Gilles Peress (famous French photographer) once said, “I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.” Slightly more profound than the intended tone for this blog, but we’ll roll with it.
Pictures are very important when it comes to maximising bookings on your Holiday Rental. Along with a great property description (read on how to do that here), photos can tell the story of your property. Which becomes very important when influencing and turning those ‘just having a browse’ guys into becoming your next guest.
Now, not all of us know much about photography and/or own the appropriate equipment/time or money to find someone who does.
We want to show you how you can take fantastic images of your property by using your smartphone. We’ve included a checklist of areas to include and tips and tricks on how to get the best out of what you have.
Don’t use photos as an opportunity to ‘cover up’ or ‘hide’, be bold and honest.
Don’t leave that crack in the floor out of shot, the guest will only see it when they arrive anyways. This can only lead one way and that’s negative reviews, neither of us wants those!
We’ll get on to making your rental look as good as possible later, but always remember that honesty is the best policy! If your guest’s expectations are as near to what you offer as possible you’re more likely to get a good review and repeat business.
Make sure not to leave anything out that you’ve written/listed in your description. For example, if you state you have a “TV in each guest bedroom”, make sure these are visible in your photos. One thing that is sometimes overlooked is making sure you show all available sleeping areas, even pull out beds etc.
The last thing you want is for a potential guest to have to guess or fill in blanks when looking at your rental online.
2. Highlight Features
Make sure to photograph your best features, amenities and whatever makes your rental stand out as different or original.
If you have a beautiful traditional fireplace in your home, get some kindling and logs and light it up! If you have a hot tub on your outside decking, remove the cover and fire the jets. Patio Heater? You know what to do. Mood lighting in the living room? You know what to do.
Bottom line is to make sure that the biggest perks of staying with your property are highlighted, whether that’s a spectacular view, a closet full of board games or the wonderfully designed and furnished master bedroom.
3. It’s All In the Detail
There are a few simple, low-cost additions you can make that will add detail and value to your rental pictures. Candles and a well-set dining table are a must. A fresh fruit bowl on the kitchen top or continental spread can add colour and a touch of class and organisation to your property photos.
Don’t forget the basics though. Put the toilet seats down, re-stock the loo roll, fold the towels make the beds, so on, and so on.
1. Let’s Start With the Basics
The first thing to make sure you do is to hold your phone in the landscape position (on its side), you will be able to fit more in your frame and show more in a picture (it will also save you disappointment when uploading).
Avoid using the flash at all costs, natural light is your best friend when it comes to taken photos on a phone. Open those curtains and flick those switches!
2. How to Fit Everything In
Sticking to the corners of the room when positioning yourself is a good suggestion, but not paramount. We recommend taking a few from different angles and then deciding which one to go with once you’ve got the photos up and open on your pc/mac/iPad.
Avoid using any wide-lense clip-on’s for your smartphone. These are usually low quality and could distort your finished image, usually warping walls etc. Not what you want at all.
Use your smartphones grid option when taking photos, it gives you a better idea of scale and lets you know what you can fit into the frame. If your phone doesn’t have this you can download an app from the app stores for IOS and Android.
3. Importance of A Steady Hand
A steady hand is your best friend when it comes to taking pictures on your phone. Steady yourself with a strong stance or against a door frame. Try to hold your breath when taking a photo as to avoid any wobbles mid-shot. The steadier you hold the camera the better the final product.
If you have a tripod for your camera or smartphone now is the time to use it! If not, don’t panic just take your time, relax, steady yourself and take a variety of photos for each area. You will get the one you need!
4. All Year Round
Makes sure to take photos at different times of the year. A guest will be more likely to book your country home for a winter retreat if they see what it looks like on a frosted morning.
If your property looks lovely at night, make sure to include a photo.
5. Exterior Counts
Try not to focus just on your interior, let your customer know what your surrounding area looks like. Take a lovely wide shot of your exterior if you live in the country. If you live in an urban area take a photo of a busy street or one of your top attractions near you. Try and avoid using stock photos from the internet as this could put guests off.
4. A little Editing Goes A Long Way
There are loads of free ways to jazz up your photos with some minor editing online.
Check out these top sites from TechRadar here, if you’re struggling.
Don’t go over the top, avoid contrast or any colour correction. Add some light by controlling the brightness, as we’ve said before ‘light’ is your best friend for an attractive customer-captivating image.
Now you’ve got some fresh new skills and ideas! Try uploading between 10-15 images (more if you have a larger property). Other than that don’t be afraid to experiment, involve some people, happy guests or staff in your photos.
Have a look at these great examples from gomingo.com‘s hosts for inspiration!
If you have any great examples or can see something we may have missed out? Let us know in the comments below.
If you haven’t already, make sure to sign your holiday rental or hotel up on gomingo.com. We’re running a promotion (6 months free bookings) until the 31st of January. Click the link below to find out more.