Proven Tips for Taking The Best Stays Listing Photos

Josh SchukmanAugust 4, 2023

Proven Tips for Taking The Best Stays Listing Photos

If we could sum up the three most important things for your Outdoorsy Stays listing, it’d be these:

Photos, photos, and more photos. 

And they have to be great photos. Of the right things and taken in the right ways. 

But don’t fret — great photos aren’t as hard to take as you might think. You can totally do it yourself with tools you probably already have.

We’ve done a fair bit of research on this too and have found that the right photos taken in the right ways can increase your chances of getting a booking by up to 50 percent!

So let’s take some time here to walk through proven tactics for snapping the right listing photos. 

But first, let’s chat about goals… 

Before we walk through the photos you should take, it’s important to think about why your listing photos are so crucial for your success. 

The best photos remove uncertainty for people shopping your listing. When you shoot your photos in the right ways, they’ll help potential guests visualize enjoying your space with their families. 

Great listing photos also show off the unique amenities you offer and how you bring the outdoors in for your guests. 

Go into your photo shoot with this perspective and it’ll help you snap the right shots. 

A-Frame cabin in the woods

Proven Tips for Taking The Best Listing Photos

Outdoorsy Stays is our new platform that’s designed to help bring our Outdoorsy audience to your glamping accommodation. 

We’re talking things like yurts, tiny homes, luxury tents, treehouses, vintage Airstreams, and any other sort of comfy outdoor accommodation your heart can dream up. 

Here are proven tactics for getting the pics that’ll get you the looks:

Lighting is Clutch

Nothing deflates a listing faster than dark photos. Get plenty of natural light coming in, turn on all lights, open windows, and even add additional soft lighting as needed to help brighten photos.

On the flipside, too much sunlight coming in can wash out your photos. The key is to create a lighting environment that is consistent, bright, and that really shows off your space.

Most phones nowadays also have an easy photo editor that’ll allow you to quickly brighten photos as needed. There’s still no replacement for good lighting, but these filters can help enhance things. 

Pick the Right Kind of Weather Day

Cloudy and overcast days usually aren’t the best days for your photo shoot. It’s also not a good idea to shoot after heavy rains or other nature situations have mucked up your property. 

Time your photo shoot with good clear weather and when your property is naturally looking its best.

It’s also important to note that midday can often be too sunny for a photo shoot. The morning, later afternoon, and early evening all tend to be good times where you’ll benefit from natural light without it washing everything out. 

Get it Squeaky Clean

Clean your stay from top to bottom so it sparkles before you take pics.

Prune up any landscaping that might be getting out of hand.

Wash the windows so they’re crystal clear in your listing. 

Take these steps and more to show off a sparkling place in your photos.  

Tiny home bedroom

Stage Your Stay

Remember our goal of helping guests visualize themselves in your space?

This is where you can shine with that. Make up the beds in a cool way, stage the table with coffee and cutlery, show off your family enjoying fun hangout spaces, kick up a campfire, and snap a shot. 

Staging is about showing off your space in a real way that people would use it. It’s about breathing life into the places we share with your guests. Bear this in mind as you shoot.  

Luxury glamping tent

Bring the Outdoors In

The audience that’ll be looking at your listing wants an experience that restores their relationship with the outdoors. 

Get shots of any natural beauty around your property, add some foliage to your accommodation, show off any hiking trails, lakes, or other beauty that might be near you, and generally show off outdoor access in your listing. 

Tiny home in the mountains

Landscape is the Scape for You

All shots should be horizontal/landscape orientation because that allows you to show the expanse of your space. 

High Res Photos Only

Most smartphones made during the past five years can take high res photos — just be sure to adjust your phone settings so it’s taking high-quality pics for your listing shoot. 

If you have an older phone or camera that isn’t capable of taking high res photos, be sure to borrow one or upgrade to a better model. 

We love the oldies too, but when it comes to your listing photos, you need to be working with new-ish tech to stand out. 

Halls and Corners Are Your Friends

While you might be tempted to shoot straight at a wall to show something off, it’s almost always better to capture that shot with a corner or hall in it.

That’s because shots of a wall only can oftentimes make a space feel confined whereas corners and halls help it feel more open. 

Tiny home living room

Look Into, Not Onto

When shooting little kitchens, tiny bathrooms, and other small spaces, you may feel like you need to point the camera down for an “overhead shot” in order to get everything in the frame. 

Unfortunately, this makes the space feel even smaller than it is. Instead, kneel or bend your knees a little bit and get a shot that looks more “into” the space.

Include Photos of Experiences

Let’s say that horseback riding is a popular activity your guests enjoy. Shoot photos of that and include them in your listing.

We find that our best listings include photos of activities in action because they help guests more fully visualize your experience. 

Even ‘small’ experiences like nearby nature trails, s’more cooking spaces, and water activities are good to capture for your listing photos. 

S'mores and a fire

Less is More. 

Yes, it’s important to stage your space for your photo shoot, but there is such a thing as over-staging.

Look into your space before you shoot to ensure that all the items within flow together well and won’t create a cluttered look for your photos. 

Tiny home kitchen

Must-Have Photos for Your Listing

Here are the shots that no listing should be without:

-Kitchen

-Dining table

-Bathroom

-Sinks

-Bedroom set up

-Living/hanging out areas

-Amenities you offer (e.g. towels, soap, coffee, tea, etc.)

-Exterior

-Outdoor spaces

Your listing photos are the mojo that’ll hold the whole thing together and get people booking your stay. Take the time needed to get this right because it’ll pay off big time. The best part is that phone camera tech has come so far that anyone armed with their phone and the right tips can get winning photos for a Stays listing. 

Josh and his wife gallivanted all over the country in an '88 Airstream for 4+ years of full-time RVing. They made an unexpected pitstop in Montana in 2020 and haven't left since. That's because they got hooked on the glamping resort they run by Glacier National Park. Fittingly, they keep up their RVing love by renting out vintage Airstreams and other retro RVs to travelers hitting Montana.


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