How to take better photos of your property

Updated 1 month ago

Key takeaway: property photography plays an important role in helping guests choose a place to stay. In order to make the most of your photos, you must respect our guidelines, and where possible leverage our best practices.


Photography guidelines

A conveniently selected and fit-for-purpose property photo gallery can be a driving factor for guests choosing their next place to stay. To help you with your photo gallery, we’ve put together this set of guidelines:

  1. Keep photos travel-related and useful to guests:

Choose photos that show your property's most relevant features to set accurate expectations for potential guests, such as:

  • Facilities and services available at your property
  • Decor, location, and surroundings
  • Your security features
  • Demonstrable cleanliness measures, both at room-level and at property-level
  • If applicable, your Booking.com awards

Note that we will remove all photos that contain promotional information about rates, discounts or services, property contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers, websites, logos, watermarks or third-party trademarks.

  1. Always be appropriate for a global audience:

Help your future guests to get the most out of your property photos by featuring quality content that is appropriate for our global audience. We will remove photos that depict unlawful content, illicit materials, and graphic violence.

Additionally, we will remove any and all photos depicting or indicating discrimination on any grounds, profanity, indecent nudity of subjects regardless of their age, and sexually implicit or explicit content depicting subjects in main focus.

Lastly, note that we will remove any photos depicting misleading information that can lead to harming guest’s health and safety, or breach our animal welfare standards.

  1. Be yourself - original and genuine:

Only upload photos you are entitled to use, either because you took them yourself, you have received official permission from the photographer or owner, or have otherwise purchased suitable licensing to use them.

Always refrain from using images for which you do not own the copyright. This is illegal, and any photos uploaded without proper permission, licensing or copyright will be removed either automatically by our moderation colleagues, or at the request of the owner(s) of the photos you have uploaded.

  1.  Be respectful of people’s privacy:

Photos of your property are more helpful to potential guests than photos of a person’s private information - so always refrain from using photos that include any personal data.

Personal data in this context can mean photos taken with surveillance devices depicting guests located in areas of your property where people have reasonable expectation of privacy (for example: bathrooms, bedrooms, changing rooms, saunas).

Note that any and all photos taken under such circumstances, that are uploaded without the explicit permission of the people they are depicting, will be removed at their request.

Based on our Property Photo Moderation Guidelines, the below table can give you an accurate understanding of what is allowed and what is not when it comes to photography.

  1. Keep photos travel-related and useful to guests:

Do

Do not

  • You may include awards from professional associations or government agencies (preferably in English, to suit a global audience).
  • You should include Booking.com awards you have received (ideally, recent ones, to reassure guests).
  • You should also include any up-to-date visual information on your facilities and services.
  • Do include photos of your property, decor, location, and security features.
  • Do include photos of the demonstrable cleanliness measures in place at your property, and any cleanliness certifications (for example IHG safe, SG clean, All safe, ISSA).
 

Relevant examples that we have found include:

Image
Photo guideline examples - Awards
  • Do not include any awards from other travel platforms in your Booking.com listing. Equally so, we encourage you to not use Booking.com awards on other platforms.
  • Do not include any logos, watermarks, or trademarks from any online travel platform apart from Booking.com in your listing.
  • Do not include any contact details, such as links, URLs, addresses, phone numbers, emails, or QR codes.
  • Do not include promotional hashtags, discounts, or personal social media accounts (either of yourself, or your property) in your listing photos.
 

Relevant examples that we have found include:

Image
Photo guideline examples - Original
  1. Always be appropriate for a global audience:

Do

Do not

  • You may include photos depicting partial adult nudity when not in the main focus of the photo (such as people in swimsuits, or services provided at your property - such as spas).
  • You may include artwork that shows partial adult nudity, so long as the artwork (poster, photo, painting, sculpture, and so on) does not indecently expose the subjects depicted.
  • You may include photos depicting weaponry and guns only when these are used for decoration or historical accuracy.

Relevant examples that we have found include:

Image
Photo guideline examples - Partial nudity
  • Do not include photos of partial adult nudity when subjects are engaged in indecent activities or depict indecent behaviour.
  • Do not include any photos of nude or partially nude children (such as next to or in swimming pools), when these are in focus. This may lead to the endangerment of the children depicted.
  • Never include misleading information that can cause guests harm (for example “NO COVID-19”, “bug-free beds”, and other such statements).
  • Never include any discriminatory language or imagery, and no photography that disparages Booking.com guests or the Booking.com brand.
  • Never breach the Booking.com animal welfare standards, and never use photos that depict animals being mistreated.

Relevant examples that we have found include:

Image
Photo guideline examples - misleading information
  1. Be yourself - original and genuine:

Do

Do not

  • Always use personal photos, or photos for which you have either received explicit approval to use from the photographer or owner, or photos for which you have acquired appropriate licensing.

Relevant examples that we have found include:

Image
Photo guideline examples - Original
  • Never use photos that you do not have the explicit right to use. If you are in doubt around whether a photo can be used or not, we recommend choosing another that you know for certain can be used.
  • Do not use photos of your guests without receiving their approval beforehand.

Relevant examples that we have found include:

Image
Photo guideline examples - Not original
  1. Be respectful of people’s privacy:

Do

Do not

  • Use photos that respect the intimacy and privacy expected of your guests.

Relevant examples that we have found include:

Image
Photo guideline examples - Personal
 
  • Never include photos that show personal data, or photos containing information that can be used to identify and/or manipulate, shame, or hurt people (such as personal documents, debit and credit cards, invoices, licence plates, reservation numbers).
  • Never include photos of guests taken with surveillance devices in areas where they expect privacy.

Relevant examples that we have found include:

Image
Photo guideline examples - Licence plates

Best practices

Using information taken from our ongoing research, we’ve created property or hotel photography guidelines to provide you with suggestions on taking the perfect photo – and the optimal number of hotel or rental property images that attract more guests and increase bookings.

What photos do I need for my hotel?

What photos do I need for my home, apartment or holiday rental?

What photos do I need to attract more families to my property?

Managing your photos

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