Planning & Creating

There’s a way to capture engaging imagery for your holiday let.  Images that will answer questions, entice the viewer and have them looking for the availability calendar.  

The great thing is that whether you have a vast property that will sleep a family or two, a pretty chocolate box cottage or a swish glamping site, there are key things to remember when you are planning a photography shoot to market your holiday let that will work for all.

Let me help you with those essential photography tips.

My first piece of advice, whether you are doing the photography yourself with a DIY outlook, or you are having a professional photographer in to help you with this, is to plan.

The better you plan the more you can work towards a greater result.  So grab a pen and paper if this is what works best for you, or a tablet if you prefer, and start brainstorming.

Consider things such as the property’s best features, your location, the benefits your property has over other similar local properties and start jotting those things down.

When to Photograph your Holiday Let

Seasonally there are perks to each of the seasons from a photographic aspect but on the whole, your main images should support the time of year you are most likely to find your property looking it’s most attractive.  Spring is often viewed as the nicest as you have lots of foliage and flowers but without the harsh bright light that summer has.  Summer will deliver some wonderful evening light that might prove beneficial for exterior shots.  

I would absolutely have images from all seasons,  especially if you are marketing all year round, but I wouldn’t have these images within your main portfolio shots, but they will work well elsewhere, certainly within social media marketing.

Ideally, a nice sunny day will help lighten the interior of any holiday let and I generally try to shoot either first thing in the morning or late afternoon as the shadows are softer at these times.   It helps to show your audience in its best light, making it enticing and more likely to attract bookings.

How to Stage your Holiday Let

Some time well spent in ‘staging’ your holiday let will improve how it’s viewed.  The key here is to make it inviting but not throw so much at it that they can’t actually see anything! Remember this is just for the photos. 

 My Top 5 essential holiday let staging tips are:

  • Clean up!  Give the property a really thorough clean inside and out, including windows.  Mow the lawns, tidy the edging, weed and deadhead flowers in the garden.   Remove all bins outside from view.
  • De-clutter! Remove excess items from kitchen counters and keep ornaments to a minimum.  Well-chosen pieces should enhance the experience a guest might have, not make them anxious to put things down. 
  • Set the scene.  Lay any dining table as if breakfast or lunch was about to be served.  If it seats 8, set the table for 8 and don’t forget wine glasses and a nice jug of water.  If you have a table in the garden, add suitable cushions and a parasol.  If there’s an open fire in the lounge, light it to encourage a cosy feel and encourage autumn and winter bookings.   Turn lights on in bedrooms to enhance the atmosphere.
  • Plump & Straighten!  Make sure the bed linen is ironed and straight.  Plump those pillows! Make sure any pictures are straight and curtains hang well.
  • Extra touches…. blankets on beds, or across sofas look inviting.  Fluffy towels stacked on a bed, maybe with any accessories you supply for the bathroom on top.  A bowl of fruit on a table looks great, fresh flowers do too.  A tea tray set on a bed with a single-stem flower vase. Homemade cakes on tables or countertops with napkins. 

Using your Holiday Let Photos

Now you have your photographs you need to plan how to use them, or in which order they are used on any booking site.

The very first image should be the one that inspires the most. It’s your lead image that will hopefully encourage people to view the rest of your holiday let.  If you don’t lead well, they won’t keep looking, so choose wisely.  

Follow this up with:

1 or 2 attractive exterior shots
Then tour the house showing each room, adding a detailed shot of something to help evoke a feeling – maybe the fluffy towels or a well-appointed boot room/pantry.
Additional external shots.

Moving away from the holiday property itself it’s always great to get some shots of the local area. 

Try not to overwhelm with too many pictures.   Nobody wants to see excess images of the same room or view.  Keep it interesting and for heavens sake keep it real!  Photoshopping in a jacuzzi in the garden will not go down well in reality.

I hope these 3 simple areas help you to focus on how to plan your next holiday let shoot.  Whether you do this on a DIY basis or you employ a professional to help, you should have a better idea of what needs to be done in advance to help the photographs life how your property is seen online.

Rachel x