How to photograph your holiday rental property
Good pictures of your Spain holiday rental means more bookings. It’s as simple as that! Here are a few tips on “How to photograph your holiday rental property” if you’re taking the pictures yourself.
Firstly, let’s start with the camera. There’s a saying all over the Internet that ‘the best camera is the one you have with you’. That’s utter twaddle – the best camera is the right camera for the job in hand.
I suggest you leave your phone in your pocket and instead use a DSLR or at least a good quality compact camera that allows you control over the exposure settings with a wide angle lens. And buy or borrow a tripod if you don’t already have one.
Approach your own property as would a guest. Be critical. The aim is to get your potential clients placing themselves into the picture. This is perhaps a good point to say that you should not include people in the images – your auntie Jean in her swimsuit lounging next to the pool is not necessarily to everyone’s tastes, and could be more than a little off-putting. Concentrate on your property and what it has to offer.
How to photograph your holiday rental property: Dress the scene
Dress the property and pay attention to detail. Make sure the beds are made properly, cupboard doors are shut and that things like TV remotes, washing up liquid bottles or bathroom items (nobody wants to look at your toilet brush – and make sure the toilet seat is down!) are stowed away.
It’s okay to use props. Maybe a bottle of sun cream and a carefully folded towel next to the pool. Set up dining tables inside and out as if they are about to be used. Glasses, cutlery, plates. Perhaps a book or an open laptop (always a good way to suggest you have WiFi) on a coffee table. If you have kids’ games, include them, or a pool table, or a table tennis table. Maybe some fresh fruit or flowers… It’s good to show off your facilities. But be honest, don’t use props that aren’t there when guests arrive. Don’t photograph a 300 inch TV and replace it with a 17 inch portable afterwards!
We’re sure you are getting the idea. You want to excite potential clients without misleading them.
How to photograph your holiday rental property: The photography
So, now lets get down to the actual photography…
- Most sites you are going to upload your photos favour landscape (horizontal) format above portrait (vertical). Try and keep to landscape only unless you have a really good reason to deviate
- A wide angle lens will create an impression of space
- Keep your horizontals horizontal and your verticals vertical (doors and windows).
- Don’t be lazy. Get down on your knees and take the photos from around waist height (trust me, it works better, try it!)
- Don’t use flash, work with natural light wherever possible, turn on your interior lighting to enhance the atmosphere
- Perhaps it goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway. Take your photographs in daylight with a nice blue sky. Most travellers are coming for the Spanish sunshine, after all.
- The exception to this, as in the photo above, is that pools and exteriors look great around dusk or at night when lit up
- Use your camera on aperture priority and stop down as far as possible (f16 at least, f22 or f32 is is better) to ensure maximum depth of field (i.e. that everything in the image is in focus). Such apertures can result in long exposure times – use a tripod and remote release (if you don’t have a remote release use you cameras self-timer)
- Check your image exposures as you go and use exposure compensation if they are too bright or too dark
- Be aware of white balance – do the images look natural colour wise? If not, correct with your camera settings or later with image editing software
- Be aware of windows getting washed out. If necessary take two exposures on for the interior and one for the exterior (using a tripod of course). They are pretty easy to combine in image editing software like Photoshop
- Take a couple of photos of each room (probably not necessary with bathrooms and maybe kitchens) from different points of view
- Think about a couple of lifestyle images too – maybe a couple of glasses of wine ready to go or something else to suck your prospective clients into the dream
- If you have views from your property be sure to show them off
- Take your time and think about the pictures. Be self-critical!
How to photograph your holiday rental property: Horizontal or vertical?
To close, though it’s doubtful the sites you are uploading will allow for dozens of images, it’s always a good thing to get together some images of local features and attractions, especially if you have your own website.
Finally, don’t forget to update your images should you make any significant changes to your property. Your clients expect to get exactly what they see when they are booking!
Alternatively – hire a professional. The photographs they provide you with will be worth every coin spent.
Alan, along with Elle, is the owner of Spain Buddy. He was born in the North of England (Lancashire) and travelled extensively before eventually settling in Almería. Alan has 3 sons from the first of his 18 marriages, (Sam, Joe & Ben) who are all now adults. You can read more articles by Alan on his personal blog at AlanGandy.com and see more of his photography on his photography website as well as on Flickr and Instagram.
Also, for less than the price of a cup of coffee each month you can help support Alan’s photography (and get some freebies into the bargain). Click here to visit his Patreon page to find out more.