Great vacation rental photography can make all the difference when it comes to attracting guests and receiving bookings. High quality photographs of your vacation home play a really big part in the decision to book a vacation rental. In fact, your vacation rental photos are one of the first things a potential guest sees and, therefore, the first point of choice between discovering more about your property or discarding it. According to Airbnb, 60% of listing views start with a guest clicking on a photo, and over 40% of the time when a guest chooses not to book a listing, the last thing they clicked on was a photo. Simultaneously, good pictures allow viewers to build their own opinion of your property and help build trust about you as a property owner and your vacation home.

If you want to get the most out of your property, using a professional photographer is probably the best choice. However, there’s no need to break the bank – you can easily take good photos by yourself by following these guidelines and tips. Here you can find some great examples of vacation rental photography.


The basics of great vacation rental photography


1. Be mindful of the lighting

One of the most common vacation rental photography mistakes is inadequate lighting. Having the right lighting is one of the most important aspects of a good picture. Good lighting will make your photos appear more professional, so make sure to:

      • Be careful with the white balance
      • Take the photos during the day, open all blinds and curtains so that you’re able to take advantage of natural light
      • Avoid (if possible) using the flash so you may get more of a natural effect
      • Be careful not to let direct sunlight affect your photos
      • Get creative with fairy lights and different light sources
      • Use a tripod, especially if taking pictures at sunrise/sunset or in poorer light conditions.


2. Use high resolution cameras and a wide angle lens

Whilst you can take great photos yourself, some aspects of vacation rental photography are easier if you have specialist equipment. A wide-angle lens is the best option to guarantee a good end result of your vacation rental photography. Wide-angle photographs show more detail and can make rooms appear larger and more appealing to guests.

This type of lens can be purchased either on the internet or in specialised shops. Nowadays, even smartphones have very high-quality cameras allowing you to take great pictures. A lot of smartphones now have a wide-angle camera integrated – just make sure that your smartphone has a high resolution and quality! High resolution pictures will go a long way towards showing your professionality, as Your.Rentals knows very well.


3. Try different angles

The whole point of vacation rental photography is that potential guests can picture themselves in your property (and enjoying their vacation!). Therefore, you should get some pictures from the point of view of someone entering the room so that your potential guests may get a feel of the place. At the same time, you should try to take some photos of the same interior from different angles, giving them a complete overview of the room.

There’s no need to go overboard – no one wants to see a close up of every kitchen cupboard! What you do want to do is help your guests imagine themselves in each room of your property – and the best way to do that is to give them an accurate impression of what it looks like all around.


4. Pay attention to the details

vacation rental photography details

The photos of your vacation home are your guests’ first clue as to what you’ll be like as a host, so you want to make sure they give a good impression of your property and of you as a property manager. Regardless of whether you’re a property manager or an owner renting a spare room, you want to make sure you look as professional as possible. You should:

      • Avoid reflections caused by the flash (windows and mirrors)
      • Clean all the surfaces and windows so that it looks spotless and in order. In the outdoor area, trim the bushes and clear fallen branches
      • Try to include all the details in the photograph, for example try to set the dinner table to look inviting
      • Make sure that the bed covers are straightened and clean
      • Avoid things that are unappealing or distracting to the eyes, such as cleaning products, rubbish bins, keys or papers
      • In the bathroom, make sure the toilet seat is down!

5. Take photos of the exterior of the property

vacation rental photography exterior

With vacation rental properties, one can’t ignore the importance of the exterior. Let your guests know what your property looks like from the outside and if you have a garden, a terrace or a balcony. Having a photo of the front of your holiday home will also help your guests locate it when they’re checking in. If the property has a garden, make sure to include the entire space to which your guests will have access.


6. Keep your vacation rental photos updated

vacation rental photography update

Your photos should always show the property as guests would expect to find it. This is why the photos of your holiday home should be updated every two years to make sure they are still current. If your vacation home photographs are of high quality, you might not need to update them that often, but you still need to ensure that they reflect your property.

Your.Rentals knows how important photos are – that’s why with us you can easily upload high quality photos and publish them on multiple vacation rentals websites. With Your.Rentals you can easily import or create a listing, publish it on the sales channels and manage your business all in one place. You just need one Your.Rentals account.

Now that you know the basics of vacation rental photography, it’s time to focus a little on the details of your great photos. It’s the small details that make the difference, and this is no less true in photography. Therefore, let’s look at some tips and tricks that will make your photos stand out!  

17 additional tips and tricks to make your vacation rental photography really stand out!

Do your photos transmit the idea of “vacation rental” and “holiday home” when you look at them? Do they make your potential guests dream about booking a stay with you? The whole idea of great vacation rental photography is that your potential guests will be able to imagine themselves staying at your property thanks to the mood and feelings evoked by your photos.

To properly market your property through inspiring photos, you should study your target guests and find out what those who are looking for properties like yours look for or dream about. It could be a particular product, a mood or feeling, a scene that makes viewers jump into the picture or decide that your vacation home is the right one for them. You can find out more about the different types of guests in this article.

