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Professional Photography - WHY didn't I do it two years ago!



By Jingoes! I was told by several people when we opened (two years ago) that professional photography would be a gamechanger. I made several attempts through the Airbnb service to get it done but it wasn’t offered here. So…I squirrelled money away for it, then blew it on other things to improve the listing, then resaved it and reblew it…(you get the picture)

Finally I called it. Booked someone. It was only AUD250 for Jessica to come for 90mins, edit a provide us a bajillion images and a week later the listing had emotion and pizzazz.

Even I want to book in.

I got her to take the key shots but also abstract ones of plants and small inclusions. I am still not sure about the ordering of the photos. I have featured a key few and then gone back and systematically covered region by region of the property as a bit of a walk through. (How have you chosen to order yours? I would love a look)

I wish I had paid more attention to our 30 views stat. From memory it was 300-400 and is now in the 700s and just changing our cover photo alone (we got that photo back first) had us take 3 bookings a day , everyday for a week (and usually we take one or maybe two bookings per week). Not sure what that was about. Maybe the booking algorithm? Bookings make bookings? It has slowed back down now. I will also watch the booking percentage - but who knows what that actually means. Ours sits at about 1.4% which sounds dismal.

The photos are here if you want a look at what I asked she photograph (and what she herself took initiative to capture). www.retrogrannybnb.com.au

I loved that we negotiated a set fee and I could relax knowing she would do what she could within that.

She is a wedding photographer and quiet in the winter. Maybe that is the go - get your place done by someone in their offseason?

Geez I wish I acted 2 years ago! (and watching now for things I can get her back to do next year when I rebook her for an update)


Lovely photos! Adorable place!


Ta Erin. Have you had the same dilemma with how to order the photos? I have so flippin many now I worry I will loose them before they get sold on the firepit or laundry etc.


Ha. I don’t have that dilemma yet as we are doing renovations at the moment. However, my brother in law is a professional photographer and we plan to have him shoot the place. I also plan to hang some of his work of local sites in the unit so that if guests like them, they can purchase them and take them home. I guess if you are worried about having so many, perhaps put them in the order of things you think will attract the most people, or things that set your unit apart from others. It really is adorable. I would love to stay there!


I had the AirBnB photographer come back when they still offered this service, but I’ve made so many upgrades that most of the photos have been replaced by my own. I’d like to have a professional photographer in, but I have a few more upgrades and renovations planned and I don’t want to pay for the service twice.


The timing is tricky, isn’t it? When I realised it was only three extra nights I would need to sell to pay for the photographer initial whole-property shot I booked her and figure I will get her back to photograph any changes etc once a year when she is quiet and easily available.


awww - ta. I had no idea I have a mild superpower for creating retro spaces. Haha


Wow it’s so cute!!! Great job!!!


I am certain professional photographs will help my Airbnb rentals. Currently posted are pictures I took with my I-phone. Feedback from guests has been consistent of “great place, the pics don’t do it justice”.

Like @Zena, I was hesitant to spend the photography fees until my renovations were more complete. I’m ready now to take the plunge.

Thank you for mentioning you contacted a wedding photographer about possible off-season real-estate photos. I attempted to use my SuperHost photography reward and found there are no Airbnb photographers in my area.

From the OP and anyone who has professional pictures, I would apprecate your input:

  1. After the professional pics were posted, did you have more booking requests? Were you able to raise your rates? Or did the pictures basically keep you competitive?

  2. Are your pics in the HDR format? Is it a subtle or exaggerated effect?

(I’ve noticed a sudden abundance of photos in the exaggerated HDR brightness. It appears the OPs pics are HDR with a subtle effect. Below are examples of what I mean by the HDR exaggerated brightness. I’m not sure how I feel about these; but I’m willing to adapt)


Oooh. Great to hear from you.

I don’t know the tech regarding subtle or exaggerated…I just chose her for the vibe I had seen her pics have.

We have certainly been getting more views (now in the 700s per month as opposed to 400s) and we have increased price about 10% and are now consistently booking out 20+ nights a month.

For us it certainly made so much sense.

All the best with whatever you decide.


Hi @Annet3176

  1. I don’t think any host could isolate whether professional photos in themselves would make a difference to their booking rate as there are so many other issues that impact on your booking rate.

  2. You can play around with images using a photo editor software

Unless you are a great amateur photographer, I would always recommend getting them done professionally. It doesn’t cost a lot and you can offset the cost against your Airbnb business taxes.


@retrogrannybnb. Thank you for the update. If I’m understanding correctly:

Your pictures (including any effects) are as presented by the photographer.
Since having professional pics, guest views of your property have increased.
Whether it is the pictures or your market, you’ve been able to increase your prices 10% AND continue to get rentals.

This is exactly the information I am seeking.

Thank you!!! Anyone else have any information?


@Helsi. Thank you for your feedback.

I’m not looking for quantifiable results; information in general only about views & possible rate changes.

I hear you about using a professional photographer. I have 3 properties… I was hoping to use my Airbnb SH awarded but not possible since no AIRBNB photographers in my area.


Really @Annet3176 you can’t glean anything meaningful by comparing year on year views, before and after professional photography, as there are too many variables that affect your views; competition, availability, price, footfall on the site of those looking for your sort of competition etc

( I say that as someone who works in marketing and communications and evaluates marketing outputs as part of my day job).

Don’t worry about not being able to use an Airbnb photographer.

Honestly its better to use your own photographer you can then ask for shared copyright.

With Airbnb you don’t have any choice on the photos they give you from the shoot and you can’t use them in your own marketing.

Great photography can help you stand out from the crowd (assuming you have a half decent listing).

My opinion is that it is a great , low cost investment for any host.

With three properties you can, presuming they are fairly close together, get a photographer do shoot all three in one session.


Yes to all that.

I realise we can’t isolate the new photos out as being the only reason views have jumped up and people willing to pay higher price. It happened quite noticably immediately after us updating the listing that for 2 years we had not seen any changes even nearly as dramatic.

All the best. You sound really considered and organised.



I think if you made no key changes for two years, then you would definitely expect there to be more views and logically following on from that more bookings from making a key change.

I find I also get a flurry of interest when I change my pricing.

Glad that this worked for you.


@retrogrannybnb. Thank you for sharing your experiences with views & pricing after getting wonderful professional photographs. I live 1/2 a world away but due to your kind, informative responses PLUS charming pictures, I hope to someday visit your lovely home and meet the chicks. (Former farm-girl here, I think a speckled hen is one of the prettiest. I also think chickens with fuzzy, feathered feet are pretty).

I feel like we as property owners & Airbnb hosts are perfectly capable of sharing what we feel were the positive effects of getting professional photography.

I also feel like @helsi has effectively shut down any responses I might receive to my request for information (so sad that one person shoots down a legitimate request for other’s opinions).

I’m stepping out of this thread


Oh dear. I’m so sorry. That sounds heavy. Isn’t it hard…?

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