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Airbnb Photography Cost: A Comprehensive Guide

This comprehensive guide explores the cost of Airbnb photography, discussing factors that influence the cost, the pros and cons of DIY vs professional photography, and how to maximize the value of your photos.


By Karolyn Hutson

Published on June 5, 2023

In the world of Airbnb, the first impression is everything. And what better way to make a stellar first impression than with high-quality, professional photographs of your listing? But how much does Airbnb photography cost? Let’s dive into the details.

Understanding Airbnb Photography

The Importance of Airbnb Photography

Professional Airbnb Photography in Action
The cost of professional airbnb photography is worth the investment

Quality photographs are the cornerstone of any successful Airbnb listing. They attract potential guests and provide a visual representation of what they can expect from their stay. High-quality, attractive photographs can enhance the guest experience, increase bookings, and boost your revenue.

Airbnb’s Photography Service

Airbnb offers a photography service where professional photographers come to your listing and take high-quality photos. This service is not available everywhere, but where it is, it can be a great way to ensure your listing is presented in the best possible light. The benefits of this service include professional quality photos and increased listing visibility.

Factors Influencing Airbnb Photography Cost

Photographer’s Experience

The cost of Airbnb photography can vary greatly depending on the photographer’s experience. A seasoned photographer with a strong portfolio and a good reputation may charge more than a novice. However, the quality of their work can often justify the higher price.

Location and Travel Expenses

The location of your property and the travel expenses incurred by the photographer can also influence the cost of Airbnb photography. The cost may be higher if your property is located in a remote area or if the photographer has to travel a significant distance to reach it.

Size and Complexity of the Property

The size and complexity of your property can also affect the cost of photography. A larger property or one with many unique features may require more time and effort to photograph, which can increase the cost.

Airbnb Photography Cost Breakdown

Hourly Rates

Some photographers charge an hourly rate for their services. This rate can vary depending on the photographer’s experience, the shoot’s complexity, and the property’s location.

Per-Room Pricing

Other photographers may charge a per-room rate. This means that the photography service cost is calculated based on the number of rooms in your property that need to be photographed.

Editing Costs

Post-Production Editing for Airbnb Photos Enhances the Final Result
Post-Production Editing for Airbnb Photos Enhances the Final Result

Don’t forget about the cost of editing. Post-production is a crucial part of photography and can significantly enhance the final result. Some photographers include editing in their overall cost, while others charge it separately.

DIY vs. Professional Photography

Pros and Cons of DIY Photography

Going the DIY route with your Airbnb photography can save you money, but it also comes with challenges. While smartphone cameras have come a long way, they still can’t match the quality of professional equipment. Plus, good photography involves more than just a good camera. Lighting, composition, and post-production editing are crucial in creating great photos.

Pros and Cons of Professional Photography

Hiring a professional photographer can be a significant investment but can also pay off in the long run. Professional photographers have the equipment, skills, and experience to produce high-quality photos that can attract more guests and increase your booking rates.

Impact of Photography on Bookings

Quality photographs can have a significant impact on your booking rates. A well-photographed listing is more likely to attract guests, command higher prices, and generate more revenue. In fact, according to Airbnb, listings with professional photos tend to earn 40% more than other listings.

Maximizing the Value of Airbnb Photography

Staging Your Property

Staging Your Airbnb Property for the Perfect Shot
Staging Your Vacation Rental Property for the Perfect Shot

Before the photographer arrives, make sure your property is clean, tidy, and well-staged. This means arranging furniture and decor in a visually appealing way and highlighting your space’s best features. A well-staged property can make your photos more attractive and inviting to potential guests.

Planning Your Shoot

Plan your shoot in advance. Make a list of all the rooms and areas you want to be photographed, and think about the best time of day for each shot. Natural light can make a big difference in how your photos turn out, so consider the direction and intensity of sunlight at different times of the day.

Daylight and Seasonal Timing

The time of day and the season can greatly affect the mood and appeal of your photos. Aim for a time when your property gets plenty of natural light. If possible, consider having photos taken in different seasons to show off the year-round appeal of your property.

Licensing and Usage of Photos

Airbnb’s Licensing Policy

When you use Airbnb’s photography service, the photos taken are licensed for use on Airbnb only. This means you can’t use these photos on other booking sites or for other commercial purposes. Understanding this restriction is important before deciding to use Airbnb’s service.

Professional Photographer’s Licensing Policy

When you hire a professional photographer outside of Airbnb, the licensing agreement may be different. Some photographers allow you to use the photos they take for a wide range of purposes, which can be beneficial if you list your property on multiple platforms or use the photos for marketing purposes.

Choosing a Photographer

Hiring a Local Photographer

Hiring a local photographer gives you more control over the process and can be more cost-effective. Look for a photographer with a strong portfolio and a style that matches the vibe of your property. Discuss your expectations and requirements upfront to ensure a smooth process.

DIY Photography

Consider doing it yourself if you’re on a tight budget or enjoy photography. However, remember there’s a steep learning curve to taking great photos, and you’ll need to invest in good equipment. But with practice and patience, you can take decent photos of your property.

Written by

With over six years of short-term rental hosting experience, Karolyn has helped hundreds of guests have an enjoyable experience. I love writing and am passionate about real estate, hospitality, and photography. Karolyn holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and enjoys sharing her experiences to help others.