Here are some tips and tricks to catch your potential guests’ attention and get more clicks thanks to your vacation rental photography:


1. Favor bright and clear colors.

Photos with bright and clear colours stand out over photos with opaque and dark colours. This is related to how the brain processes visual information and subliminally highlights those elements that are brighter. Therefore, you should make sure to have some vivid elements in your photos, but also to have a well-lit scene and to balance correctly the exposure of your pictures.

2. Favor blue skies in your photos.

A nice and sunny day will inspire people to travel and will make it easier for them to imagine themselves enjoying the holiday home. This relates to how the brain processes and prefers bright and cheerful colors. So, choose the best weather and time of day and you’ll get stunning photos with less effort.

3. Create motion for the water in the pool.

This little trick will make the image look more alive and the pool more tempting. After all, who doesn’t think of summer and fun when seeing the shimmering water in a pool? A bit of motion in the water will allow the viewer to imagine themselves in the scene, enjoying the water. Therefore, before taking the picture, shake your hand in the water and create that wavy and shimmering effect.

pool water motion holiday home photography

4. Leave the doors and windows open in the pictures.

Open doors and windows will transmit a welcome message and will bring a sense of invitation and life to the house. It is easier to imagine stepping inside the vacation rental if the doors and windows are open.

5. Use cut flowers to decorate vases, beds or pillows.

Flowers easily add a pop of colour to your scene. They also give an idea of freshness and beauty as our mind associates flowers with these feelings. Using flowers to decorate the scene will help the viewer concentrate on this symbol that communicates “happiness”.

6. Use flowers in your outdoor images.

Framing your images with flowers in the foreground will guide the viewer’s eyes towards the main image. At the same time, flowers easily add color and brightness to the pictures.

7. Add bottles of suntan lotion in your photos.

Tanning lotions shout out feelings of “holidays” and “sun”, therefore you should think about adding them to your scene. And as a plus, if the bottles are orange in color, the effect on the minds of viewers will be even better!

8. Place bottles and beverages on the tables.

Bottles of sodas, wine, gin, half full glasses of fancy beverages invite the potential guest to relax and enjoy the holiday. You do not need to use real alcohol in the glasses; you can always fill the glasses with water (as gin) or with more economical wine, while just placing the more expensive bottle of wine on the table.

9. Add orange juice glasses or pitchers to the scene.

Orange juice, thanks to its tone and its symbolic representation of freshness, catches the eye and gives life to your vacation rental photography. Orange juice pitchers, bottles or glasses can be used in various settings (ie. in the dining room, in the living room, on the breakfast table, next to the swimming pool, etc).

10. Add colorful fruit.

Just like orange juice, fruit yields a lot of colour to the scene and subliminally attracts the eye to the image. You can use apples, grapes, oranges, pineapples, or watermelon, although any fruit will help you achieve that idea of freshness.

11. Add elements and accessories vibrant in colour.

For example, a couple brightly coloured pillows on the couch or one or two colorful towels in the bathroom can help you attract the potential guest’s sight and generate interest and clicks.

vibrant elements vacation rental photography

12. Paint a wall in your holiday home.

Painting a coloured wall in a room is inexpensive and has a high impact towards getting more clicks. It gives warmth and creates an atmosphere in the scene. Wondering which color would fit well? Find out more about an app that lets you virtually test a color in your home here.

13. Add hammocks to your scene.

Hammocks are an element that reflects happiness and longing for relaxation. Your potential guests will imagine themselves lounging on one of those during their holiday stay in your vacation rental.

14. Portray meals on your terrace/balcony/outdoors.

People will relate to and want to experience a breakfast in the sun or a barbeque dinner at sunset during their holiday. Having pictures of these beautiful, relaxing and amusing moments will allow your potential guest to place themselves in your pictures.

15. Take pictures of your cabin in the snow. 

If your property is, for example, a cottage in the mountains or an apartment with access to a ski resort, you should use the snow for your pictures! The fluffy, white snow will help you sell that cozy experience that your potential guests are looking for. You can take pictures of the exterior of the vacation home surrounded by the untouched snow as well as the snowy view from the windows!

16. Add children’s inflatables to your pictures.

Inflatables and toys give off a sense of fun and blissfulness. They will also let the viewers know that your vacation rental is family-friendly.

17. Add elements and accessories that your target guests would be interested in.

Your photos should appeal to the guests that you’re targeting. For example, if your target guests are couples, you should craft photographs with a romantic mood as well as include details like fine soaps and scented candles. If you’re promoting your property to business travellers, then pictures of a business workspace in your vacation rental might be more appropriate.

business desk in vacation rental picture


All these tips and tricks will help you set your vacation rental photography apart by catching your viewers’ attention and inspiring them to visualize themselves enjoying all the fun and relaxing features of your vacation home. Setting a holiday mood, adding a pop of color or a symbolic detail will give meaning to your pictures and will consequently generate more interest, clicks and bookings!

Your.Rentals knows how important photos are – that’s why with us you can easily upload high quality photos and publish them on multiple vacation rentals websites. By following our vacation rental photography tips, you’ll be able to make your listing look great – and an eye-catching listing is the first step towards attracting guests!

The simplest way to create a great vacation rental listing