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How Much Does Airbnb Photography Cost? (2024) Find Out If It’s Worth It!

Marketing your Airbnb listing can be a challenge. Many people feel most intimidated by the prospect of having to take nice-looking pictures of their space, edit them, and ensure they’re high enough quality to be attractive to guests. For this reason, lots of hosts are turning to professional photographers to help them out.

How much does Airbnb photography cost?

Airbnb does not publish the prices they charge for professional listing photography, and the prices do vary by geographic region as well as listing size. To get a price, you need to make sure the service is available in your area and enter your Listing ID which Airbnb will use to email you a quote. According to hosts online, the average price of a photo session can range from $100-400.

Keep reading to find out more about Airbnb photography and how you can find a listing photo solution that works for you!

Is an Airbnb photographer free?

Airbnb professional photography is not free. The photography program was offered for free in select areas at first. Now, however, there is a cost associated, and the fees vary a lot depending on location and listing size.

This is unfortunate, since Airbnb originally pioneered the program to increase the level of professionalism in the photos on their site. This would have benefitted both hosts and guests alike; guests by making the website viewing experience nicer, and hosts by increasing the value and market potential of their listings.

Airbnb does still allow users to take their own photos, of course, and many choose to do that. That being said, the price of hiring a professional may be well worth it in terms of the expected “boost” many hosts find they get when their photos look top-notch.

According to Airbnb’s statistics, hosts with professional looking listing pictures can earn up to 40% more than those without (compared to similar hosts in the same area). They also can see up to a 24% increase in bookings since photos are what draw guests in to book in the first place.

Finally, hosts with professional listing pictures can often raise their nightly rates and still get the same number of bookings that they used to. Hosts raise their rates an average of 26%, which is pretty substantial. With numbers like these, it’s easy to see how professional photography can pay for itself in no time!

Does Airbnb provide photographers?

Airbnb doesn’t necessarily provide photographers, but their service can match eligible hosts with a professional who can take their listing photos for them.

If you don’t want to go through Airbnb to find a photographer, you’re also free to hire anyone in your area to take the pictures instead. Obviously you can also take them yourself, but many people find that the benefits of a photography pro who has access to lighting tools, editing software, and a high quality camera is a worthwhile investment.

Airbnb isn’t really transparent about where they pull their photography talent from, but it seems like they have a pool of people in areas where their photography service is offered who are employed by Airbnb and paid a standard rate to shoot listings for hosts.

A lot of hosts have found just as much success by browsing local artists in their area. This allows  you to check out a photographer’s portfolio to see if you like their style. Their prices also may sometimes be more competitive than an Airbnb-selected photographer.

How do photographers work on Airbnb?

Hosts can choose how they want to take and post pictures on their own Airbnb listings. They have the option of using an Airbnb photographer, their own private photographer, or simply taking the pictures themselves.

Each of these options has its own benefits as well as a monetary tradeoff to look into. If you find that your bookings have been taking a downturn lately (or you never reached the number of bookings you would like to have), professional listing photos might be for you!

The vast majority of hosts still choose to take their own photos, and this comes with its own benefits and drawbacks as well. The biggest benefit by far is that it is totally FREE to take your own pictures! Everybody has a smartphone nowadays, and many of these phones can take DSLR-quality pictures with very little effort on your part.

The downside to taking your own photos is that you probably don’t have the lighting setup, retouching software, or artistic eye to truly make them look professional. Guests can tell when someone has gone the extra mile and put a lot of time (or money, in some cases) into their listing pictures, so don’t skimp out.

Want some more ideas on how to make your listing pop? Check out my top Airbnb listing tips!

Rental Recon Tip: Photos will quite literally make or break a listing! Choose your photos wisely, and make sure to showcase all the great things about your space in the first few images. Most guests decide which listing to click on based on the cover image alone, so make sure yours pops!

How do I take good pictures of my Airbnb?

Taking good pictures of your Airbnb boils down to a pretty simple formula: natural light, a good quality camera, basic editing skills, and staging the space appropriately. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make the pictures look nice, but it will take a lot of time an effort.

Showcasing your space to its fullest potential is harder than it sounds. Airbnb guests are booking sight-unseen, to some degree, so they need to feel comfortable in where they’re going to be staying. It’s your job to make them feel at home before they even get there!

Start by cleaning up the space and arranging things so that they’ll look nice in the frame of your shot. Staging is important, but make sure to only use things that will actually be in your Airbnb when guests arrive. Shooting the same room from multiple angles will give guests the best perspective on the space.

Lighting equipment can be extremely expensive, not to mention difficult to use. Thankfully, we all have our own free built-in lighting: the sun! Try to shoot on the brightest days you can, and keep lots of light things in the frame to make the room seem bigger and brighter.

You can (and should) also edit your photos to spruce them up a bit. We’re not talking about fancy filters or strange effects here, just a little brightness tweaking, cropping, and such. This can all be accomplished on a variety of free apps, and sometimes even within the camera built into your phone.

Don’t forget to give your space some context as well. Where is your home located relative to nearby attractions? Would neighborhood pictures be relevant to your guests? You should also make sure to have a picture or two of the exterior of your home or building so guests can find it when the time comes to check in.

Need more details on photo sizes, resolution, and more? Click HERE!

How many photos can you upload to Airbnb?

You can upload up to 100 photos to your Airbnb listing, but you absolutely should not use that many! No space is big enough to warrant that many pictures, and no guest is going to click through all of them anyways. Less is more when it comes to an Airbnb listing, so focus on getting a few high-quality photos (with descriptions) to wow your guests in an efficient way.

Having trouble with Airbnb accepting your photos? Check out my troubleshooting guide here!

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Ryan Drew- Contributor
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Ryan Drew- Contributor

I'm an Airbnb Superhost sharing my Airbnb journey and tips that I've learned along the way.

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