How to properly photograph your holiday home

The first impression counts! Beautiful and inviting visuals are the key to presenting your holiday home and crucial to the success of your rental. Pictures professionally taken by a photographer are ideal, of course, but you can also take beautiful photos yourself, with your smartphone, for example. We’ll show you how it’s done.

  • Set the right scene for your holiday home
  • Do not photograph any people
  • Choose landscape format and the right perspective
  • Ensure good lighting conditions
  • Pay attention to image sharpness
  • Create interior and exterior shots
  • Take many photos
  • Select an appealing main image
  • Save photos in good resolution

Watch the video to learn all about photographing your holiday home.

1. Set the right scene for your holiday home

The rooms should of course be tidy and exude a feel-good atmosphere. Clear away any private items (for example, photos of your family), cover up any exposed wires, and create a cleared and neat impression. Pretty, but sparse decoration adds the finishing touch to any room: a beautifully set table, a vase of fresh flowers in the living room, cozy pillows on the couch, fresh towels in the bathroom and freshly made beds in the bedroom. Color-wise, there should not be too many shrill accents; calm, muted colors look harmonious, tidy and inviting.

Set dining table with candles
The set table looks inviting, the glowing candles together with the harmonious furnishings create a cozy ambience. The dining table as the main motif comes into its own in the center of the photo. 
A room with several functions: Kitchen, living room and dining room.
Less is sometimes more: this eat-in kitchen doesn’t look cluttered despite multiple room functions – with a clean design and few, but well-placed and color-coordinated decorations. 
Bathroom with selected decoration.
Even a bathroom that isn’t top modern looks much friendlier with fresh towels and some decoration, as well as glowing candles like in this example. 

2. Do not photograph any people

Your photos should only show the holiday home and no people. Under no circumstances should you use pictures of yourself, your family or other guests. This can cause legal problems and usually also has an irritating effect on customers. Even if it sounds funny: the best way for a guest to imagine their vacation in your holiday home is if there are no other people in the photos. Besides, the pictures also look much more professional this way. Instead, focus on special and loving details of your home, for example, a fresh bouquet of flowers, the special view or the position of your holiday home.

Bouquet of flowers on dining table.
Set the scene with lovely details, for example, a fresh bouquet of flowers on the table. 

3. Choose landscape format and the right perspective

Create shots in landscape format if possible; this is the best way to display your holiday home online. To do this, simply hold the phone crosswise. Make sure that you hold the smartphone / camera straight so that no crooked shots are taken. Small or narrow rooms should be photographed from above (or with a wide-angle lens). Otherwise, the rule of thumb when photographing rooms is: less ceiling and more floor.

Small bathroom photographed from above.
Small rooms are best photographed from an elevated position – this way you get more space in the picture. Of course, it works even better with a wide-angle lens. 

4. Ensure good lighting conditions

Shoot in good lighting conditions, which means: whether indoors or outdoors – it should be as bright as possible. Photos taken in the morning or evening sun can be particularly atmospheric. Do not photograph into the shade, against the sun, or at dusk. It’s also best to avoid unnatural filters that may be available with your phone. Outdoor shots are best taken in nice weather and ideally not only in winter, but also in the beautiful seasons of spring and summer. For a ski lodge, however, wintry pictures are of course a must. For indoor shots, it can be convenient to turn on all the lights or open the doors and windows to let in as much light as possible. Do not use the flash of the camera.

Bedroom with open balcony door.
The daylight, the switched-on light and the opened balcony doors provide good illumination even in rooms facing the north. Here, even the beautiful view is made visible.

5. How to take sharp pictures

Keep the smartphone as still as possible. Check the image immediately; if it is too blurry in some places, check the lighting conditions in the room and try again. When shooting with a camera, a tripod helps prevent blurry images.

6. Create interior and exterior shots

For the perfect presentation of your holiday home you need inside as well as outside views. Photograph all the rooms of the holiday home and give impressions of details that you want to highlight. It should be possible to see everything that the holiday home has to offer. The kitchenette has good equipment? Show it! The bathroom has just been renovated? Customers like to see that too! Is the holiday home in a nice location? Pictures of the surroundings are also very important to create interest! You should definitely present these highlights:

  • Beautiful location / view
  • Balcony / terrace / garden
  • Fireplace
  • Sauna
  • Pool
  • Boat/ mooring
  • Bicycles for rent
Exterior shot of a holiday home.
This beautiful holiday home absolutely has to be shown. A good exterior shot, preferably taken in good weather, gives a first impression and makes the viewer curious.
House in beautiful landscape on the island of Hiddensee in Germany.
Is your holiday home in a beautiful location? Then take a photo of the surroundings or, as here, of the holiday home from a greater distance. 

7. Select the main image

One image from your photo series should be suitable as the “main image” of the photo gallery. This is the most beautiful image that “explains” your holiday home in a picture. In the case of a holiday house, it’s usually a nice exterior shot. In the case of a holiday apartment, photograph the prettiest room. Maybe you can also see the beautiful view in the window in the picture?

8. Take many photos

It is better to offer many photos than too few. No matter how small your holiday home is, there must not be less than 5 photos. Be honest and really show all the rooms. Nobody likes to buy a pig in a poke. Also, be careful not to reproduce the same subject more than once (for example, several photos of the same shelf). Each image should open new perspectives.

9. Save photos in good resolution

Save the images in their original quality. If you crop them or reduce their size beforehand, you may reduce the resolution. As a rule, landscape format images created with the smartphone have a width of approx. 4000 pixels and that is quite enough for an excellent display on the Internet and social media.

Examples of our owners

Small room cleverly photographed from above – super job! Cushions and curtains in the same color tone set clever accents.
Well chosen: Lovely decoration in the bathroom. The candles create a feel-good atmosphere.
The set table looks cozy and inviting. The light that is switched on provides the right illumination.