[GUIDE] How to best photograph your home with your smartphone

Level 10
Bergamo, Italy

[GUIDE] How to best photograph your home with your smartphone

My living room in VeniceMy living room in Venice

You may not believe it but the first thing most guests do when looking for accommodation on Airbnb is scroll through the photos even before reading the description or reviews and often the decision is based solely on the photos! You therefore understand the importance of having beautiful photos of your home 😉


Let me start by saying that I am not a professional photographer, but I have always been passionate about photography, I started taking photographs when everything was still analogue, at the time they used rolls of negative or slide film. There was a period when I enjoyed printing my photos at home in the darkroom. Other times! Now technology has made great strides and it is no longer necessary to have expensive cameras to take beautiful photos. It seems incredible but, in most cases, your smartphone is enough!


In this short guide I would like to give you some tips on how to best photograph your home using your smartphone, I personally use an iPhone 15 Pro Max but many of my tips apply to all smartphones.


👉 The first advice I give you is to open the Airbnb homepage and take a look at the photos of the listings that appear on the front page, they are the ones that the Airbnb algorithm positions high in searches and can give you many excellent ideas...


👉 So let's move on to practice, the first thing to do is set up the "photographic set": first of all clean and tidy every room, don't leave things lying around, enrich the scene with elements that transmit "warmth", for example plants, some beautiful crockery in the kitchen, a set table (naturally avoid inserting something that will not be available during your guests' stay)


👉 It might seem like useless advice but before taking photos, clean your camera lenses thoroughly, sometimes dirt, such as food residue, can compromise the quality of the photos


👉 To obtain beautiful photos, light is essential, so take your photos during the day with the sun when the brightness of the rooms is at its maximum, the best light is natural light, so open the curtains well, but if it is not enough don't be afraid to turn on all the lights in the house...


👉 Take at least a couple of photos for each environment, from different points of view, perhaps positioning yourself in the corners


👉 Try to diversify your photos, don't take photos that are too similar which could seem like duplicates


👉 Always use the wide angle (in the case of my iPhone 0.5x 13 mm) as it makes the environments larger


👉 Use the 16:9 format and when possible favor photos in horizontal format


👉 Pay attention to the vanishing lines and keep the horizon as aligned as possible (on the iPhone the “Grid” and “Horizontal alignment” settings can help)


👉 Use the rule of thirds (helping yourself with the grid) to put the furniture you want to stand out at the center of attention


👉 Always take photos from the same height, approximately just above your waist (for this you can help yourself by using a tripod with a smartphone adapter), not from the height of your eyes as would be more natural, in this way the environments will seem higher


👉 If there are interesting objects inside the rooms, such as beautiful vases, a coffee machine, a beautiful plant... you can take detailed photos, in this case use a higher focal length (in the case of my iPhone 2x 48 mm) and possibly the “PORTRAIT” mode which, by blurring the outline, puts the object at the center of attention


👉 In the case of small environments, where the wide angle may not be enough to include the whole scene, for example a small bathroom, a "trick" is to use the panoramic mode of your smartphone, naturally without exaggerating so as not to "false" the photo


👉 You can also use a post-production program to edit your photos, but if you have taken the photos with the utmost care, in most cases it will not be necessary


👉 The cover photo is very important, it must be beautiful, it must attract attention, and it must highlight the reason why a guest should choose your accommodation, in short it must stand out among the dozens of photos that the guest scrolls through before clicking on a particular listing


👉 Also carefully choose the next four photos which must highlight the other strong points of your accommodation, basically the first five photos should be a summary of the best that guests will see on the photo tour


👉 Of course, don't forget to describe each photo by inserting captions, try to write a "story" thinking above all of the advantages and comforts that your guest will be able to enjoy


👉 Finally, remember to include a floor plan of your home among the photos, it is very useful to help guests understand how the rooms are arranged


👉 Last tip, but perhaps the most important, don't overdo it in slavishly applying all the tips above, in short, avoid having your photos look too similar to those in a glossy magazine, it must be clear from the photos that your house is a "real" home not an artificial photographic set, furthermore photos that are too perfect risk generating expectations in guests that could be disregarded when they enter your home... and we don't want this to happen 😉


The fundamental thing is to take your photos with "love", imagine telling a good story, try to understand what your guests might like, highlight the strong points of your accommodation, dedicate time to it, keep your photos always updated... you will see that they will give you a lot of satisfaction!


I hope these little tips are useful to you. If you really aren't good at photography, then all you have to do is hire a professional photographer, and believe me in this case it will be money well spent 😀




17 Replies 17

Welcome @Eren1360 !

Thnks bro


Thanks for the photography tips! We're sprucing up our place this week and plan to capture some new photos to showcase the improvements. Your advice will definitely come in handy! Although I don’t have an iPhone, my Vivo phone should do the trick for snapping the pictures. It's just like improving your home; sometimes you need the right tools to get the job done, and in this case, my Vivo phone will be the perfect tool for capturing our home's transformation. I visit this website about home improvement knowledge**

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