AirBnB photo shoot offer. Should I do it??

Level 10
Takoma Park, MD

AirBnB photo shoot offer. Should I do it??

I know I've read more than one post here about how people were disappointed by their AirBnB photo shoot. I believe some of the issues range from the quality (or lack thereof) of the photos, as well as the fact that AirBnB somehow owns the photos? 

I feel that my listing would really benefit from professional photos. I tried to do this through AirBnB when I first started out, but the service wasn't available in my area. I'm doing fine with reservations, but I know better photos would better illustrate what I'm offering. 

Now, they sent me an offer that's super cheap. Something about how this service is discounted through August 31st. The price is $70??? Not too much to lose if they don't turn out well. 

Should I do it? 

Thoughts on this are very welcome. 



40 Replies 40

I am a professional photographer and my photos are true to what’s in my B&B and I used my iPhone to take pics. But if it’s only $70 that’s a heck of a deal and a great way to help promote your place. 

Hostess of Hunters Dream B and B
Level 10
California, United States

@Kia272 Your listing is lovely.  And while the photos clearly aren't professional, they seem to be accurate and your reviews are absolutely STELLAR!


"The cabin was everything we expected and more. We loved the furnishings and decor...a visual treat for sure."


In some ways, less-than-perfect photos set the stage & expectation realistically such that people aren't disappointed when they walk in and it doesn't feel like a magazine.  I say keep them.  Maybe even widdle them down.

@Lenore22 that is so kind of you. Thank you! 

I totally understand the under promise and over deliver concept. I do feel that my photos fairly accurately depict my place. What I don't think I've captured is the scale- I think a professional with a wide angle lens might be better able to do so. 

So, just as the responses here are mixed- about professional vs. owner photos, I'm of mixed opinion as well. I don't want it to look like it was staged for a photo shoot, I simply want guests to be better able to picture my space. Make sense? 

Thanks so much for your response though. And yes, I could widdle them down a bit. I think that's my hangup about the space not being portrayed accurately through the pics.  More is better, right? Lol. 

Level 10
Nashville, TN

@Kia272 Like a few others, we opted to use the photos and were pleased with the photographer's results. We coordinated with her ahead of time and walked around with her as she shot to be of any help, should she have needed it.


In arranging her visit to our place, we asked her what we could do to make the shoot easier.  She suggested that we open all the blinds fully ahead of time so that she didn't have to do that and place a bouquet on the counter for a bit of color pop. While those weren't earth-shattering suggestions, they did make the shoot go faster. And, you can see the vase of flowers in our pictures. Oh, and we've had zero guests ask us where the flowers in the photos were : )  We also told her that the two largest windows are on the south side with trees blocking the afternoon sun, so it was best to come earlier in the day, which she was more than willing to do. 


In the end, we opted to use some of the photos the photographer took mixed in with our own. 

@Nash-Cottages-LLC0  Good to know. I'm happy to hear that some were pleased with the results from their AirBnB photo shoot. As I've said before, I think it's probably hit or miss, depending on the photographer you get. 

I have yet to get a confirmation or date. I've gotten a confirmation that I have officially requested the photo shoot, but nothing further. 

I think that ultimately it will get canceled because they'll say there's nobody in my area to do the shoot. 

Right now, all I can do is wait and see. 

Thanks for your input! Kia

Level 10
Catskill, NY

I was not aware that abb own the photos after. Is that true?

Level 10
Huskisson, Australia

@Kia272 we took up the offer that Airbnb made and the cost being $70 US converted $90 Aus which they took out of next booking l was happy with this. The photographer offered we communicated and I made a date for 1 month later. He lived locally was recommended on our local community group as well also takes real estate photos as well.

The photographer had a set of requirements for Airbnb, natural light no towels on bed and because I have applied less is more feel (not too many nick nacks- not busy,  my rational is - you have to clean and dust every thing plus Covid )to the cottage.  I asked what the photographer wanted and it was mainly windows clear no sheer curtains, able to see out and natural light.

I was very happy with the photos very similar to what I had taken on my ipad but a far better quality. This was only 2 months ago. Airbnb sent me the photos, was able to choose which ones I wanted and I was able to move them in the order that I wanted.

I had a few guests say that it was far nicer than the photos of Airbnb page and some of the reveiws said the same. Since the photos went online I think my bookings have increased and they mention the photos. 

So my suggestion is to listen to your gut feeling, make the most of the offer, it costs nothing and Airbnb promote your property and you have nothing to lose.

Check photos, listing is "Hidden Gem on Duncan Sreet" located Huskisson, NSW, Australia.

@Laurelle3  I'm so happy to hear that it worked out for you. I'm feeling encouraged! Sounds like you had some flexibility on what to choose to include with the listing, which is great. 

I'm still waiting to hear back about a date and a photographer. My place will be a challenge as it's very dark, but I know someone can make it look fantastic. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. Kia

Call a local college or art institute snd get a student majoring in photography or film to do it. They’ll have something for their portfolio and will appreciate the cash you’re offering. (Look at the portfolios first) 

@Christine615 Unfortunately, there IS no local college or art institute around here. I'm in a cultural and professional services void here, as I've told some others who responded. That's the problem, and that's why I'm thrilled that AirBnB made this offer. I have yet to get assigned a photographer or a date......But thanks for your suggestion.