Guests using my place for photo shoot


Had a last minute booking yesterday from a chap in London, who despite the awful weather warnings wanted to travel to the countryside to stay for two nights.

I warned him about the blizzards expected, but he was insistent on coming.

He has complained this morning about the lack of strong wifi, which he needs to send images via his computer. ( It does state on the listing that the wifi is terrible, but 4G is available via a booster.)

The cottage is full of photographic gear for a coffee and cigar photo shoot. With a scantily clad female assistant!!

I am really annoyed he didn’t ask first, its my own place and furnished beautifully for genuine guests.

Your thoughts please, thanks very much.

If you are not on site, you must must must get security cameras so you can monitor your property remotely. You could have seen him carrying in all his gear and taken action in advance. If you do live onsite then you should monitor in person. Also if you have the kind of beautiful place that invites these kinds of bookings either put in your rules that you don’t allow photo shoots or charge for them.

As long as the place is left in good condition I wouldn’t be too concerned. I would not want any burning tobacco products in my cottage. What are they doing with the cigars? I mean, a US President was known to have had a different use for cigars.

Problem is, you can’t change the rules after the game has started. But if they are violating rules call Airbnb and get them out.


All manner of thoughts are going through my mind!!

Cameras are a good idea, the trouble is that I cant police them constantly. I shall add the photo shoot rule into the house rules, there is a greater risk of damage if my home is being disrupted & objects moved about.

Another day eh!

Even if you can’t monitor constantly they provide video or photo evidence of rules violation. That way you have grounds for cancellations or payment of extra fees. I have a Ring doorbell with motion detection that tells me when someone has arrived. Then I can use the footage from the 24/7 CCTV cameras to review the footage.

Cameras when pictured and disclosed (per Airbnb requirement) can also serve as a deterrent to these types of activities.

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Hello @jhh

I slightly disagree with other posters. He has booked to stay in your place as a guest. He hasn’t booked a venue for what sounds like a commerical photoshoot.

I presume you have access to the interior of cottage to know he has an assistant (did he book and pay for two?) and equipment. If he hasn’t booked and paid for the assistant you can boot her out on these grounds. Can you clarify how you know he is doing a photo shoot there.

In your shoes, I would speak to him and say he booked as a guest, and you haven’t given him permission to, nor did he ask to carry out a photo shoot on your premises and that you are disappointed and upset that he felt this was an appropriate thing to do.

First I would call AIrbnb explain the situation and ask if it is grounds for cancellation.

It is outrageous of him to do this, but photographers do it because its much cheaper than paying commercial rates to hire a space for a shoot. I would also say that he is not allowed to use photography of the interior or exterior of your premises for commercial purposes. And that he is not allowed to move furniture/accessories in the property without your permission.

If you don’t want to boot him out make him pay for the commercial hire of your place for the shoot in addition to the cottage hire.

Someone on here did this recently. Have a search on the forums to find her post (there are quite a few similar ones too you could have a look at).

I would definitely mention this in your review and give him the thumbs down.

Don’t feel pressured into taking a booking by the way.

In terms of the wifi, this is his problem, he should of read the listing and with this bad weather he may lose his connection altogether (here’s hoping :slight_smile: )


Sorry to hear! Here’s what I’ve done in the past in a similar situation and it worked for me.

Call the guy and tell him this is NOT the deal with Airbnb. Like any other place, you don’t just get to come and shoot it for $100 a day. I asked him for $500 unless I’m calling to Airbnb and reporting it (note that I had a clause about photography in my House Rules). He paid and got permission to shot for the remaining days.

Do you have one?

Bahahahaha, this is funny. Remember when telling a lie about a cigar was a federal offense? :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:


That’s not a cigar, but I am glad to see ya!

IMHO almost everyone should have a “no commercial use” clause in their listing. No photo shoots, no weddings, nada! Unless you want to get some serious liability insurance for future damages.


I’m going to ask you, because I think you’re a lawyer or at least you always seem to know a lot of these things :wink:: Doesn’t @jhh have “creative rights / portrait rights” on the interior she created? And based on these rights no one can photograph for commercial use unless they have an agreement with her. Even if she doesn’t mention it in her house rules.

I think this is a right that is automatically granted in Belgium to architect / interior architects / … for their creations. I don’t know the UK situation and situation with ‘private’ creations.

