Photography tips: showcase accessibility features—and stand out in search

Photography tips: showcase accessibility features—and stand out in search

Photography tips.jpg


When travel and accessibility meet, it can be life changing for guests with limited mobility. For the first big trip of his life, Edouard was flying 10,000 miles (17,000 kilometers) from France to Australia, looking for an extraordinary experience and a home that could accommodate his wheelchair.


Edouard stayed with hosts in Sydney that provided both: “A big thank you to Cheryl and Peter for welcoming me into their home in the land of kangaroos… [They were] smiley Airbnb hosts, very available, with a fully-accessible apartment,” he wrote in his review of their home, which features wide doorways and wide clearance to the bed, a roll-in shower, and more. 


The good news for Edouard—and other travelers with limited mobility—is that Airbnb is taking steps to make homes with accessible features even easier to find. The good news for hosts is that reaching this group of potential guests doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to renovate your home. It can be as simple as updating your photography and, as always, setting clear expectations.


“There are so many disabilities, thus a large variety of needs for different people… It doesn’t have to be perfect,” said Lynda, a host and guest from New Zealand who has limited mobility. “Pictures showing the facilities help hugely. If all the facts are presented, we could make an informed decision rather than having to ask [hosts] the same questions over and over again.”


Here’s our 5-step plan to help you update your photography, highlight accessibility, and stand out in search results.


Step 1: Think of your photos as a tour.


Guests who use wheelchairs, walkers, canes or other mobility devices need to be able to visualize themselves in that space and see if they can easily navigate from the car, to the front door, and throughout the home.

  • Begin your shoot on the sidewalk or driveway and make your way to the front door.
  • Outside, highlight parking, pathways, and the entrance*, including steps, stairs, ramps, elevators, and other features you might have.
  • Inside, capture all rooms and hallways leading to the different parts of the space.Image 1.png


 (Clockwise from top left: street view, path to home, entry way, and parking spot)


*Some hosts have told us they feel uncomfortable showing the front of their homes. If you feel the same way, try photographing the threshold, rather than the entire entrance. The important part is to take the photo straight on, with the door open, so guests can see how wide it is and if there’s a step.


Step 2: Open doors.


Whether it’s the entrance to a bedroom, bathroom, or the front of the house, opening doors helps guests understand how spaces are connected. Plus, it feels more inviting.

  • Photograph doorways straight on so guests can see how wide it is and if there’s a step.
  • To be considered a wide doorway, it must be 32 inches (82 cm) or wider.
  • If you must shoot from an angle, do not distort the image to make the doorway look wider, and make sure you still capture the floorline and show any physical obstructions such as furniture.


Image 2.png


Step 3: Get low.


For listings with accessibility features, it’s all about highlighting step-free floors, not high ceilings.

  • Tilt the camera slightly downwards to photograph the entire floorline.
  • Point out any physical blockers like steps so guests can decide if they can move through your home.
  • Include the bottom of door frames, showers, and hallways.Image 3.png


Step 4: Show as much as possible.


Photograph entire rooms and what’s inside them — this allows guests to see for themselves if they can easily navigate their way in and around the room.

  • When photographing a living room or bedroom, stand in the doorway and hold the camera just below eye level to capture as much of the room as possible, as well as any furniture inside.
  • When photographing bathrooms, it can be difficult because of size. Still, make sure to show the floor, especially the areas below the door frame and shower.


Image 4.png 

Step 5: Details, details, details.


For hosts who have invested in accessible features such as grab rails and hoists, here’s how to showcase them.

  • Accessible bedrooms may have ceiling hoists, mobile hoists, and electric profiling beds. Shoot these items from afar and close up to show their location and any details.

Image 5.png 

  • Accessible bathrooms may include these features:
    • Grab rails: Photograph wide and detail shots to show how far or close grab rails are to bathroom fixtures. Also, the mounting matters: make sure your listing indicates whether rails are stick-on or screw-in.

Image 6.png


  • Roll-in shower: tilt the camera down slightly to show the floorline.Image 7.png


  • Shower and bath chairs: position the chair at an angle to show many sides of the chair.Image 8.png



Small tweaks to photography cannot only help you — hosts who invest in professional photography, for instance, make about 26 percent more per night — you can also transform lives in a big way.


When Edouard left Sydney, he said: “I have only one desire: to come back to have more completely crazy and extraordinary experiences!” Imagine a guest leaving your home with a feeling like that.


Learn how to add accessibility features


Read more:

Tips for supporting guests with disabilities

34 Replies 34
Level 2
México D.F., Mexico

Great tips, Thanks to share!!

Great tips 

Level 1
Havana, Cuba

Muchas gracias por los consejos, son muy buenos!

Level 2
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Thanks very much for the tips and the photos. I  think it is important to realize that accessibly issues are many and varied and that, although my property could not really house a person in a wheelchair , suggestions such as grab rails in bathrooms are relatively easy to install and could make a great difference to many needing a little help for their independence and comfort during their stay here in Tulum, Mexico. 


Level 2
Chandigarh, IN

Thanks for the photo tips .

Level 1
Homestead, FL

Thank You I never really thought about it, which I feel bad about. We have 3 rooms that have no steps.

Level 4
Casalguidi, Italy

Thanks, well done and very useful!

Le Stanze Toscane

I have a website with many pictures and descriptive information. Air B&B told me they would not provide my website address, but now seem to be asking me to provide precisely the information that is on my website. Please advise.

Level 2
Rethimno, Greece

Τhanks for the tips, helps a lot.


Level 2
Tbilisi, Georgia

Thank you for useful tip ❤️

Level 1
Mexico City, Mexico

Please in Spanish!!


Level 1
Kakamas, South Africa

Thanks for the helpful tips and photo tips

Level 2
Aurora, CO

I'm grateful that I was provided with a photographer that produced great shots the 1st time around.  I have a second room listed, so I've requested a return photo session.  I've made some updates, so want to include those!  I hope the second photographer is as good as the 1st one was.

Great tips. 

Level 2
Toronto, Canada

This is great, thank you very much.

Level 5
Ballinakill, Ireland

Really good advice on how to take photographs with a particular demographic in mind.

Level 5
Cary, NC

I love this posting!  I have an accessible listing that I co-host and I hope there will be more. Take a look at the photos and tell me what you think.

Level 3
Memphis, TN

Cute place. As a wheelchair-user I would say it's not an option because the toilet and shower are not wheelchair-friendly. 

Level 4
Seri Kembangan, Malaysia

Awesome tips which came in just in time when I needed the most! ^^ Thanks!

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