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Boudoir Photo Shoot

Hello - first time poster, but long time reader here. My wife and I recently became hosts in Albuquerque NM, and after a month of awesome guests we got our first “interesting” ones. A woman requested to book a night for her and 1 guest - no big deal, lots of touristy things happening right now, so seemed pretty standard. A couple days before they arrive, she asks if they can have a friend or two stop by during the day - no party or event, just catching up, to which I approve. Fast forward to their stay - and after I hear them check in, I stop by to make sure they found everything ok, etc. They are very nice, but after they see me notice their camera equipment and “models” - they explain that they are using the space for a boudoir photo shoot! At that point I didn’t know what to say, so I left them to it.

Overall they were decent guests, left the room fairly tidy, no messes or anything broken - and I’m not even sure anyone stayed the night. So the big question is - what kind of review do I leave them? While I don’t want other hosts to be lead into a surprise sexy photo shoot (unless you’re into that sort of thing) - I don’t necessarily believe they deserve a bad review, especially since this would be there first. Thoughts?

This is a tough one as they were good guests in terms of leaving everything in good order. On the other hand, they were deceptive in their reason for booking. We don’t allow any visitors and it’s in our house rules. Did they state the reason for their visit in their reservation request? We always ask to be sure our place is a good fit. We recently turned down a request by a filmmaker who requested to book for one but wanted a colleague to come by to work on a film project with her. I envisioned the place being taken over by a crew! We do not advertise as business ready.
I would review them by stating the facts. They neglected to tell me that they were planning a photo shoot and brought in guests not on the reservation. Would not recommend.
I would not have allowed them to go forward with the shoot.
I would report this to Airbnb

5 Likes

A good but honest review. I’m not “into that sort of thing” but I think that is fine. They asked, and you granted the extra visitors. I really don’t need to know how people are using my space if they leave it in good condition. If you have the kind of space that is going to attract photo shoots or filming and you don’t want that then you should put some qualifiers in your listing.

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They definitely didn’t state they were doing a photo shoot or anything of the sort. This is partially my fault as I didn’t inquire as to why they where booking, but hindsight is 20/20 I guess. :slight_smile:

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This could have been avoided by simply having a steadfast rule of …

“Only your registered party allowed in the home or on the property at all times. No additional guests!”

The photo shoot was an inappropriate use of your space and not okay. This was a commercial thing and they deceived you. Think about it. They used extra utilities and had people who could have presented a liability to you tromping around. Of course they were “nice.” They wanted to get away with something and not tell you.

I would write something along the lines of…

Unfortunately I can not recommend this guest. They used my space for a commercial boudoir photo shoot without informing me. They asked if some “friends” could pop by to catch up, which I approved, and I discovered this supposed visit was actually a commercial photo shoot. They were deceitful and put me at risk with their inappropriate use of my home. For these reasons, this guest is a no.

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@konacoconutz took the words almost literally out of my mouth.

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I’m going to Albuquerque this week and staying in an “entire place” with 3 bedrooms. We will be meeting a friend there. If we invite him to come by the house for drinks I’m trying to decide which strategy to employ:

  1. Cancel my reservation and stay in a hotel where I don’t have to ask permission to have guests.
  2. Just have him over and don’t say anything to the owner.
  3. If the owner confronts me about having a guest, I’ll hint that I will give him a bad review. He’ll be so intimidated by his fear of my review that he won’t review me for fear of provoking a bad review from me.
  4. Ask the owner’s permission and bribe him by inviting him to join us for drinks. Flatter him by complimenting his listing for extra insurance.

Never mind, I just checked the rules and there’s no rule about having unregistered guests.

(This post is for amusement purposes only)

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How flattering that they used your home for the shoot! But they were deceptive in the reason for their booking and who the guests were. I HATE being lied to! Commercial photographers and film crews have to pay big money to film or shoot in a private home and they also need to pay for the accommodations of the person who owns the home so this is an expense these people didn’t want to pay. My uncle in Toronto has had film crews use his home for movie and commercial shoots for years so I know how expensive this can be.

I would leave an honest review and mark them down for communication.

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I would not appreciate these guests. I am not allowed to rent out for commercial activity under the terms of my local government short term stay permit.

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Hey Lynch Mob… take a breath. Do any of you actually know what a Boudoir shoot consists of? Typically it is wife/girlfriend/fiancé taking photos for their significant other, for personal consumption only. No giant camera crew, lights, etc. one professional photog and the subject, that’s it.

While I 10000% support vetting film crews etc, I don’t see how this is any different than someone taking photos of a toddler in my backyard. Hell, we had a celeb post photos on IG of our pool, that’s more commercial than what the OP is reporting. OP please correct me if I misunderstood and you actually walked into a commercial photo shoot.

OP allowed the visiting guests, flat was left in good order, why blast these guests on a review??

FTR totally agree with @konacoconutz that if you don’t want surprise extra guests, even day visitors, you need put that very BOLD and in multiple places in your listing.

1 Like

give them a nice 5star review

Thanks for all the advise - I ended up giving them a good review, as they were clean and respectful, but I did mention that they used it for a photo shoot without my knowledge. FWIW, there was 2 photographers, 2 or 3 models, and some professional lighting set up - so not exactly a film crew, but not as innocent as 1 photographer and model.

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I would not have left a good review because no matter how nice they were and how nicely they left the place, they set out to deceive you. That much equipment and crew crosses the line.

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My question is why does it matter? If someone is paying for the use of the space its really no one business. No one asks at a hotel what your renting a room for. Unless something illegal is going on it shouldn’t matter. They may have thought the same thing and did feel it was required to tell you what they were renting it for seeing as they paid for it.

Actually, it’s considered commercial use and it very well might matter to your insurance company if something goes awry. E.g., One of those super bright lights falls over and catches the sofa on fire and does tens of thousands of dollars in smoke damage.

Edit to add, my company frequently rents out hotel rooms during major conferences for customer meetings, demos, equipment storage, etc. They sign a different agreement and pay significantly higher rate for commercial use. Sometimes it includes re-configuring the furniture in the room, but sometimes not.

2 Likes

Also if they are publishing the video or photos they need written proof of the owners permission to do so or the owner can issue a cease and desist where they will never be able to use what they took.

So there is a big difference between a commercial photoshoots and commercial use. You should really know the difference between those two items. While these people should not have been deceptive, it is very frustrating to be a boudoir photographer serving private clients to be confused with a much wider released commercial photographer. When people believe us to be commercial photographers they suddenly want rates that don’t make sense for the fees we charge our client for their private use of the pictures. The reach of such images is usually limited to the client and the photographer’s portfolio if the client signed a release. The lack of understanding from hosts has led to many being advised (poorly) to take these type of actions. The easiest solution is to come up with clear guidelines that go in your house rules. I don’t currently host but my personal rule would look something like this:

Portrait photography/videography for registered guests is allowed please submit a limited location release for approval. Portrait events, such as mini shoots and boudoir pmarathons, please contact me for approval as additional guest fees apply.

Commercial photography and filming must negotiate additional terms.

Anyway, the perspective a both a host, portrait photographer and sometimes commercial photographer.

You say this is their first review. I’d say it is likely that this business uses many different individuals to make their reservations. They are earning revenue out of your property which is contrary to your agreement.

I guess I would have done what you did by mentioning the unapproved commercial photo shoot and what someone else suggested in giving them a low Communication rating.

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