7 Smartphone photography tips that make your listings shine

Are you familiar with the saying “a picture’s worth a thousand words”? This gem of wisdom is especially true when it comes to your property, as photos will be the first thing that your prospective guests will see, and we all know that first impressions count!

We partnered with Foto Ruta - London, to offer some professional tips and best practices to make sure the images you take of your property on your smartphone are successful. Watch the short video below:

So to summarize what we saw in the video, here are 7 tips to keep in mind:

Tip 1: Get your smartphone ready before you shoot

Before you start shooting, make sure you clean the lens on your smartphone, ensuring that fingerprints on the lens won’t compromise your shots. You’ll notice in the video Jahel mentions turning the flash off. If the flash is left on, your smartphone is likely to create excessive contrast and too much glare on reflective surfaces like windows and table tops.

Tip 2: Let there be light

Timing is everything. You will take much better photos during daylight hours when rooms are well-lit and full of natural light. Foto Ruta advises that you take photos during the “golden hour” (an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset) to get the best light available during the day.

Tip 3: Be a straight shooter

Almost every smartphone has a grid feature, which you can turn on to line up horizons and make certain that the photos you take are at 90 degree angles. This useful tool can usually be found in your smartphone’s settings or in the settings of your camera application, depending on your phone’s model.

Tip 4: Get your exposure right

Shooting indoors can often cause some exposure issues. Almost all smartphones have an auto exposure tool which is activated by touching the screen before you hit the shutter button. This will allow for better exposed photos, so tap away and experiment.

Tip 5: It’s all in the details

There’s nothing worse than seeing pictures of a beautiful home with a dirty pair of shoes in the corner, untidied newspapers, or dead flowers. Put yourself in the mind of your guests and set up each room to be as welcoming as possible.

Tip 6: Change your viewpoint

Remember to experiment with your viewpoint. As a general rule, you should be shooting from the corners of you room to maximise the sense of space. Your smartphone screen acts as the perfect viewfinder to frame your shots.


Tip 7: Shoot as wide as possible

Screens are optimised to show images horizontally so that they look their best. Aim to take all of your property photos in a landscape orientation (hold the smartphone horizontally) in order to provide the best viewing experience.


With these tips in mind, you can present your vacation rental in the best possible light using just the phone in your pocket. So feel free to play amateur photographer, or if you’d prefer to let a professional take over, contact our network of trusted partners to find one in your area!

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The HomeAway Team