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Vacation rental photography and portraits

Firstly as short story,

When author Jack London had his portrait (above) made by the noted San Francisco photographer Arnold Genthe, London began the encounter with effusive praise for the photographic art of his friend and fellow bohemian.
“You must have a wonderful camera…It must be the best camera in the world…You must show me your camera.”
Genthe then used his standard studio camera to make what has since become a classic picture of Jack London.
When the sitting was finished, Genthe could not contain himself:
“I have read your books, Jack, and I think they are important works of art. You must have a wonderful typewriter.”

What’s this got to do with vacation rental photography?

Well, nothing really. It’s just a nice story.

Well nearly nothing.

Other than, I was trolling through the Homeaway listings the other day, doing some research, and what did I notice?

I noticed some vacation rental photographs displayed in portrait orientation.

So what? You may say, but up until recently that has not been possible. Homeaway’s guidelines state that you should not upload photos taken in portrait orientation because the CMS (content management system) can’t display them. In fact it always cropped them so they looked worse than terrible.

And it gets better…


Here’s what this looks like

You can now use photographs in portrait in HA listings

So, as you can see with the rental villa photo on the left, portrait orientation photos now render really well in the Homeaway listings.

And here’s where it gets even better,

You get around double the photo real estate than you do with landscape orientation.
It’s TWICE as big as the landscape photos.

Here’s another example to feast your eyes on

here's another holiday rental photo shown in portrait

Vacation rental photography just got better…


Here’s what Homeaway have to say about this

I contacted Homeaway’s product manager about this and here’s what he had to say;

a number of design improvements were made to the listing pages on HomeAway.com during Q2 of this year. This included introducing a “Pinterest-style” photo grid, so that the photos make the best use of the space on the page. As a consequence of this, all photos are displayed with the same width. This causes portrait orientation photos to be displayed larger than they used to be.

That being said, the overall recommendation is still to focus on landscape orientation photos. The grid I mention above is only one of several places that photos are displayed (e.g. search results thumbnail, preview, carousel at top of listing page, and the enlarged view via the magnifying glass). All of those other placements are still much better utilized by landscape photos. Finally, VRBO does not have the same grid UI as HA, one more reason that landscape photos are best for the overall network.

Bear this in mind and review your entire advert after uploading portrait photos.

Here’s the vacation rental marketing takeaway

Vacation rental marketing takeaway

If you are like Jack London and you think that you need some special camera to take great photos then you are wrong. You just need to think about what you are doing.

Sometimes certain subjects lend themselves better to portrait orientation than landscape but as I’ve mentioned you could not render them on Homeaway so you either ended up showing them badly or not at all.

Maybe you took some holiday home photos in portrait when you photographed your property but didn’t use them for that very reason.
Well now’s the time to re-evaluate those images. Maybe you would prefer to spend an afternoon taking some new photos solely in portrait and exchanging 2 or 3 of these with existing, uploaded, images.

Images taken in portrait orientation lend themselves very well to detail or atmospheric photos and as they are displayed in Homeaway’s listings (in the photos section at any rate) at twice the size of landscape images they will convey that detail to the max!

The more detail (information) that you show, the more web visitors become informed.

Informed visitors book!

What do you do?

I hope that you enjoyed this article on vacation rental photography and portraits

I would like to hear your views and I would love to see your portrait photos. So drop me a line using the comment box below or send me your photos using the contact us tab.


Need more help?

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.

villa rental photoshoot makeover guide

The 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.

But one get one free

Our creating a portfolio guide

Those 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.