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    Take great listing photos with your phone

    Take great listing photos with your phone

    From staging to editing, your smartphone can do more than you think.
    Ngu-Airbnb nge-Mar 3, 2020
    Ufundo lwemizuzu eyi-3
    Ihlaziywe nge-Mar 3, 2020

    Highlights

    • Listings with quality photos stand out in search results and get booked more often

    • Feature your best photo first: your first image is what guests see in search results

    • Take photos with your phone so you can start attracting guests immediately—you can always add professional shots later

    Your photos can have a big impact on how well your listing performs. Listings with higher quality photos generally stand out in search results and get booked more often. Airbnb research found that photos are one of the top things guests look at when searching for a place to stay. Thankfully you don’t need to be a professional photographer, own expensive camera equipment, or spend all day staging a photo shoot to get high-quality images. All you need is a smartphone, a spare hour or two, and the tips below.

    Time it right

    Good lighting is the difference between a room looking dark and dreary vs. one that looks warm and inviting.

    • Only take photos during the day, when natural light is brightest
    • Adjust your shades or blinds to let in the sun, and turn on lamps to illuminate dark corners if necessary. Don’t rely on your phone’s flash, which can make photos look harsh.
    • When setting up a shot on your phone, you can tap on different areas of the screen to adjust the brightness. Click around the image to get the lighting just right.

    Stage a strong shot

    Finding the right place and angle for photographing each room is key.

    • Hold your phone straight and horizontal to shoot photos in landscape orientation
    • On many phones, you can select a “grid view” and use it to make sure your shot is straight. Line up the grid with a wall or piece of furniture, such as a nightstand.
    • Crouch or kneel, if needed, to get the main piece of furniture in the room centered in your photo. In bedrooms, that could mean focusing on the bed; in living rooms, perhaps the sofa.

    Keep snapping

    Your listing should tell a complete story: What experience can potential guests expect from your space? Include enough photos of your home in the listing to set expectations and help you attract guests who will enjoy your space.

    • Airbnb’s photography team recommends including three images of each room
    • Shooting from different corners of each room helps create a full picture

    Don’t forget the details

    Guests love seeing the specifics that make your space unique: the collage of vacation photos hanging in your hallway or the stack of antique quilts in your bedroom. Including pictures of these details can help distinguish your listing.

    • To take a great shot, hold your phone close to the detail you want to showcase
    • Touch the item on your screen and your phone’s camera will bring it into focus, usually fading out the background to highlight the main object even more

    Edit for excellence

    If you didn’t get the perfect shot, don’t worry. The editing tools that come with most smartphone cameras can help you refine your photos. You can improve on almost any image by adjusting the brightness, contrast, and saturation.

    • Brightness: Most cameras adjust the brightness automatically, so point your shot toward a part of the room with medium brightness, i.e., not the lightest window or the darkest corner. Even so, most indoor photos will benefit from a little post-production brightening.
    • Contrast: The difference between the lights and darks in your photo is what creates contrast. Too little contrast leaves a photo looking washed out and flat. Too much contrast, and the image can become difficult to read if the darks are too dark and lights too light. Bumping up the contrast just a touch can produce a more crisp image.
    • Saturation: This refers to the intensity of color in your image. Increasing the saturation is an easy way to increase the richness of your image, but it’s also easy to overdo it.

    You can also explore the other adjustments to see which ones you like best. Just remember not to overdo it. You want your images to be inviting and filled with light, but they should also look natural.

    Highlights

    • Listings with quality photos stand out in search results and get booked more often

    • Feature your best photo first: your first image is what guests see in search results

    • Take photos with your phone so you can start attracting guests immediately—you can always add professional shots later

    Airbnb
    Mar 3, 2020
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