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How much do Airbnb photographers get paid?

If you're a host on Airbnb, you know the importance of having high-quality photos to attract potential guests. But have you ever wondered how much Airbnb photographers get paid for their service? In this article, we'll explore the rates for Airbnb photographers, the dynamics of the Airbnb photography marketplace, why they charge more than real estate photographers, and whether hiring a professional photographer is worth the investment.

Airbnb Photography located in San Antonio, TexasContemporary living room interior featuring two luxurious velvet blue armchairs with geometric patterned cushions, a white modern coffee table, and abstract black and white artwork on the walls. The room is accentuated with golden accents from a floor lamp and decorative items, alongside a minimalist TV stand and a textured multicolored area rug on a hardwood floor.

What Are the Typical Rates for Airbnb Photographers?

When it comes to pricing, Airbnb photographers typically have different rates depending on their location, experience, and the services they offer. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $375 to $800 (this also depends on the square footage of your home) for a professional photographer to capture your Airbnb listing.

These rates may seem expensive at first glance, but keep in mind that professional photos can significantly improve the appearance of your listing and increase your bookings. Think of it as an investment in your Airbnb business.

While it's essential to consider budget constraints, it's crucial not to compromise on the quality of your listing photos. Remember that the images are the first thing potential guests see, and they can make or break their decision to book your place.

Let's delve deeper into the factors that influence the rates of Airbnb photographers. Location plays a significant role in determining the cost. Photographers in popular tourist destinations or metropolitan areas may charge higher rates due to increased demand and competition.

Experience is another crucial factor. Photographers with a proven track record and extensive portfolio may command higher fees. Their expertise in capturing the unique features of your property and creating visually appealing images can justify the higher cost.

Furthermore, the services offered by photographers can vary, affecting the pricing structure. Some photographers may provide additional services such as virtual tours, drone photography, or photo editing, which can contribute to the overall cost.

It's important to note that the rates mentioned earlier are just averages. Depending on your specific requirements and the photographer's individual pricing structure, the final cost may vary. It's advisable to research and compare different photographers in your area to find the best fit for your needs and budget.

When considering the investment in professional photography, it's worth highlighting the potential return on investment. High-quality photos can attract more guests, leading to increased bookings and higher rental rates. In the competitive world of Airbnb, standing out from the crowd with captivating images can give you a significant advantage.

Remember, the goal is not only to showcase your property but also to create an emotional connection with potential guests. Professional photographers have the skills and knowledge to capture the essence of your space, highlighting its unique features and creating a desire to experience it firsthand.

Ultimately, investing in professional photography for your Airbnb listing is a strategic decision that can yield long-term benefits. By presenting your property in the best possible light, you can attract more guests, generate positive reviews, and establish a strong reputation in the Airbnb community.

Professional Airbnb Photography San AntonioElegant living room setup with a taupe sofa adorned with assorted throw pillows, including patterned and solid taupe ones, against a gallery wall of abstract art with gold and grey accents. A round glass coffee table with gold elements, a shaggy beige area rug, and a decorative gold floor lamp add a touch of luxury, complemented by a small side table with a miniature black bicycle sculpture.

Understanding the Airbnb Photography Marketplace

The Airbnb photography marketplace is a competitive industry, with many photographers vying for clients. With thousands of listings on the platform, hosts need high-quality photos to stand out from the rest.

But what makes a photograph truly stand out in the Airbnb marketplace? It's not just about capturing the physical features of a space; it's about telling a story. Professional photographers understand the importance of creating a visual narrative that entices potential guests to book.

Imagine scrolling through the Airbnb website, searching for a place to stay. You come across a listing with stunning photographs that showcase not only the beautiful interior but also the surrounding neighborhood. These photos transport you to a different world, making you feel like you're already on vacation. That's the power of well-crafted Airbnb photography.

As a result of the increasing demand for professional photographers, the Airbnb photography marketplace has become a hub of creativity and specialization. Photographers with different styles and approaches have emerged, offering hosts a wide range of options to choose from.

Some photographers specialize in capturing the cozy charm of rustic cabins nestled in the woods, while others excel at highlighting the sleek and modern features of urban apartments. There are photographers who focus on capturing the vibrant energy of bustling city streets, and others who have a knack for showcasing the tranquility of beachfront properties.

Moreover, Airbnb has recognized the importance of high-quality photography and has taken steps to enhance the experience for hosts. They have partnered with professional photography services to connect hosts with photographers who have extensive experience and knowledge of what potential guests are looking for in photos.

This partnership not only adds credibility to the process of hiring a photographer but also provides convenience for hosts. Instead of spending hours searching for the perfect photographer, hosts can now rely on Airbnb's trusted network to find a photographer who understands their unique needs and can capture the essence of their listing.

Furthermore, the collaboration between Airbnb and professional photography services has led to the development of best practices and industry standards. Photographers who work with Airbnb are well-versed in the art of storytelling through visuals. They know how to make a space feel inviting, how to highlight its most appealing features, and how to create a sense of wanderlust in potential guests.

So, whether you're a host looking to make your listing stand out or a photographer seeking to specialize in Airbnb photography, the marketplace offers a world of opportunities. With its diverse pool of talented photographers and the support of Airbnb's photography services, hosts can find the perfect photographer to capture the essence of their space, while photographers can showcase their skills and creativity in a thriving industry.

