Top 10 Vacation Rental Photography Tips to Set Your Listing Apart


Vacation rental photography isn’t always easy. Have you ever looked at a vacation rental online and decided not to book it because the photos weren’t appealing? It happens more than you’d think! Well-shot photos are the key to standing apart from your competitors in the vacation rental market and ensuring that you succeed. Vacation rentals that look underwhelming on-screen will not grab people’s attention. You need inspiring, authentic, and accurate images of your home that attract the interest of potential guests and compel them to book. We have outlined our top vacation rental photography tips below to help you with your vacation home shoot. This post, along with our other helpful advice, will teach you how to make your vacation rental stand out.

Our top Vacation Rental Photography Tips

1. Photograph to impress

Start with your vacation homes’ most exciting/attractive amenities to draw in potential guests. Does your home have a quirky, themed games room full of fun? Do you have a swimming pool with a desirable view? Make sure to take vacation rental photos of the main areas from various angles.

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2. Make your primary image stop them scrolling

Your primary image is the first photo a potential guest will see when booking a vacation rental. Many travelers will not continue to look at a home if the first image isn’t appealing to them, so you need to make sure your primary photo is a good one. It should stand out from your competitors and showcase something unique about your home. Make the potential guest stop scrolling and focus on your home! Have a coffee bar or other unique amenity? Focus on that, and make sure it presents well, looks modern, and becomes a showcase piece in your home.

3. Focus on high-quality photos

If your property images are out of focus and pixelated, potential guests will continue to scroll. Blurry photos are not appealing and will discourage those looking at your home from booking. If you are not hiring a professional vacation rental photographer, you can still get great photos of your home. Having a steady hand or a tripod will ensure images are not blurred. Smartphones can now shoot at a similar standard to high-resolution cameras, so you don’t need to be concerned about not having professional equipment. Make sure you are using natural lighting and are not using the flash; even if the room seems dark, this can be altered with editing.

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4. Use props and accessories

Think about when you purchased your vacation rental home and how it looked when you first viewed it? In most instances, you’d have seen a show home with staging ideas of how your home could potentially look. It could be as simple as adding a vase of flowers to your island, having some board games on your coffee table, or some fun inflatables in your pool. The small details make a difference in attracting guests and will help you to secure more bookings and these special touches for vacation rental homes will set yours apart. Outfitting a vacation rental with a few unexpected extras like inflatables, 

5. Keep your photos up to date

Your vacation rental photos should always show your home’s current condition and decor. Take new photos as and when you make changes in your home, especially if they are significant improvements such as redecorating or adding another unique amenity such as a hot tub. Whenever featuring luxury vacation rental amenities be sure to take photos during the best season. If your home features a pool, the summertime sun does a lot to liven up your photos.

6. Take photos of outdoor areas and the exterior of your home

Including great pictures of your home’s exterior and outdoor spaces really sets the scene for your potential guests. It allows them to become familiar with their environment and idealize how they will spend their time at your property. Top tip: take outdoor images during “Golden Hour,” which is right after sunrise or right before sunset. “Golden Hour” offers a soft, glowing natural light that will emphasize the beauty of your home.

7. Show your vacation home’s layout

Make sure your marketing images capture the layout of your home and the flow of your floor plan. In addition to having photos of an entire room, use different angles to include adjoining rooms in the same shots. 3D tours are also something that can set your home apart. We feature 3D tours for all of our managed properties on our vacation rental website and push these tours to our partners at Vrbo and other travel sites that support them.

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8. Include photos of local attractions

A picture speaks a thousand words, and your property’s location is just as much of the experience as the vacation rental itself. Capturing nearby attractions such as beaches, hiking trails, theme parks, or landmarks will create more interest in your home. Remember, your home always comes second to guests. They’re staying at your home because of the proximity to local attractions, business needs, or another reason to be in the area. Even the best amenities can’t outshine your home’s location.

9. Showcase accessibility

Use images of your entrances, showers, and bathtubs to help guests determine the accessibility to your property. This may be a deciding factor for a potential guest. Hosting vacation rentals isn’t always about showcasing your home, but making your guests feel like they belong in a space you’ve designed.

10. Take more photos than you think you’ll need

It is far greater to have too many than not enough. The more images and different angles you capture, the better. Potential guests will want to see the entire house, so having two pictures of the same room and nothing else isn’t going to work. Listing sites usually include 10-20 photos of your property.

Professional Vacation Rental Photos aren’t always easy

Whether you plan on doing things yourself or working with a property manager like us; photos are just one part of the listing process. We have a dedicated team of marketing masterminds who work with professional photographers and make your home stand out above others on listing sites. Be sure to contact us if you’re interested in full-service remote property management services, or if you would like helpful advice from our vacation rental experts when it comes to choosing the right investment home in the Florida market.

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