Oh @GutHend not a lawyer :blush: …but a former journalist and now working in marketing and PR so I know a little about issues like slander, defamation, copyright, working with photographers and film-makers etc.

Copyright (is that what you are referring to? ) refers to something someone produces so a photograph, a painting, a song, a piece of writing, a play, architect drawings etc

I don’t know where the OP lives and what law applies.

I think whether you have something in your listing rules or not, a guest should not be able to use your listing for commercial use without your permission.

Hopefully the OP will come back and let us know what Airbnb say.

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I agree with Helsi. He should have asked permission to use your place as a shoot. Having allowed my son and his fellow film students to shoot in my house, I can tell you it is HUGELY disruptive. They will move stuff around, stick bits of tape everywhere, gouge out bits of your walls/floors/doors with equipment, use random things as props…endless list of disruption. And there is always a crew of at least 10 people utilising every available space, leaving coffee cups in every conceivable place. I seriously advise you to get there asap to oversee things or get someone in the area to check.

edit It’s not just because my son is a student - it’s a fact of filming life.


I have managed to find the guest on Facebook & have copied his post saying he was off on a photographic shoot.

I am awaiting a reply from Air bnb.

Thanks for all of the comments

Jane Hopkins


Because you replied by email all of your personal information posted along with your reply. I took the liberty to remove it ASAP. If you would like to repost it all again for the public to read I beg your forgiveness and feel free to repost.


Copyright :thinking::thinking::thinking:… Mr.Google told me that when an architect designs a building he has copyright over his plans, but he also has the ‘image’ right of the end product: Commercial use of photos of his buildings, in which the building is the main subject, isn’t allowed without the architects permission. I haven’t got a clue if one would call that copyright in English.

The same principle could apply to interior design.

But for @jhh it’s probably better to try and catch him in the act and present him the bill for commercial use.

Thank you Everyone

I am humbled that you have all taken the time to respond.

He is booked until the morning, but we have had so much snow, he may not get out of the village in the morning, without getting stuck…

I will send him an invoice for professional use, and send a message via Air bnb to confirm my dissatisfaction with him, that way it will be recorded, and Air bnb can refer to the communication between us.

As I said I have also copied his facebook posting, telling his friends he was off on a photoshoot.

Additionally I have added in my house rules NO COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SHOOTS ALLOWED.

I will look into cameras too.

And still it snows!

Thanks again.


My best friend is one of the top ten interior designers in the state and has won numerous national and regional design awards. it’s always a challenge for her to photograph her work before it’s all turned over to the client. Sometimes her best installations miss out.

I interviewed a famous organic architect one time for a story. He was very renowned for his work in California. But he never got many official photos of anything he did. He had the IRS after him and in the end, lived a very rustic life in a small cabin in the mountains somewhere.

I will PM you the story I wrote, I think you’d be interested.

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I am totally aghast at this person’s outrageous behaviour in your property, let alone what may be your own home. I’m also in the UK, in a SE Kent rural/village cottage, where we have guests staying on a B&B basis; I would be so angry at such behaviour. Please please keep ALL of your communication with this tw*t on the Air platform for audit trail purposes, including the invoice you will send. This does help when you need to call them about problems, in that they can pull it up to read whilst you speak to them.

I really hope they don’t become snowed in, but if they are, I also hope that you have another, really expensive, Gastro Pub with Rooms they can stay at in your village (Ducks and Bray come to mind…) once you put your foot down and make them check out on time. If you are somewhat kinder than I might be, do make sure they book to stay longer via the AirBnb platform, i.e. pay you properly, aside from the invoice for the shoot.

Is the scantily clad assistant staying overnight too? Have you added a charge for a guest who hasn’t been accounted for in the booking?

Please let us know how things progress and then once this is over, let us know more about your style of hosting and when you started. I only began in June last year and this forum has so been the best support ever, let alone a learning curve, particularly when I have had problem guests and needed immediate advice. Please don’t feel humbled; supporting (and some fun along the way) is why we’re here!


Me again. In extremis circumstances, I always call them.

That’s good but I would advise communicating directly with the guest as well. Many things can be resolved just by talking. I checked and it’s not entirely clear how much communication you’ve had with your guest? If it was me, I would call him directly and have a “chat”.


Wait until he has left you a great review.
Write a blog post (complete with photographs) about how he’s such a skinflint and doesn’t pay for professional venues.
Promote it to social media everywhere. Name and shame.