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Airbnb professional photographers - see the difference


I had an Airbnb professional photographer come through. The photographer used a lot of the same angles I did with my cell phone, but the pictures came out better. I thought you might be interested in seeing the difference.


Smart phone camera


Honestly I don’t see enough difference here to justify paying for a pro. It just looks like a filter was used on the same picture. On my smartphone “Auto” or “sunshine” would have a similar effect. That isn’t to say it’s not worth it, this picture isn’t good evidence.

I have a few pro pictures on my listing and the main difference I saw is a wider angle without being distorted at all. Similar to what I can do with my panorama setting on my phone. I paid nothing for my pictures, the guy was staying here and did them for me gratis. Since I’m booked most the time anyway it’s hard to get excited about paying for that particular upgrade.

Do you have a different picture with a more striking difference?

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I didn’t pay the pro. I used my one year as a superhost promo. It was either a $100 travel credit or over $100 worth of pro photography. I decided to reinvest that incentive into my listing. I’ll see if it makes a positive difference on my bookings. I can say that the pictures are noticeably better but it seems mostly to do with the camera’s ability to pick up light and correctly show colors and not distort on a wide angle like you said.

This one might not be be the best comparison because the curtains were open on one shot and not the other








I love the pro pictures and do see a difference. I’m in this process now of trying to find a photographer who will come and show up. You’re lucky you got them at little cost.


I just ordered the photography, I think my photos are good, I do real estate photography in my business. The main reason is I think, and I could be wrong, that Air will give my listing a bit more exposure because I am playing the game, using one of their suggestions. They even upload them.


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Yes, I see the difference now. Thanks for additional uploads.


I have been recently viewing YouTube videos from a Colorado, USA gentleman who owns and manages several Airbnbs. In one helpful video, he suggests “staging” your room photos.

For example: place draped beach towels near the Airbnb’s private swimming pool, a wine bottle and glasses on a lounge table, a meal setting (plates, utensils, glasses) on the dining table or kitchen dining countertop. Make the guest space appear to be currently used (but not messy) and not so sterile.

Here is the video weblink: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOoOj5EZmzQ

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But I’ve also heard that it can lead to guest disappointment and lower accuracy and value scores (and maybe even overall) because they don’t get exactly what is advertise in the pictures.

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If you have an upscale or luxury type listing that type of staging is expected and essential. When I was choosing my destination birthday rental for summer of 2017 I was absolutely sold on the place I rented by the professional video they had. However, if one has guest rooms in their home then staging is more minimal. We certainly advise here that picturing things that aren’t provided like wine or a bowl of fruit is probably not a great idea. We’ve had hosts report here that they had complaints because the duvet cover was different than pictured or that there was no sunset (@JamJerrupSunset). And yes most of us advocate under promise and over deliver. The place I rented over promised and over delivered but most hosts can’t pull that off.

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I have never used professional photography on either of our listings for that reason. They couldn’t increase our booking rate anyway and I love it when, during the house tour, guests say that the place is even better than it looks on the listing.

Airbnb Plus Program -- anyone else who thinks the new photos suck?

Just as a follow up, my booking rate and views have gone up since I got the professional photography done. I’m getting a lot more requests and views now.

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I am not surprised that Air is rewarding you for doing it their way, I was reading the TOS and saw where rankings can be affected by number and quality of photos. I remember a while back Air telling me some of my photos were too bright and I just ignored them. I bet it dropped me in the rankings for not playing along. I am looking forward to getting mine done and seeing if it makes a difference.


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Mine as well. I hired my own photographer and my booking rate lept from about 1% to 5%. It’s stabilized back out at 3% now so I think seasonality is affecting my booking rate as much as photographs are.

I got the official AirBnB photos years ago when they were free, but they weren’t great and I replaced them with my own photos. I wish I had saved them so I could show you all the official photos, my photos, and the professional I hired as a comparison.


Wow thats a good improvement!

That’s a good idea to keep old photos to compare.


I thought Airbnb paid for the professional photographer services. Reading here I am thinking maybe not. Any one know?


You pay for that as a host. They can take it out of your future payments though so you can get the photos and start getting reservations right away.

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Thanks, I just had a photographer stay the weekend for free in exchange for pictures. She had a great stay and loads of fun staging, taking night shots etc.
She could definitely hire herself out as that, I thought it made a huge difference in. the photos. Everything looks different the minute the guests unload their belongings.


Nice pictures! Good photographs are so important for an eye-catching listing - well done you for investing in getting some done, if you’ve got a great place why not show it off? Have you considered adding a video to your listing? Might give your potential guests a real 360 view of your rental.


How do you add a video or a 360 picture?


We had professional services from AirBnb before there was any charge for them. It was a little weird since my husband and daughter are both photographers but could not do “verified” photos.
When we did our first room in 2012 the photos were excellent. When we opened a second room a few years later, I couldn’t believe the photos. They would have been fine in a design magazine, but were inappropriate for a listing. They made the bedroom and bathroom look three times as big as they actually were. They just invited complaints about accuracy of the listing. We decided to use a couple of “verified” photos and used our own for the rest.

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