Photos to include & how to take the best shots

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential guest and ask; would these photos of your property make YOU want to rent it? Insufficient, fuzzy or badly-shot photos are unlikely to inspire potential guests to take a holiday in your property.  

When a guest stumbles upon your holiday home advert, you have 30 seconds or less to grab their attention. Will they rent your home or move onto the next listing? It's a simple principle. The more photos you have, the more interested a traveller becomes, and the more likely they are to make an enquiry. Every single property advert should feature the photos that travellers specifically seek out.

Some essential photos to include:

A good exterior shot which shows the whole of the property.

The living room(s).

The kitchen and other eating areas (e.g. dining room or space).

The master bedroom.

The outside living areas;
i.e. garden, pool or terrace. If your property does not have its own private pool, ideally you should include one of any communal pools, as for summer holidays, many travellers consider access to a pool as an essential. 

The view from your property, if it is really good, or a major selling point. 

A photo of the outside of your holiday home is a must-have for many travellers. Also, in most cases it is better not to include people in your photos, as travellers want to imagine themselves there, not see who else has slept in the beds, or been in the hot-tub before them!

In addition, if you have a small property or studio with fewer rooms, it is a good idea to include a couple of shots of each main room or living area from different angles.

Important note: Remember, photos have copyrights. If you're using a photo that you did not take yourself, be sure to get proper permission from the photographer and/or publication where you found the photo.

Top 10 Tips for taking the best shots:


1. Remove personal clutter; don’t have too many nick-nacks, ornaments or personal photos on show. It needs to look like an inviting haven, but not too ‘lived in’.
Take photos at different times of the day to see what light works best, as lighting is the single most important factor when it comes to getting that perfect shot. Open all blinds and curtains to maximise natural light during the day, or in dimmer areas or lights try using low-wattage bulbs for added intimacy.

3. Set the scene; put flowers, co-ordinated settings or a bottle of wine on dining tables, light the fire if you have one and perhaps lay a nice book or magazine on coffee or side tables.

4. Pay attention to details – Make sure cushions are straight, bed linen is crisp and perfectly made and pillows are plumped. You could also try draping a nice throw or blanket over the edge of sofas or beds to give a splash of colour or a warm feel, or place coordinating fluffy towels on beds or in the bathroom.

5. Angle furniture so it fits the picture, not the room to maximise space and create the best frames (an industry trick by photographers who shoot editorial layouts for magazines).

6. Use the ‘Auto’ setting on your camera; unless you are an experienced photographer, this setting will automatically gauge the conditions and choose the best settings for the room.

7. Do not turn on TVs or make them the focus of your pictures; they rarely photograph well, or are a major ‘selling point’ for a holiday!

8. Take shots from a variety of heights and angles so you can select those that look best and show as much of the room, or its best features as possible; be sure to take one portrait (vertical) and one landscape (horizontal) of each shot and try standing up on a chair or squatting down on the ground.

9. Don’t go mad with PhotoShop! Again, unless you are an experienced photographer this doesn’t usually look very good and can even give an inaccurate impression of your home.

10. Finally, keep in mind that a great photo should; dazzle with clarity, grab the eye with colours and details, show the room in its best ‘light’ (literally!), clearly depict the size of the space, feature a staged ‘scene’, show no clutter, keep the viewer engaged with purposeful framing, feature something of specific interest, showcase the feel of the home, and appear recent and up-to-date.

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