Photo shoots on your property?

    I just had a request from a photographer to do a photo shoot for a clothing company on my property and he found me at airbnb. It appears that he is thinking that I will do this for the cost of one night's stay. (only 78.) After going online and checking into this, people rent out their properties for upwards of $2000 a day depending on the particular property and what it has to offer.  My property is a 200+ year old stone house, barn and interesting out buildings.  He also wants me to contact him at his personal email and phone number, which he doesn't realize is blocked out.

     Of course I am going to decline this "reservation".   I just feel like he is trying to get one over on me and perhaps he has been doing photo shoots by taking advantage of hosts.  Has anyone had anyting like this before?

I came across here once someone describing similar situation. At least he was honest about it:)

I would ask very clearly how many people are coming onto the property - how many models, photographers, and others. You could possibly make a special offer and make some special cash! Google him to see if he’s legit.

DON"T negotiate outside of airbnb, though.

However -I wonder about the insurance provided by airbnb, if they knew that someone was trying to rent property for commercial purposes - that might be a problem. I would definitely let airbnb know what this ‘guest’ is doing. Ask them for advice.

Let airbnb know what the guy is doing.

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You can either flag him to airbnb and they’ll go else where or send him a deal maybe ask how many people intend on coming if they want to use the cooking things etc and cost it up

I have had numerous low budget films, model shoots & photographers try to book my place, even in the short time we have been up and running. It’s a nice flat in Shoreditch, London’d hipster central. The answer is always no. No matter how nice they sound as an individual booking, there are always 6-10 people in the crew. That puts a strain on all facilities in the flat. Film crews need massive amounts of electricity. And all need to do make-up, that’s horribly messy. And in the end you only need one of the crew to be a dick and not care about your place. Absolute no from me.


Thanks for your reply. I don’t need the problems you mentioned so I will definitely not get involved in this possible nightmare. I thought it odd anyway that a person would look to do this through aribnb anyway. I guess they are looking to use my place for a tiny amount of money.

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also porno. There are horror stories of air hosts coming home to find out that there had been a porno film shoot at their home.

I’m the same as jamfactoryken. I get requests (at least a half dozen this summer). They all try to get in for just the price of the room and disappear when I try to discuss reasonable rates. They are using Airbnb to dupe people that don’t have half a clue what it means to have a film or photographic crew in your house. Being a songwriter, I have had to do many photo and video shoots (especially when I was on major labels), so already knew what it entailed. We have only accepted one project for a popular German tv show on a large network. They were very professional, and paid us $20,000 for five days, plus paid all our expenses to stay in NYC while they filmed (and of course we chose one of the priciest hotels :smile:) . We also scored an amazing chandelier out of it as a replacement for the one that was in our dining room which wasn’t as nice. That said, it was a HUGE crew. Glad we weren’t there. You know when you see the trucks with the huge lights and crane things? It was that kind of thing.


$20,000 for five days. And a glitzy hotel holiday in NYC. Bonus!

But I would still insist on a contract.

Thank you for your advice. As expected when I mentioned payment, there was no response! Ha!

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$20,000? Oh please, please someone come film at my rental! Sandy - I will give you a cut if you handle all the negotiations.


Yes, of course there was a contract also. Heaven forbid damage occurred with the huge lighting gear in the home, moving furniture Etc. Fortunately they were incredibly careful and professional. We were very impressed. I do NOT think this is the typical company searching for properties to film or shoot at through Airbnb though. Usually it is as yours and twoworlds and my other experiences; people looking to find inexperienced people outside of the industry that have no idea of the cost of locations (and why!). I find location scouts that do this a disgrace. They know hosts have no idea about the mayhem that is about to descend upon their home. Crew sipping coffee everywhere, eating food bought from a local takeaway as they continue to work, large equipment that can scratch floors, invariably wanting to move furniture around (which can also scratch floors, damage furniture. The list goes on. A shoot is very disruptive and a big affair, even a relatively small one.

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Lol. Believe it or not, we were pretty shocked at the amount and didn’t even try to negotiate! We probably could have eked another few grand out. It was a very popular german tv show. Nothing to do with my skills or abilities whatsoever, a mere fluke unfortunately,


So do these crews make efforts to not scratch floors, etc.? Or do they just figure the high price should take care of any damage?

I had a girl from LA say she was coming to scout film locations, and of course my partner was encouraging her to shoot a scene at the property (if it fit in with the movie).

The crew we had made every effort not to make any damage and did very well. We did discover some scratches much later under a rug from our piano being moved, but in the scheme of things it was a miracle that that was all, and we aren’t even sure that happened then as it was our studio in the past. They took photos of where every single item was, so that when they moved things out they could put things in exactly the same place and nothing would be out of place. Considering our ‘Victorian style’ decor which includes lots of collectibles, it was quite a feat.

I would not trust every crew to be so careful however. They would have a contract that includes insurance, but who wants to have their floors refinished after the fact? Remember our company was German, and they are known for being very conscientious and organized. I have been on big shoots in the US and can only say that a some of the crew will be gaffers and assistants, which are typically younger guys that could very well be capable of causing damage while moving equipment around, especially if not overly experienced or not used to working on location shoots. There will be people drinking coffee everywhere, eating food all over after ordering take-in (or most usually having catering), and all kinds of potential hazards.

