AirBNB free photography

AirBNB says that you can request free photography AFTER you have published your listing??? But you have to have photographs to publish. What am I missing???

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Just use your own photos. That’s what most of us do.

I think I will do that, just wish I had a wide angle lens. I am playing around with lighting and staging. There are some cool settings on the newer phones.

It’s true that newer phones do have some great photo capabilities. Most of the photos on our Airbnb listings were taken with my old iPhone (probably a 5, if there was such a thing). Less than an iPhone 6, anyway.

Take a bunch of photos with different angles, different lighting, highlight important details, etc. Then pick the best ones, photos that are sharp, nicely lit, etc.

I believe guests care more about the amenities and general state of the rooms/spaces shown—the “story” told by the photos—than they do photo quality.


It isn’t a good idea to use a wide-angle lens on Airbnb photos, Victoria. It distorts the space and makes it look bigger than it is. Nor should you “stage” it in any way that it won’t look when guests come to stay. This can easily lead to dissatisfied guests who will give poor “accuracy” ratings. Don’t try to make your place look bigger or better than it is. Taking photos for a STR are quite different than for real estate ads. One of the mantras of successful hosts who get good reviews is “Promise less and deliver more”.


I had a guest tell me that my listing was much bigger that she expected from the photos. She blamed wide angle shots for the reason previous listings she’d stayed at seemed smaller than expected.

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Bad ideas…

All the photographs for our listings were taken by me on the phone. If you start taking photographs using wide angle lenses, using lighting that won’t be accurate when the guests are staying in the rental and staging the place with items that are only used in the photographs you’re simply asking for guests to be disappointed.

I’ve stayed in rentals that have used those tricks and, sorry to say, they have have had the truth from me (and from other guests) in the reviews. If a listing can’t be honest with its photographs, where else is it bending the truth?

Don’t have a vase of flowers on the dining table unless every guest will see fresh flowers on that table when they arrive. Don’t stage the outside area with a couple of glasses and an open bottle of wine unless you are supplying them for all guests. Don’t show an artfully arranged fruit bowl in the kitchen unless the guests will see exactly that when they enter.


Yes, I’ve had a few guests enter their room and say “Oh, this is much nicer than I expected.” So nice to hear. Rather than, “Oh, it’s so small” if I had made it sound or look more spacious.


I first published with photos from an aged i-phone. Within a week, Airbnb actually sent me a professional photographer; I didn’t have to ask!

The photographer used me as his assistant and had me running about all over the place turning on lights, turning them off when he’d finished, and generally bossing me about: annoyingly so! However, the results were fantastic. My rooms look exactly as they are in reality, with no fake embellishments. No wide angled lens used.


Seconding this! I have reasonably attractive photos for my listing, but they’re not professional. I often get comments that it’s “even nicer than the pictures”, or " the photos don’t do it justice".


As long as they don’t don’t mark you down for accuracy because it was better than they expected :slight_smile: I know that’s happened to some hosts. Like guests marking No to the question “Did you get one towel?” because they got three.

This! I’ve been marked for this a couple of times too. Grrrrrr.

Whoever at Airbnb comes up with the wording on these questions need to be fired. They must have never stayed at any Airbnbs at all, or only ones where 1 towel was provided and assume that is what all hosts give. What a stupid way to phrase the questions. Whats wrong with “Were you provided with at least one towel?”


I thought they don’t offer free photography any more. Is this dependent on what location you’re hosting in? As far as I know, they give you free photography only after getting Superhost for a full year.

I guess I’ll be the dissenting voice on wide angle lenses. :grin:

My photos were taken with a DSLR camera and a wide-angle lens. Lots of guests have commented on how my place looks exactly like the pictures, or that the pictures don’t do it justice. 5.0 accuracy rating, 4.96 overall.

I just had to be sure the key elements of the room weren’t on the “edge” of the frame where they get distorted. That’s when a twin bed can be transformed into a king.

If you want a professional look, professional pictures are worth the investment. If Air is offering truly free photos, take them up on it.

They usually charge about $200; at that rate I think you’re better off hiring your own so you have creative control and ownership. (Air is the client and owner of their photog’s photos. You can’t use them anywhere but Airbnb and your personal site)
If you have access to a DSLR camera you can rent a wide-angle lens.

Thank you. I will check that out. I am also proficient in phtotshop to adjust lighting, etc.