Vacations are special life occasions because they usually don’t come often. When you’re exploring a new place or traveling to a famous destination, you’re also creating memories to cherish for years to come. Taking great photos could be one of the best keepsakes for travelers, which means that setting up social media-worthy spots on your vacation rental is essential.
Whether professional or amateur, photographers need to learn these tricks to make sure that your vacation rental photos turn out to be a cut above the rest. Follow this guide and learn how you can transform a simple living space into a dream destination for travelers!
For some quick VR-specific photography tips, check out the below slides:
1. Spruce up
Before you snap that photo on any corner of the vacation rental, look around and ask yourself: is the area thoroughly clean? You can’t underestimate the significance of pristine-looking space, because it will set the mood of your photo. Ensure that all surfaces, including floors, furniture, and kitchen appliances, are free from stains or dust. Change bed sheets and towels if necessary, and straighten curtains and wall-hanged items to give your area a neat and organized look.
For exterior spaces such as lawns, cutting the grass evenly and trimming the bushes can go a long way to make the area more attractive. Sparse twigs or leaves lying around can make the area look unkempt, so sweep them away for that extra cleanliness. Also, don’t forget to wipe or wash your exterior furniture!
2. Use a Hi-res camera
Hi-res or high-resolution cameras enable you to take crisper and more vibrant pictures, especially when you want to capture more professional-looking images. You also get more control over how your photos will turn out. For instance, you can set the lighting, aperture, and shutter speed to add more depth and focus. If you don’t have enough experience using a hi-res camera, you can use the automatic setting for an easy, point-and-shoot method of taking photos.
Your phone camera could also be a decent substitute, although it relies on getting the lighting right (we will cover this more later on). To prevent photos from blurring, take a few test shots, and use a tripod to make it stable.
3. Practice staging
You might associate staging to theatrical plays, but it can be used for pictures, too. It refers to creating a scene that invokes a feeling from those who view the photo. While it would be understandable to maintain the property as is, a few tweaks here and there can make a world of difference to the final output. In this podcast interview with Kerrie Reid, the 2020 International Home Staging Award Winner, you’ll gain tons of great advice and ideas.
Some of the tiniest details you can shift to “set the stage” are: fluffing pillows, hiding power cords, turning all the lights on, or placing flowers on a bedside table can add to the aesthetic value of the area.
Lighting is a common tool used for photos, but people often take it for granted. The truth is that no matter how beautiful the property is if you don’t use light to your advantage, the photo could turn out to be dreary and dull. However, professional photographers will tell you that lighting can make or break your shots. To make your photos stunning, take as many photos as you can during the day, and ensure that there is even and consistent lighting on your subject.
As much as possible, skip the camera flash in favor of natural light. However, don’t take a photo facing the sun directly, or you might ruin the level of exposure. Use a tripod and catch a bright objective to give it an eye-catching appeal. You may be surprised to know that for about $65 on Amazon.com, you can purchase an amazing set of home photography lights. Just click here.
5. Mind your angles
Gone are the old times when you have to limit photo-taking sessions based on the film rolls you have. Nowadays, you can take an almost endless number of pictures, which makes it possible for you to take multiple photos of the same space. Showing the same space at different angles can help pick the best view of your vacation rental. You can make it so that the angle shows how one sees the room as soon as they enter, giving them the feeling that they’re visiting the property themselves.
Professional photographers often use a wide-angle lens to make space appear bigger and showcase the room in detail. There are also wide-angle attachments for smartphones, but you have to ensure that it’s high-resolution, or else the photo won’t turn out as well as you’d like.
6. Shoot at a low viewpoint
Interior images look great when taken at the average viewpoint of a first grader. Why? It provides a leveled view of the space compared to when you take a look-down photo. You can include the floor and ceiling on the frame at the same time, while also ensuring that the doorways and walls are straight.
Taking pictures at a low viewpoint prompts more interest from the viewer because it’s not the usual sight at which photos are taken.
7. Create depth
Transforming a flat, two-dimensional image into a photo with more depth can be tricky even for experts. However, it’s entirely possible to create the illusion, but it takes some practice and a good eye for detail. Depth is already present even in 2D, but you can emphasize it more so that the viewer can see it without needing an explanation.
There are three elements to set depth: the foreground, the middle ground, and the background. These three layers are the secret to define the photo in terms of distance and space.
8. Take advantage of perfect weather
In addition to natural lighting, perfect weather can do a lot of good when taking façade photos. It’s less interesting to see pictures with a cloudy grey backdrop since it’s typically associated with sadness. When taking vacation rental photos, bright and sunny weather can give the image a perfect touristy atmosphere.
Taking photos in good weather can also help you take advantage of sunlight, providing that glowing hue that illuminates the space. For winter-themed vacation rentals, waiting for white snow to pile up and cover the ground could help travelers long for a cozy, snowy vacation once they look at the photo.
9. Tiny details matter
Even the tiniest detail can catch the eye of the person viewing the photo. For vacation rentals, it’s crucial to organize every detail and ensure that they all tell a cohesive story about the property.
These little things can help form first impressions, which will help viewers form the decision whether they like to explore the place themselves (or not).
Get the minute details right by getting rid of eyesores—cleaning products, disarranged papers, rubbish bins, and messy counters ruin photoshoots effectively. When taking pool views, placing a glass of drink and some chic magazines on the side table can make it seem like someone stepped away from the scene for a bit. It stimulates the viewer’s senses, inciting the feeling of wanting to be there in the moment.
10. People in photos
Some people might tell you that including people in the image might distract the spectator from the vacation rental, which is what you’re supposedly highlighting. However, there are tasteful techniques that effectively incorporate people in photos and add to the value of the overall appearance. These techniques consist of using silhouettes, making them out-of-focus, or including only specific parts of people, such as the arm or side profile.
Rather than taking the spotlight from the space, featuring people in photos can help viewers imagine being in that scene, living the experience for themselves.
11. Take holiday photos
Vacation typically happens during holidays, which is why you need to create festive photos that will entice them to check out your vacation rental. The Christmas season is all about cherry décor, a Christmas tree, and some gifts to brighten the ambiance. If it’s Valentine’s day, accentuating the space with anything red and some beautiful flowers can make the scene more romantic and alluring.
Be creative! You can also do photoshoots based on the ever-changing seasons. There’s no limit to the color schemes you can do: for example, an outdoor barbecue and other amenities set on a sunny backdrop in the backyard perfectly captures summer. For spring, highlighting the full bloom of flowers and using cheery colors can make viewers long for a walk on their favorite gardens near your vacation rental.
12. Edit the snaps
When you’re satisfied with all the photos you’ve taken and sorted out the pictures that best capture your vacation rental, it’s now time to edit each one to enhance it further. You don’t need to be a Photoshop pro to achieve it; just ensure that every photo is consistent and looks natural. Some of the tweaks you can do include tuning the brightness or reducing shadows. You can opt for the auto-enhancing function so that you don’t go overboard with the editing.
As much as possible, avoid using filters since some of the options can be too harsh and make your photos look unnatural. It potentially gets people thinking that you’re hiding a flaw, which would make a negative impression on your property.
Experts believe that great photos aren’t taken but rather created. Therefore, it’s essential to be smart about how you should shoot your vacation rental. Organizing the setting, mood, colors, subject, and other important elements of a photo need to be prioritized before actually snapping that picture. Above all, keeping it natural while also scrutinizing the photo before publishing could save you a world of blunders, so always triple check before you can say, “yes, this is my vacation rental.”