Every picture tells a story.
Or, as American photographer William Albert Allard put it, words and pictures can work together to communicate more powerfully than either alone.
Good photos are as important to promoting your holiday accommodation as good text. Think about it. When you imagine your own holiday do you picture what you’ve read or what you’ve seen? And do agency brochures or websites include terrible pictures?
If you get the photos right you’re halfway to taking a booking. But how do you get the photos right? Here are some tips to start you off.
- Start with the basics. You need at least one photo of: kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living area, exterior. Your guests expect to see where they’re going to be cooking, sleeping, washing, living. If you don’t show one of these, they’ll think you’ve got something to hide.
- First impressions count. An obvious point but often scandalously overlooked. So vacuum floors, wash surfaces, clean windows, remove clutter, display flowers. Prepare for your photos as if preparing for your guests.
- Highlight the best features. We’ve stressed this before – what is it that makes your place special? The enormous master bedroom? The view of the beach from the balcony? The hot tub big enough to host a football team? Show it to your guests.
- Include local attractions. It’s rare that your guests will spend all their time indoors. Why did they come to this area in the first place? Show them the quaint village nearby, the castle a short drive down the road, the beach a 10 minute walk away.
- Experiment. Open the curtains and use natural sunlight, close the curtains and use the glow from a roaring fire. Use a flash, don’t use a flash. Take your photos first thing in the morning or as the sun sets. Try different shots and decide what works best for you. There are no definitive rules.
- Ok, maybe there’s one. Take exterior photos on a beautiful day with blue skies overhead and the sun beaming down. People generally dream of glorious weather when they take a break so show them their dream can come true.
- Copy the professionals. Work out what makes their photos so good… and copy them. You don’t need to enrol in a class but pin down one or two tricks of the trade. Stand on a chair to photograph a room, place a bottle of wine with some glasses on a dining table, throw an inflatable chair in the pool.
- Get help. If you’re the sort of person who can’t hold the camera steady or can’t take a photo without planting a finger over the lens, ask a friend to help. Better still – hire a professional. It may be a worthwhile investment.
Think about the photos you want to appear on your website. Think about what makes your place appealing to prospective guests. Then photograph it.
Let every picture tell a story. Let the words and pictures work together to talk to your guests.
Let them promote your place.