truly top the list for potential renters.

Give a visual representation of above-and-beyond features such as a rooftop bar, terrace, or a hot tub.

7. Advertise Decor

A blue couch in a living room with a lot of art on the wall.

Most guests want to get a feel for your rental’s personality.

Showcase stylish decor from different angles to give solid first impressions to prospective renters while letting them know whether your rental has a clean, traditional vibe or a fun and funky vibe like in the shot above.

8. Show Signage

A wooden sign that says live fully happiness create kindness smile often.

While the rules of every property are typically shown in the Airbnb app upon booking, add a personal touch and make your unique rules easier to remember by investing in some lovely prints or a nice welcome sign.

Think something like the sign above, but with a warm welcome message and helpful things your guests can reference such as Wi-Fi network names and passwords, check-out times, where snacks can be found, and so on.

9. Consider Staging

A white kitchen with stools and a plant.

Staging is a great way to not only capture your listing in its best light but also to get it photoshoot ready with enhanced visual appeal.

Staging your listing allows you to spotlight a unique focal point like a visually appealing nook while delivering the best impression to viewers.

Let the shot above be an example of excellent staging with food out and ready for a get-together with friends in a gorgeous space.

10. Highlight Experiences

A woman is paddling a kayak on a river.

You’ll also want to highlight real-life moments that have taken place at your Airbnb that have been captured by guests.

This will add credibility to your listing while letting potential renters see all the exciting stuff a visit has in store.

Does Airbnb Offer Photography?

If you don’t feel up to the challenge of taking Airbnb photos, don’t worry!

Airbnb has a team of professionals that are equipped to help.

How Much Does Airbnb Professional Photography Cost?

The cost depends on the size of your listing and your location.

The typical range is $700-$1,200 depending on specific host requests.

Can I Select My Airbnb Photographer?

When you request a quote, you’ll be prompted to agree to the terms and conditions.

You’ll then be matched with a local photographer, depending on availability.

When using this platform for connecting with professional photographers, you won’t typically have a choice since it depends on the photographer’s availability.

How Will I Receive My Images?

After the photo-editing process is done, the photographer will then upload them to the Airbnb listing.

If you have specific questions, reach out to your photographer.

How to Get Your Rental Ready for Airbnb Photography

Getting your rental ready for photography will require a deep clean, organization, and perhaps even some staging.

Let’s unpack a few tips below.

1. Declutter

You don’t want any sign of clutter or disorganization when preparing your rental for photos.

Other listings will have clean photos and spaces, so you don’t want dishes in the sink, boxes in the kitchen, or anything else of the sort.

2. Do A Deep Clean

A deep clean involves more than just polishing surfaces and sweeping.

In this case, to get your listing ready for your photographer to take the photos, you want to get rid of any lingering dust that’s normally overlooked.

This means deep cleaning neglected items like light fixtures, windows, bookshelves, and more since your photographer will take time capturing unique and attractive details for potential guests.

3. Use Fresh Laundry

Fresh laundry will look vibrant and inviting so be sure to place freshly washed linens on beds and hand towels in the bathrooms.

4. Add Throw Pillows

When you list your rental, you’re inviting guests to make themselves at home.

This means they want all the comforts and style of home in the form of stylish throw pillows on beds, cozy blankets on couches, and so on.

5. Eliminate Personal Items

If you have a scheduled appointment with your professional photographer, you want to remove any signs of personal items.

Remove personal photos and clothing prior to photographers showing up.

Photography Jobs for Airbnb

Whether you’re looking to hire an Airbnb photographer or are considering pursuing this as a career, there are heaps of ways to get started.

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Let’s discuss how to get started in taking photos for Airbnb.

How Do You Get Started in Airbnb Photography?

First off, you want to know the ins and outs of their guidelines to protect yourself and your budding business.

Aside from familiarizing yourself with the rules, consider the following:

  • Hone your skills: Whether you’re an amateur or a pro, you can always learn the newest innovations in your industry. Consider signing up for classes and learning more about your camera’s unique settings.
  • Create a portfolio: If you don’t already have a portfolio, now’s the time to start dedicating a few hours to choosing a clean layout that summarizes your work and skills.
  • Learn the lay of the land: Start analyzing listings right away to see what the best ones include.

How Much Should You Charge for Airbnb Photography?

This depends on your level of experience, but look into the market rates and see what others in your area charge.

Additionally, get confirmation from clients ahead of time to see what the scope is.

Many photographers charge per hour, so consider starting there.

How Much Does Airbnb Pay Its Photographers?

Airbnb hires a network of freelance photographers, so there isn’t just one answer.

How much you charge depends on your experience, so as noted above, be sure to research before signing a contract.

How Can You Become an Airbnb Photographer?

Here’s a quick set of steps to get started:

  • Check the needs in your area: Check the site to see if they’re actively seeking photographers near you, then sign up through their website.
  • If so, send your portfolio immediately.
  • Religiously check the status of your application and be on the lookout for assignments from Airbnb.


Is Airbnb photography worth it?

Yes! Not only is taking photos of these beautiful spaces rewarding creatively but also financially.

Does Airbnb still offer free photography?

Sometimes, this depends on the location and is always subject to change.

How do I contact Airbnb photography?

Start by seeing if there’s a need in your area then sign up on their website.

Can I use an Airbnb for photography?

Yes, but just be aware that Airbnb will match you with a nearby photographer.

How long does an Airbnb Photoshoot Last?

This depends on the scope of your property, but typically between 2-5 hours.

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