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How to Take Good Airbnb Pictures

Unlock the power of visually enticing Airbnb listings with this comprehensive guide on how to take stunning property photos. From preparation and staging to shooting and post-production, we'll walk you through each step, ensuring you capture images that set your property apart and attract more bookings.


By Derick Hargrave

Published on June 8, 2023

Let’s face it, in the competitive world of Airbnb, and stunning photos can make a significant difference in the success of your listing. A well-photographed property stands out in search results and communicates professionalism, setting the stage for a positive guest experience. Airbnb photography costs can be expensive, so let’s journey together through the detailed process of how to take good Airbnb pictures that can effectively transform your property into a highly sought-after destination.

Preparing Your Property

Before brandishing your camera or smartphone, laying the necessary groundwork is crucial.


To capture professional-quality photographs, every corner of your property must sparkle. You want to aim for cleanliness that surpasses daily living conditions – think hotel-like perfection. Thorough cleaning of every room is essential, making sure there is no distracting clutter or unwanted objects that could compromise the overall appeal of your photos. Remember, the cleanliness conveyed in your pictures sets the expectation for your guests’ stay.


Unique perspective of a cozy Airbnb living room
Unique perspective of a cozy Airbnb living room

Staging is about crafting a visual story. It involves more than just tidying up; it’s about strategically placing furniture, using attractive decor, and creating a warm, inviting atmosphere that potential guests can picture themselves enjoying. Colors, textures, and layout all play a significant role in the aesthetics of a room. The way you stage your space can add value to your listing and give guests a sense of the experience they can expect.

Showcasing Amenities

Highlighting your property’s unique features and benefits can set you apart from other hosts. This might include a fully equipped kitchen, a home office, a hot tub, or even something as simple as a cozy reading nook. Each of these amenities should be clearly visible and appealingly presented in your photos, allowing potential guests to visualize the benefits of choosing your listing over others.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Capturing high-quality photos requires the right tools. Let’s explore the equipment you’ll need to take good Airbnb pictures.

Camera and Lens Selection

Though a high-resolution DSLR camera with a wide-angle lens is often preferred, it’s not always necessary. These tools can capture sharp, professional-looking images that showcase your space in its best light. However, even with a DSLR, understanding the basics of photography—like exposure, composition, and focus—is key.

Using Your Smartphone Effectively

Even if you don’t have a DSLR, most modern smartphones are capable of taking high-quality photos. The trick is understanding how to use your phone’s settings to your advantage. Ensure you’re capturing photos in the highest resolution possible and utilize any advanced features your phone may have. Stability is another crucial factor; a tripod can significantly improve the sharpness of your photos.


Lighting can make or break your photographs. Natural light is your best friend—it can make spaces look larger and more inviting. Shooting during the day, preferably during the “golden hour” (just after sunrise or just before sunset), can yield beautiful, warmly-lit photos. When used correctly, artificial light can also help create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.

Capturing Unique Perspectives

Creating engaging and dynamic photos is all about perspective.

Varying Your Angles

Don’t limit yourself to one angle. Mixing up your shots with wide-angle, high-angle, and low-angle perspectives can add interest and depth to your listing. A well-placed wide-angle shot can capture the entirety of a room, while a clever low-angle shot might highlight unique architectural details.

Focus and Depth

Playing with focus and depth of field can bring a professional touch to your photos. By controlling what’s in sharp focus and what’s not, you can guide the viewer’s eye and highlight specific elements in your space.

Highlighting Key Spaces

In your photo set, each room and outdoor space should have its moment to shine.

Room by Room

Ensure you’re taking multiple photos of each room, capturing different angles and highlighting unique features. Each space plays a part in your guest’s overall stay, from the living room and kitchen to the bedrooms and bathrooms.

Outdoor Spaces

Exterior shot of a charming Airbnb garden
Exterior shot of a charming Airbnb garden

These should also be prominently featured if your property boasts attractive outdoor spaces. A quaint garden, a view from the balcony, or a comfortable outdoor dining area can all add value to your listing and enhance your guests’ experience.

Atmosphere and Mood

Lastly, your photos should exude a welcoming, comfortable ambiance. Lighting, decor, and staging all contribute to the mood of your pictures. Remember, you’re not just marketing a property but selling an experience.

How to Improve Airbnb Pictures

After shooting, the work isn’t over. Now, it’s time to enhance your photos.

Image Editing Techniques

You can correct any lighting imbalances, enhance colors, and improve overall image quality through editing. Techniques such as adjusting brightness and contrast, cropping for better composition, and minor retouching can significantly improve your images.

Software Options

There are many software options for editing, ranging from professional platforms like Photoshop and Lightroom to user-friendly mobile apps. Choose the software you feel comfortable with and which offers the editing features you need.

Using the Photos Effectively

Once you have a collection of stunning photos, it’s crucial to use them effectively.

Creating a Compelling Airbnb Listing

Creating a compelling Airbnb listing involves more than just including great photos. The way you pair those images with descriptive, engaging text is vital. Remember to highlight the unique features of your property, provide a clear and accurate description, and make the benefits of your space evident.

Marketing Strategies

Photos are also an essential part of your overall marketing strategy. Utilize these images across social media platforms, on your website if you have one, and within any other marketing channels, you’re using to promote your property. Great images can enhance your SEO efforts and help to attract more potential guests to your listing.

Encouraging Guest Reviews

Great photos lead to more bookings, and more bookings lead to more reviews. Encouraging your guests to leave reviews based on their experience can further boost your listing’s appeal. Ensure the experience matches the expectations set by your photos to gather positive reviews.

Optimizing Listing Photos for Airbnb

Lastly, it’s time to optimize your images for the Airbnb platform.

Selecting the Best Images

Pictures of a comfortable and welcoming Airbnb space
Pictures of a comfortable and welcoming Airbnb space

Not all images will make the cut. It’s essential to choose the best ones—those that are high-quality, relevant, and showcase your space effectively. These images should represent the experience you’re offering accurately and compellingly.

Arranging Photos Strategically

The order in which you display your photos can significantly influence potential guests. Airbnb recommends starting with a captivating image of the space that’s most significant to your listing—be that a living room, bedroom, or perhaps a stunning outdoor space. The following images should continue to tell the story of your property, guiding viewers through the space as if they were taking a tour.

Wrapping Up

While the process might seem daunting at first, with some preparation, the right equipment, a bit of creativity, and strategic staging, you can create stunning images that significantly enhance your Airbnb listing’s appeal.

Written by

As a content writer passionate about travel and hospitality, I have a unique perspective on short-term rentals. With years of experience creating engaging, informative content for various clients, I enjoy communicating the benefits and appeal of short-term rental properties. I've been an Airbnb host for the last three years, consistently providing my guests with a high level of hospitality.