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Travel companies spend large amounts on getting their photography right for their brochures. Pictures of brilliant white sand beaches, azure water, fabulous sunsets, and palms fronds gently swaying in the breeze are all designed to entice the fickle vacationer into choosing their resort over another. When photographs and a small amount of text are all you have to attract business, it’s important to take the time to get it right.
Photographs taken when the leaves are off the trees or early in spring before flowers and shrubs are in full bloom will not show a property in the best light to attract summer bookings, so why not use the opportunity now to get out and create some great images for your listing.
Plan on including two or three exterior images in a listing, but take plenty so you have them in stock for answering the questions you will be asked about proximity of neighbors, views of different elevations, and terrain around the property etc. Create a photo album on Flickr so you can set up folders for each season of the year and then send a link when you are asked for additional pictures.
1. Patio table set up for an al fresco meal
So many listings show a deck or patio with a bare table, chairs without cushions and a folded-down umbrella. How much more enticing it is to create an image that will fire up the imagination and have potential guests envisioning themselves enjoying lunch in the sunshine, or a glass of wine as the sun goes down.
Set the table with a bottle of wine and glasses, along with a centerpiece of flowers to add color. Put up the umbrella, and make sure the chairs are set out neatly around the table.
2. Mood Image
Mood images are great as they can be taken with just a few props. You do need to be careful about the inclusion of people in photos generally but in this type of image, it’s perfectly acceptable. An image of a person sitting on a waterfront dock with a cup of coffee and a laptop, may be enough to convince someone that they can take a few days off work because they can still keep in touch with the office from their vacation location. Mood photos should generate emotions and feelings such as relaxation and comfort.
3. Exterior of the property with flower tubs in full bloom
Your exterior photos should show the property in the best light and taking them on a great summer’s day is the best opportunity to capture the most appealing image. Use summer blooms to add interest to the image. Hanging baskets, flower tubs and even vases of flowers on an outside table all create appeal.
4. Views from the property
If your property is blessed with fabulous views, then you need to show them off. Whether it’s a mountain vista, a seascape or an open landscape with sunflowers on the horizon, use a wonderful summer’s day to create a ‘must have’ feeling. Make sure the images you use are actually ones that your guests can see from your property as any image you show on a listing should be directly visible unless you mention otherwise in your text.
5. Show off your outside attractions
Summer visitors will be spending most of their time outside so take pictures of the exterior attractions – perhaps a hot tub (lid open with jets going); swimming pool with lounging chairs around the edge; a hammock in the shade between two trees, or a dock with a couple of Adirondack chairs. Once again this will generate an emotional response that could make the difference between a casual look at your listing and a further inquiry or even a reservation.
The photos you use can make or break your listing, so the extra time and effort used to compose and select your images is vitally important. Make the most of the beautiful soft light in late summer and get your best shots!
Heather Bayer has been renting her own properties for the past 30 years.
Look for more from her soon on vacationhomerentals.com
CottageLINK Rental Management