Professional Photography

I requested twice. Not one peep from a photographer in almost 4 months of hosting. This company is on my s*list lately,

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yes its really good, I would recommend it!


Im a professional photographer so didnt need to use it… Does airbnb really pay to take pic of hosts places? This has got me thinking…I need more cash lol

They do. Give them a call and see if you can contract with them. :smiley:

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yup they do - give them a call!

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I traded contact info with an Airbnb photographer that we had years ago, and now I use him to take pictures of my places. He delivers the Airbnb money shots, and takes a bunch more that he told me they won’t accept (angled shots, overhead, etc) I pay $75 for a one bedroom, $125 for a two bedroom and $200 for a three bedroom. He delivers hi-res images and I’ve been very happy with his work.

I also still do use the official photography service as it’s free and they may get some interesting shots, and I’d rather have lots to chose from. From what I understand now, you can’t have the official photographer come and offer to pay him for additional shots. You can hire them totally separate, but not make them an offer when they are already at your place on Airbnb’s dime.

Here in Paris, Airbnb pays €60 per photo session, I have read it’s $50 in the US.

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I’m using an 800 ISO…Is it too high? What do you think? Besides the long exposures I noted that a better ISO also helps me boost those dark areas, specially when you have uneven lighting rooms like mine. Of course that it introduces noise into pictures but I can wipe it out a bit later in post production. I have an amterurish relex (Canon t3i) so my pictures never look like from a pro but if I take my time I can approach myself to great results.

Aboslutly, you get into the point! I imagine Airbnb as a ride on the highway. At some parts you need to slow down and in other ones you are better going faster. The same happens here. When you start listing you better oversell your place a bit to get your first bookings. After all you don´t have too much reviews yet, but after a while you need to do the opposite because guests will expect so much more from you than before. You might need to move back and forth on this, and if you are running out of booking (low season) overselling your place a little bit doesn´t hurt. You need to find the proper balance between more bookings and less impressed guests vs less bookings and amazing reviews. The point in here is that when you oversell your place you can´t run too far on it, or you might get a very bad review in the end. Remember that you can always change a picture in your listing but never an unhappy review.

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True, but as you said, I don’t like using an ISO >400 because of the noise… I correct uneven lighting in Photoshop. If a particular room is dark to the point that I can’t honestly make it bright in photos I shoot it at dusk with lights on to make it warm and cosy.

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Hello everyboy :slightly_smiling:

I just got the photos from the Airbnb photographer today, I thought that you may be interested in seeing the comparison between amateur and professional photos. Here is the link to my listing with my photos and those from the Air photographer :


Your place looks terrific!

When we started with Airbnb I considered requesting their prof. photo service but decided to use my own after viewing the Airbnb photos on other listings as they were too good. They reminded me of a program on tv where they showed hotel brochures and websites with photos on one side of the screen and the way it really looked on the other. I would rather understate what we provide and have a happy guest who does not feel let down by the actual reality. That does not mean I take bad photos but rather photos which depict reality. Many of our guests have commented that they booked because of the photos and reviews and were pleased that the real thing looked the way of the photos. You will not see any of my photos taken with a wide angle lens which make rooms look twice as big!
Probably these “professional” photos result in more bookings and that is why Airbnb offer them free, but we don’t want to misrepresent our listing as we’d rather have fewer, but happier guests.

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@phil - I agree wholeheartedly. Under-promise and over-deliver!

I hear you @phil. That’s exactly what I think. The verified photos helps you on putting you right on business at first but after a while you better start taking your own pictures or people will complain that those pictures are not a perfect match of how the place really looks. An undeniable truth in Airbnb is that the more reviews you have the higher will be the guest´s expectations and, as so, their judgments will become more severe.

The other thing that nobody mentions is that there is misconception about what “verified” means which stands for how the place “was” in the past. Airbnb cannot assure that a place will look the same as it was 3 years ago when they took that pictures. So that verified mark should be “Verified on xx/yy/zz”.

I agree that pictures should not over-sell a place !

I asked for the Airbnb photographer mainly because I have read that verified photos help with your search rankings … Well, I’ll check in a few days but for the moment, it has not changed my position in the search results :unamused: … My listing still appears after one rated 3.5 stars, one whose host did not bother to tidy his place, or another with a <80% reply rate. Airbnb’s search algorithm is a mystery !

I expected better photos. Many of the photographer’s pictures look very distorted and exagerated. Plus I don’t know how he managed to make my place look darker with blown-out windows, despite his skills and sophisticated camera, than on my own pictures where windows are not completely washed-out. I also feel that the space look somewhat cold on his pics. I may be partial but if I don’t see a difference in search rankings, I’ll remove most of the verified photos.

I have yet to be contacted for the photo shoot but a host nearby just got their verified photos and they begantwo months before us. How long did you have to wait Barthelemy?

Maybe he’s on to something with cycling the request a few times to bring your name back to the top of the stack. It seems if you get stuck in the queue for a while you may be stranded there.

Hi there. This is my first post. Please be gentle!

We’re based in London. We’ve never used AirBnBs photographers as we have a good relationship with a professional, but I’ve seen the results of those that have.

I think results very much vary, but overall I’ve not been that impressed. I don’t think they’re getting paid much, so most of them come in, few quick snaps and then they’re gone. We had one host (a client of ours) have his flat photographed by one of AirBnB’s guys recently, and the results were horrendous. The flat itself is quite nice (albeit a bit small), but the host had no idea how to set the flat out to maximise the pictures and the photographer clearly wasn’t willing and/or able to assist with that. They shot the flat as it stood, and the pictures came out terrible. In the end, we decided to reshoot with our professional. The results in terms of enquiries/bookings with the new pics compared to the old were unbelievable.

Reviews and pictures are by far the most important part of any listing in my opinion, and it’s so important to get the photos right. You have to find the right photographer, preferably one that has at least some specialism with building interiors, and the right equipment etc.

My advice: Do your homework, find a reasonably priced photographer in your area that has a portfolio that includes building interiors, ask what lenses they use (wide angle lenses work well at capturing more of a room than is normally possible), get their advice beforehand on how the property should be laid out.

Depending on the size of the property, you should aim to spend a good few hours making things perfect. Think about making the perfect bed, folding the towels beautifully, and of course the place needs to be spotless. Hide wires (they are horribly ugly) and anything else that just looks untidy. Also think about the time of day that you want the shoot to take place. As much light as possible is needed to create the best pictures.

We pay around £70 per visit, and that includes any ‘tweaks’ in photoshop that might be necessary (adjusting brightness, hiding wires etc). You’ll make the money back easily. Our guy is usually not there for too long, but if the place looks perfect he doesn’t have to be.

Some photographers want to charge £150+, but this is too much.

Airbnb photogaphers have some sort of guidelines of how to take pictures and one of those is not spend time arranging a place that was messy when they showed up. They must adhere to what Airbnb wants becuase they are his clients not us, the hosts. If you hire a photographer you will become the client and you will get more freedom to get the picture you want,

Be careful with wide angle lens. If they are overused you might end up with great results but different of how it really looks. If I were trying to shoot my place for a magazine I will make every possible tweak to make it appears as a paradise, however when you shoot for Airbnb you need to always keep in mind that you need to match the best you can the guest´s expectations to how it looks in real life.

By reading other´s profile what I usually found among the “bad” comments are that “the place looks bigger in the pictures” or “the place wasn´t as bright as you see in the pictures”. The reason of this comments is that the photographer was trying to outperfomer his skills when he shooted your place.