You have to understand that when a film or photo crew hire your home as s location, they completely take over. You must know how many people. Twenty five people could be using your bathrooms. Are they capable of handling this? Your electricity will be used to its full extent on a film shoot unless they bring their own generator (which they usually do because they can’t afford to lose electricity). All questions you need to ask. If a scout is asking to film for the cost of the nightly rate, they are likely to play down the shoot and even how many will be there. Obviously this is not fair, and the host will be in for a surprise. A Film or photoshoot in your home is not like a few people staying. They mention it because they know it means taking over the home.

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As a side note, we’re in Montreal for work right now and chose a favorite small hotel because it is being paid for by an artist, and low and behold this morning when we came down to get our car from valet, a film shoot was happening in the lobby. It was at least 30-40 people in the crew. Smaller indie shoots or low budget shoots may be just a crew of camera person/DP, director, hair and makeup artist, wardrobe person, couple of gaffers, lighting guy, set designer (may still be on location shoot to move things around and get things set up in the right place) and actors, but it still adds up to 10-15 people. A photo shoot can be anything from a photographer and hair, make up artist and wardrobe person and model to a huge crew with lights, gaffers, set designers, multiple models.

Anyway I think everyone gets the whole idea that location scouts are trying to take advantage of people that don’t have a clue to use their locations for free when typically they should be upwards of $2000-$4000 per day depending on what, where and how. I have been pretty disgusted with the ones that have tried it on with me. They meant to pay nothing, and I think possibly pocket the fee. Everyone approaches with ‘oh, this is a low-budget movie we’re making’, as if we should somehow allow our houses to become a charity cause for every ‘art’ project that comes along. No. Even low budget projects budget for locations. Or if not they shoot in places that won’t cost them like public areas or their own or friends/families homes. This thing of trying to dupe Airbnb hosts into letting them use their homes is pretty uncool. But unfortunately some people are thrilled at the idea their homes might be in a ‘movie’ (even though they might have no idea what it is or if it will ever see the light of day, or if these people can be trusted not to cause damage), and I think they must be letting these people use their properties. Otherwise I can’t imagine why we are getting so many requests like this. They must be getting success using Airbnb for free locations otherwise they wouldn’t keep hitting people up. It’s a pity people don’t know better.


My property is in Boston and I get requests from Emerson students to use my place as movie set.I even spoke with the department head. I declined them all.They do not ask the correct questions even.The school takes no responsibility. They are just kids.They no nothing about selecting a location.I see potential for great trouble.It not worth it.

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My wife and I are hosts who have also bee approached several times by film shoots or photo shoots. Our daily business is running an arts facility in NYC and have been the location for numerous film, television and or photo shoots. They can be very lucrative, but can also be very stressful. Remember there is no ‘easy’ money - there is fast money but that is usually the hardest, and these are hard money. Not saying don’t do it, if you can, by all means take their money, but Sandy is right, locations are 2k to 4k per day.
Also make sure you check out the company thoroughly, have them provide you with a copy of their insurance that shows you as ‘additionally insured’, and create a contract that states clearly what they can and can not move or change and which areas of your place they can and can not use. They will want to use every inch if you let them, creating and office, craft (food) set up, extra holding area, etc.
Please feel free to email me or ask here if you think you have a question about this stuff that i may be able to answer.

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Hello everyone,

I just got a inquiry about a tv shoot. Here are some details. I thought of creating a new thread, but it seemed reasonable to add a message to this pre-existing one on essentially that topic. This thread seemed like one of the two possible threads, the other being But this one seems slightly more relevant.

Note: I usually respect the confidentiality of guests, but this doesn’t apply to a filmmaker imo. Anyway, I don’t care.

This arrived in the form of a inquiry for the night of the 21st of November.

Here’s the text I got, spread across a large number of small messages (every one of these lines was a separate message!). Yes, Indians are batty.The feature mentioned in the text is probably Second Marriage Dot Com.

So, should I just dismiss this out of hand, or consider the offer to negotiate a reasonable price? And if so, does anyone have any idea how much a reasonable price would be? The guy is being quite pushy - he followed the messages below with requests for my phone number.

Transcription of conversation:

From Gaurav:

Hello sir , my name is Gaurav and I am an independent film maker
I saw Ur listing and liked it just wanted to enquire. weather u give it for shoot purpose
as I would like to shoot at Ur place for a web series

From Faheem:

I don’t know exactly what you mean by a “shoot at Ur place for a web series”. Give me more details, please. For example, please answer the following. What is the web series about? How many people will be coming for the shoot? Will you require special equipment? When do you plan to start and finish the shoot? What part of the house do you plan to use for the shoot? And please provide any other information you deem to be relevant. Thanks.

From Gaurav:

Hi faheen sir
I am making a web series , it’s like a fiction show for YouTube via my channel
Or later I will try to pitch to hotstar
Or visit
Or Voot app
It’s genre is rommentic comedy
And there will be 15 to 20 people
And few light n camera gear
My name is Gaurav xxxxxxxx
And in 2012 I have a feature called as Second (URL HIDDEN)
I need for a day from Morning
And will pack by 11
Do I need for a day
I needed for a day …

From Faheem:

I’ll have to get back to you. For the moment, a couple more questions.
Did you need to do this on a specific day? And which part of the house will you need to film in?

From Gaurav:

Yes sir sure I will answer
I am planning to shoot on 21
This month
And I need to use terrace , room and hall
According to my script
Your house has that warmth which I need to justify my story

For someone who means to tell a story, he can’t write a compelling narrative at all. Is your electricity up to film lights?

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