My Airbnb property is stunning, however the pics do not reflect this as they were taken with my camera phone
Consequently, I wanted recommendations on digital profession cameras people use/recommend in order to take high quality pictures of their Airbnb’s
Also if you have any advice on how you take great pics that would be helpful too.
I would spend the money on a good real estate photographer and have her/him back every so often. It’s most likely not just your phone camera, but a combination of that and you.
GREAT question… I need to get one as well. It is far too costly (at least until I’m almost totally done with remodeling,) to have a photographer come and take pictures every time I remodeling a room/space. I don’t want to pay a professional to take a picture of a newly painted bedroom and new furniture, but I do want to put the newly remodeled room online.
I’d rather just put the money towards a decent camera and take some pictures over the next year or two, until everything is finished, then have the professional out to photograph it all.
I’d also like to learn how to pictures through windows so you can see the trees through the windows. I always end up with so much glare. When I turn lights off, the pictures are too dark.
If you have a high end place invest ins professional photographer unless you are a keen amateur photographer and know how to use a camera @
Sorry, I don’t know much about cameras despite two photographers in the family. However, I see many recommendations to use a professional photographer. Whether you take these pics yourself or hire someone, be cautious about what you post. I had the professional come for my first two rooms. The first one was fine. However, the second one took pictures that made my rooms look twice as big as they were including my tiny bathroom. I thought this would set the stage for complaints of inaccuracy in the listing so did not use many of them. Just posted one as a verified photo to show that the listing existed as noted and filled in the rest with photos taken by family members with decent cameras. We all forget how often we change little things in our listing that might make a difference so doing our own makes a lot of sense. A good example was all the changes in linens, amenities and breakfast options in response to COVID. Another option might be to find a good friend or relative with a decent camera to take them or lend you the camera.
I was trained by the USAF to be a combat cameraman and darkroom specialist back in the days of film cameras. Getting a “high quality” camera is one thing. Stick with brand names like Pentax, Canon, Fuji, etc. You don’t need a $1000 camera. You can take perfectly good digital pix with one costing $100-$200.
The other key to good photos is experience with a decent photo editing software. I don’t necessarily mean Photoshop. It’s great but it has thousands of ‘bells & whistles’ you don’t need to create good looking photographs. Learn to crop your photos, eliminating unnecessary stuff around the edges, learn to adjust the brightness/darkness, color balance and other “simple” aspects. I use the simple (and free) app called Microsoft Photos to tweak my $150 camera images.
My husband has been a professional photographer all his career. He has taken nearly all of our Airbnb photos with a cell phone. We’ve had a succession of three iPhone models over the years, and the cameras are all quite good.
The secret to taking good digital photos is to take lots of them. Take one exposure and look at it on the camera. Does it show what you want? Or does it contain things like crooked bed covers, a chair that’s out of place, someone’s foot, etc.? Is the image clear? Do the walls look straight? Is there enough detail, versus too light or too dark? Experiment with different angles, with the lights off, the lights on, curtains open, curtains closed. Take 20 or 30 (or more) views of each shot. For real. That’s what professionals do. When we did professional portraits, we often took 200 or 300 shots of one subject.
Then go through the photos and choose the best representative of each view. As @KenH says above, use a simple photo editing app to crop, adjust, etc.
There’s no reason at all why a decent cell phone photo won’t be sufficient. The problem is that most people simply don’t take enough exposures to get any good ones.
Some phones take better photos than others, so there’s also that. Mine, a Motorola android takes quite good ones.
One of the great things about digital photos is that, as you say, you can take lots, choose the best, and trash the rest. Not like the old days where you had to pay to get the rolls developed, only to find out that there were only 2 good shots in the roll.
I’m in this camp too. I see a lot of listings with really splashy photos and it makes me a bit suspicious of them as a guest. And as a host, I prefer that my guests are pleasantly surprised upon arrival because my listings look better in real life than they do in the photos. And I’d hate for it to be the other around.
I’ve read posts from guests complaining about the real estate type photos of some places they have booked which made the space look much larger than it actually was. You have to be really careful with pro photos.
