A Photo Is Worth A Thousand Words: Getting the Best Photographs of Your Short-Term Rental

A Photo Is Worth A Thousand Words: Getting the Best Photographs of Your Short-Term Rental

If you’ve stayed in a vacation rental in the last 5 years, you’ve likely spent much of your time online looking at photographs. On many short-term rental sites, the photo is what attracts visitors in the first place. At the HOST, we can set you up with a professional photographer and stager to make your home ready for its close-up. For this post we talked to real estate photographer Dinah Rogers to get a professional opinion on the art of the domestic glamour shot.

How did you get into photography?
I was given my first camera for Christmas when I was 7 years old, a Polaroid Swinger. I took pictures of everyone as they opened packages and ate their Christmas dinner. I have spent the last 35 years as a photojournalist and I started shooting real estate photography while working for The Times-Picayune. It has become one of my favorite subjects, making rooms look beautiful and inviting.

How should someone set up a home for a professional photo shoot?
Clean and clutter free is important. But little things like a few plants or flowers, a table set for dinner, even new pillows can add to the appeal. These simple touches can be added by home owners.

What does a professional stager do?
Staging the house well makes a huge difference in how inviting the property looks to renters and buyers. A stager knows just what works. If a property owner lives out of town, the stager can handle all the preparations and presentation.

How do you prepare?
I seldom see the property before a shoot, and depend on the owner or stager to have everything ready when I arrive. I also open all the window blinds and turn on all the lights. I use natural light almost exclusively.

How long does a shoot take?
A typical house shoot takes about an hour to document every room plus outside views.

How much does it cost?
The standard rate in New Orleans is $100 for that hour shoot.

Why get professional photos taken?
Having a professional make photos of a property can make a huge difference in presenting an appealing visual for a renter or buyer. Today’s consumer researches and shops online and this is the owner’s opportunity to grab their attention. A client in this situation doesn’t have the luxury of visiting a property before renting, so good photos of a well-presented space can make the deal happen.

What should you look for in a professional photographer?
The professional photographer has quality wide angle lens, tripods, lights when needed and specialized computer programs that can enhance the images.

Any other tips?
If the property is being offered as a furnished rental, be sure the staged elements that were photographed remain in place for the clients. They will naturally expect the property to look like the photos.

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