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Vacation Rental Marketing – Winning Photos

Hello again,
As you may know, I live on a boat and I have just crossed the Atlantic from the Caribbean back to Europe. What with preparing the boat and the crossing itself, I’ve not had a lot of time to write. That’s why I have not been publishing VR marketing articles for the last few months.
Anyway, I’m back now and have quite a lot of articles in the pipeline.

I wasn’t too sure which to publish first but then I read a couple of things this week that I disagree with so I decided to write this article instead.

Here’s what I read.

In a nutshell, I was reading two separate pieces of advice from two professional photographers and this advice was aimed at vacation rental owners.

Both photographers were advising owners to photograph their properties either just before dawn or around sunset. In photographic circles both of these times are known as the golden hour (or prime time, as one photographer put it) and this is because, in short, you get fantastic light and this light produces truly great photographs like the one below.

vacation rental photography when taken in the golden hour

What’s to disagree with?

As you know I too am a professional photographer. I specialise in photographing vacation rental properties. So why would I disagree with photographing holiday properties in the best available light?

Here’s why, this is my mantra….

Potential guests are not looking for great photos – they are looking for a great holiday.

Put yourself in the clients position….

Ask yourself “what do I want on holiday”?

The great majority of vacationers want great weather, they want sunshine, that’s why there are many more holiday homes in Florida than in Maine, many more in Spain than England.

 What to do!

Web visitors are projecting their own holiday expectations when looking for a property in which to spend their upcoming vacation (see  vacation rental owners should be selling dreams for more on this subject).

These potential guests are already imagining themselves at each property they see in the listings, weighing up the pros and cons of each, making split second decisions based solely on what they see.

So I’m thinking if guests want to bask in sunshine when on holiday, why not show sun loungers that are bathed in sunshine?

They are, after all, called sun loungers not dawn loungers or dusk loungers.
Now I know I’m probably going to get into a bun fight with other professional photographers who will disagree with me about this. That really doesn’t concern me too much. All that concerns me is getting vacation rental owners to produce sets of photos that convert into bookings and I have done a lot of split testing with differing types of photos (I had my own listings company), so I know what works and what doesn’t.

Here’s the vacation rental marketing takeaway

Vacation rental marketing takeaway

No matter how you look at it the main thing people want when on holiday is great weather.

The best way to convey great weather in a photo is to show bright pictures with blue skies and shimmering pools and you just don’t get fantastically bright photos at dawn or dusk.

By all means feel free to take photos around dawn and around dusk, you could end up with really lovely pictures for your portfolio but take lots of photographs with bright summer skies when the sun is directly overhead or, better still, just behind you. That way you can depict your holiday home with blue skies, shimmering pools and your flowers will be in full bloom.

One of these photos should be your lead photo. In short, you may not win a photo competition but these photos will convert at a higher rate.

What do you do?

What works for you?

Do you prefer to show your holiday home at dawn, in the early morning light or do you show it at the height of the day?

I would like to hear your views and I would love to see your photos. So drop me a line or send me your photos.

I hope that you found this article useful
I have also written a number of guides that teach, in an easy to follow, pictorial way, how to make a great impression.

Vacation rental marketing makeover guideThe first of these is THE MARKETING MAKEOVER GUIDE and this 35 page guide covers how to make and take better photos. It’s packed with common sense advice, reveals professional tricks of the trade, shows real life makeover examples and comes with easy to follow check-lists.
All in all, it’s a great place to start on the road to more bookings.

Vacation rental marketing - creating a portfolioThose that purchase The Marketing Makeover Guide also receive, free of charge, our CREATING A PORTFOLIO GUIDE as a bonus and this guide looks at how to build a portfolio of 15 to 20 images, even if you only own a one bedroom apartment. Once again this guide comes with lots of examples and easy to follow check-lists.

If you found this information useful you may like to follow rentmoreweeks.com at one of the places below, that way you won’t miss out on other articles on vacation rental marketing, made for owners just like you.

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4 thoughts on “Vacation Rental Marketing – Winning Photos

  1. Lindsay says:

    Excellent points as always. I agree that people looking for a holiday home want to picture themselves… well, on holiday! Shots with grey skies can do more harm than good so its always worth the wait to capture the best of the sun, deck chairs out, blue skies etc, but I do admit I love the artistic lighting that dawn/dusk shots can give… and if that dawn sunrise photo includes a perfectly laid out breakfast of fresh croissants on the deck, or the dusk shot has a glimpse of the hot tub with some bubbles on ice and a nice depth of field… ahh, that´s just holiday heaven!

    1. Alan Egan says:

      Well put Lindsay. Temptation marketing is not just about the lighting, it’s about the content too (nice idea with the hot tub and fizz).

  2. Russell Hart says:

    Great points Alan! As a Vacation Home Photographer here in Orlando it is always a challenge to try and get those perfect images. If I can offer any additional advice to owners or anyone else working in the business of real estate photography, invest in some useful apps. I personally use Sun Seeker for my Ipad, which shows me the position of the sun throughout the day. I can easily calculate the best time of day to shoot the front of a home and the all important pool area. It sometimes requires multiple visits to a home, but I know that the exterior shots will be lit as well as possible for that time of year. I also use the internet to find the “solar noon”, the time I know the sun will be highest in the sky, which can help when shooting pools that face North and don’t receive too much sun. I also find this time is great for shooting the interior as you don’t have the sun blasting through a window as often as you might early morning, or late afternoon. I do love shooting twilight images though and love the light at this time just after sunset.

    1. Alan Egan says:

      Thank for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment Russell.
      Thanks too for the exrta tips I’m sure that owners will find your advice handy.

      Nice portfolio by the way. Reasonable pricing too.

      If Florida vacation rental owners are reading this and need professional photo services I think that you should have a look at Russell’s work.

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