I’m speaking as a professional photographer, full time (still!) since 1986. Any Canon, Sony, Nikon DSLR of the past 15 years, or any mirrorless camera will do you well. But it’s the camera operator who is using the hardware that makes the difference.
After the staging, interior photography is ALL about the lighting. This is where experience and lighting equipment will make the difference.
If you are going to take on the task yourself;
Avoid extreme wide angle shots. Those look cool, maybe, but do not honestly represent the subject. IOW, be true in what you show.
Use a tripod. Yes, it stabilizes the camera but tripod use also allows the framing to be perfect and not fixed later.
Ditch the on-camera flash. It’s not real, is lame flat lighting and looks like Uncle Bill did the photography of your lovely BnB.
Having said all that, you could go in to your fully prepped BnB early morning or late afternoon, turn on all the lights and have at it with your cell phone.
Don’t make numerous shots without changing something, the lighting, your angle of view, etc. And DO keep horizons level and verticals plumb.
Hi @Skai Thank you for your comment.
Any advice on how to get the trees, etc. to show through windows without the room looking too dark? In seems if I turn off the lights so they don’t show in the windows and for the glare, some of the rooms look too dark in the pictures.
You would need to bring the light levels (brightness) of the exterior view and the interior view to a similar level.
Generally, it’s going to be easier to increase the brightness of the interior than decrease the brightness of the sun.
So, big and large lighting for the interior of the BnB. This is gear of a pro interior photographer.
As mentioned earlier, look at the scene at different times of the day. The interior lighting won’t change much, but maybe early morning or early afternoon would a time when the tree is not being blasted by the sun.
Even then, if you are trying to match lighting (brightness) levels of an interior and an exterior view, you likely will need a lot of light power to bring up the interior level to match the exterior.
Reflections of interior lights, these are things to deal with. In my experience , interiors are only surpassed in difficulty by jewelry for a photographer.
There is not an easy, quick way to deal with this scenario. Consider hiring a pro when your place is 100% ready.
Wow… that’s a lot @Skai ! Yes, definitely will be hiring a pro once I’m all finished. But for the next couple of weeks, I’d like to add some new, updated pics of a newly remodeled bedroom and new furniture in a family room.
Thanks so much for the advice!
Why not just open the window to take the shot of the view from inside? Or is it not an opening window?
One of the 6 windows is 12 x 12 feet and the one above it is approx. 12 x 10
They don’t open.
As far as getting the window to look good, you need to use photoshop and darken only the window area so it is not overly white. We had a professional take it. I told him not to use too wide of camera lens. Personally I like 20mm. It can show the entire room, yet not exaggerate it too much. You always want your guests to think your place is better than the pics . The professional I hired cloned in a fire in the fireplace and was great at getting the outside exposure perfect through the windows. I told him what pics I wanted and let him add some that he thought were good. It cost me $275 for 30 pics and rights to the prints so I could make as many as I wanted. Soooooo worth the money!!! Also, I am always amazed at some of my competition always showing the outside of the home as first picture when their main attraction is the fantastic swimming pool overlooking the mountains. PLEASE think about what is the best selling point of your place and have several pics of it in the first five pics. If your backyard is best, don’t show it last!!! Ok. Just my opinion.
In this case, unless you have a need for a decent camera or new phone that has one (Samsung S10e - $360), hiring a pro is probably worth it.
There are lots of “photo enthusiasts” who will have really good gear and an eye - and it can be easily worth the $75 - 150 to just “get it done”.
Use a tripod. Take 2 shots from the same position, one with exposure set for the interior, and one with exposure set for the exterior. Merge the window images in photoshop.
We own several large cameras but usually use a Canon G10 and Canon G14. I suspect that even an old Canon like these can be useful in the right hands! I tried to get my hub to take some, as he is trained, but that never happened.
Luckily our very talented GF real estate photographer took 2 sets of pictures, we also had 2 other pro photographers here which we traded stay for content. You can totally tell the difference between their photos and mine. We also got incredible overhead shots via drone :)) Having pro photos I think has helped us to be very successful, and guests still say that they are beautiful but the reality is more beautiful!