Here is the bar chart illustrating the prices for Airbnb photographers based on the square footage of homes:

1000 - 1500 square feet: $375
1500 - 2000 square feet: $600
2000 - 3000 square feet: $800+

Airbnb Photographer Costs

The cost associated with hiring an Airbnb photographer is influenced by several factors, including the photographer's experience level, their stylistic approach, and the geographic location of the property. Below is a general overview of potential costs based on skill and specialization:

  • Hobbyist (Real Estate): $0-100
  • Amateur (Real Estate, Interior): $150-$250
  • Professional (STR Specialized Photographer, Interior, Lifestyle): $350-$500
  • Specialist (STR Specialized Photographer, Interior, Lifestyle, Architectural): $600-$1000+

Please note: These are estimated costs. Actual pricing may fluctuate based on additional project requirements and market conditions. Pricing can also depend on the square footage, location, amount of rooms, and floor levels.

Why do Airbnb photographers charge more than real estate photographers?

One question that often arises is why Airbnb photographers charge more than real estate photographers. The answer lies in the differences between the two types of photography.

While real estate photography aims to capture the entire property, including its architectural features, Airbnb photography focuses on creating a unique and inviting atmosphere for potential guests. This requires additional time and effort to stage the property, accessorize it, and create a welcoming ambiance.

Additionally, Airbnb photographers understand the importance of showcasing the property's best features and amenities that make it stand out from other listings. Therefore, they have to spend extra time and attention to detail to capture those elements effectively.

When it comes to real estate photography, the goal is to present the property in its most accurate and appealing form. The photographer focuses on capturing the architectural details, room layouts, and overall structure of the property. The images are meant to provide potential buyers with a clear understanding of the property's size, layout, and condition.

On the other hand, Airbnb photography goes beyond simply showcasing the property. It aims to create an emotional connection with potential guests, enticing them to choose that particular listing for their stay. Airbnb photographers understand that guests are not just looking for a place to sleep; they are seeking an experience. Therefore, they have to put in the extra effort to make the property look inviting, cozy, and full of character.

Creating the perfect ambiance for an Airbnb listing involves more than just taking photos of empty rooms. It requires careful attention to detail and staging. Airbnb photographers often spend time rearranging furniture, adding decorative elements, and even bringing in props to create a warm and welcoming environment. They understand that these details can make a significant difference in attracting guests and setting the property apart from others.

Moreover, Airbnb photographers need to capture the essence of the neighborhood and surrounding area. They may include shots of nearby attractions, local landmarks, or beautiful landscapes to give potential guests a sense of what they can expect during their stay. These additional elements require extra time and effort to research and photograph, adding to the overall cost of the service.

Another factor that contributes to the higher cost of Airbnb photography is the post-processing work involved. After capturing the images, photographers spend considerable time editing and retouching them to enhance the visual appeal. They adjust lighting, colors, and composition to ensure that the photos accurately represent the property and create a captivating visual narrative.

Furthermore, Airbnb photographers often provide a wider range of services compared to real estate photographers. They may offer virtual tours, 360-degree photos, or even drone photography to give potential guests a comprehensive view of the property and its surroundings. These additional services require specialized equipment, expertise, and time investment, which contribute to the higher pricing.

In conclusion, the higher cost of Airbnb photography compared to real estate photography is justified by the additional time, effort, creativity and attention to detail required to create a unique and inviting atmosphere for potential guests. Airbnb photographers go beyond capturing the property's physical features; they aim to create an emotional connection and provide an immersive experience through their photographs.

Bright and airy modern living room with polished concrete floors featuring mid-century modern furnishings. A pair of mustard yellow accent chairs with black metal frames are positioned on a patterned cream and yellow area rug, centered around a reflective gold coffee table. The white walls are adorned with a circular mirror and gold sconces, complementing the white and gold storage cabinet with slender legs. Natural light floods in from the floor-to-ceiling windows dressed with sheer curtains, offering a view of greenery outside. The room's design is completed with a contemporary ceiling fan and a tall, brass floor lamp.

Is hiring a professional Airbnb photographer worth it?

Now that you understand the rates and dynamics of the Airbnb photography marketplace, you might wonder if hiring a professional Airbnb photographer is worth the expense. The short answer is yes.

High-quality photos not only enhance the visual appeal of your listing but also communicate trust and professionalism to potential guests. With the increasing competition in the Airbnb market, exceptional photos can give you a competitive edge by attracting more bookings and higher rates.

Just to remind you, guests often decide to book or skip a listing based on the images they see. By investing in professional photography, you invest in your success as an Airbnb host.

Should I invest in hiring an Airbnb Photographer?

Deciding whether to invest in hiring an Airbnb photographer ultimately depends on your goals as a host and your budget. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Competition: If your area has many Airbnb listings and competition is high, professional photos can help you stand out and attract more bookings.
  2. Quality: If your current photos don't do justice to your listing's beauty and unique features, hiring a professional photographer can significantly improve your presentation.
  3. ROI: Think of hiring an Airbnb photographer as an investment rather than an expense. The return on investment can be substantial by increasing your bookings and rental rates.

Take the time to research photographers in your area, review their portfolios, and consider the services they offer. Reach out to them and discuss your needs and expectations. Ultimately, it's a personal decision, but the benefits of professional photography for your Airbnb listing can't be overstated.


In conclusion, hiring a professional Airbnb photographer comes with a cost, but the benefits far outweigh the expense. Investing in high-quality photos can make your listing more appealing to potential guests, increase your bookings and rental rates, and give you a competitive advantage in a saturated market.

Remember, the success of your Airbnb business depends on creating a memorable and inviting experience for your guests. And what better way to showcase your space than with stunning professional photographs that capture its unique charm?

So, consider hiring a professional photographer to make your Airbnb listing shine and attract more guests. The return on investment will make it well worth your while.

For our complete Airbnb photography services, click here

David Pezzat Photographers

2145 NW Military Hwy #102,

San Antonio, TX 78213

Email: david@davidpezzat.com