At StayCotswold, we recognise that preparing your holiday let for photography can require both skill and preparation. Through this comprehensive guide and with our expert holiday letting agency knowledge, we share insights into how, with a little bit of planning and scene-setting, you can prepare your holiday let for a photography shoot that will make your Cotswold cottage stand out and attract bookings.

Preparing for Holiday Let Shoot Day

A successful holiday let photography shoot begins long before the camera is even picked up.  It requires a blend of preparation and staging, aimed at creating a warm, inviting setting that encourages potential guests to imagine themselves enjoying your space. Here are our essential steps to ensure your property is camera-ready:

In advance of the shoot please remove or secure items of personal or financial value that you prefer not to feature in the property’s visual representation. A good time to do this is as part of a declutter and deep clean. This also ensures your holiday let cottage is spotless – presenting it in its best light for the shoot and as guests will expect to find it on their arrival.

Whilst decluttering and cleaning the holiday let cottage, please remove any temporary signs or notices that might detract from the property’s aesthetic appeal in photos. Also ensure all windows are clean and clear, with curtains and blinds uniformly arranged to maximise natural light and enhance the space’s openness and appeal.

Open plan sitting room with wood burner

From straightening mats and rugs to ensuring all light fixtures work and are free of dust, the devil is indeed in the details when it comes to holiday let photography. Plump up cushions, straighten duvet covers and throws and give the whole place one last walk through before the photographer arrives. 

We also recommend having someone on-site during the photo shoot to provide immediate solutions to any arising needs or questions, facilitating a smooth and efficient process. 

Styling Your Holiday Rental for Photography Success

The art of staging your holiday let for photography goes beyond mere tidiness; it’s about strategically placing items that evoke a sense of welcome, and the feeling of luxury Cotswold accommodation. Thoughtfully selected games and books can act as great props. A bowl of fresh fruit or a neatly arranged vase of flowers can inject vibrant colour and life into the room as can an open bottle of wine with two glasses on the kitchen worktop or coffee table.

Room by Room Holiday Home Photography Guide

Entrance and Hallways: First impressions really count so imagine walking in to a clean and clear hallway. Having decluttered and cleaned in advance this space should already by clear of shoes, dog leads and coats etc. Although if the hallway has space to hang coats it could be worth having one or two coats, and nice umbrella and a hat on hand as a prop.

Two simple, light and airy staircases

The stairway should be clean and clear – a plant on a plant stand could be a good prop to have to hand to add a little colour or point of interest.

Living Areas: Present these spaces as hubs of relaxation and social interaction. A lit fireplace, a neatly stacked basket of logs, and tastefully draped throws can create an atmosphere of warmth and cosiness. Drinks including a mug of coffee or a bottle of wine with two glasses can look great on a coffee table along with some smart coffee table books of glassy magazines such as Cotswold Life.

Kitchens and Dining Areas: These are the heart of the home. Showcasing clean countertops is a must and consider having to hand a rustic loaf of bread, a bowl of fresh fruit or a cake on a cake stand to help dress the room and give a homely and inviting feeling. Ensure all of your cupboard doors close fully, glass fronted cabinets have all items inside neatly lined up. Remove any piles of cookbooks, but maybe leave one open on the worktop along with a colourful mixing bowl or set of scales.

Two stunning open plan style kitchen and dining areas

You really want your holiday let photography to demonstrate how guests could enjoy a stay in your Cotswold cottage. This means showing the dining area, or separate dining room, set for a meal with cutlery, crockery and table linens all laid out along with glasses in each place setting. Consider adding a jug of water along with some flowers or staged food to the table centre. Your dining room should hint at the joys of home-cooked meals and gatherings of family and friends.

Bedrooms: Comfort and tranquillity should be the theme here. Plush, well-made beds are essential, and if your room can be set as a king-size or two singles then please be on hand to transition to both settings so that more photographs can be taken. A hint of personal touch, like a breakfast tray or a casually placed book, will invite guests to imagine themselves relaxing and unwinding on a holiday in your Cotswold cottage.

Bathrooms: Cleanliness and a spa-like feel with neatly placed soaps or lotions can transform these spaces into sanctuaries of refreshment and relaxation. Ensure shower screens and mirrors are sparkling clean and have to hand fresh towels, stylish soaps and lotions to dress the bathroom area and a fresh bathmat and house plant to add colour if needed.

Games rooms and Snugs: If your property is lucky enough to have a second sitting room or a place set out as a games room or snug, then remember to dress this room as it would be used. Maybe there are games and books that can be strategically set on a coffee table, a pool table should be set ready to go. Softer seating, such as been bags, should still be neatly laid out and think about some snacks such as a bowl of popcorn or small bowls of sweets and chocolates. 

Two well presented games rooms

Utilities and Boot rooms: These extra spaces can really help potential guests imaging how they would use your Cotswold cottage during their stay. If your property is dog friendly, consider a dog bed with a jar of dog treats and a bowl of water. Show a bootroom with clean wellies and walking boots alongside a boot pull, plus a neatly hung walking coat or Barbour wax jacket and woolly hat or flat cap on a hook. 

Exterior Spaces: First impressions certainly last when it comes to holiday let photography that will sit on a booking website. A well-maintained garden, featuring fresh looking and inviting outdoor furniture, and clear, welcoming patio and pathway suggest care and attention to guest comfort even before they step inside. 

A beautiful Cotswold garden with tea for two set and wildflowers

Flowers in pots should be in bloom – consider removing them if you are shooting in autumn or winter or replace them with evergreen filled pots. If your garden features a hot tub the cover should be off and stored away and the hot tub should be ready to be switched on when required. Scene setting for outside holiday let photography is just as important as your property interior, so again consider a bottle of wine with glasses, a throw over the back of a garden chair and that parasols are in good condition and shown open. 

The Essential Final Holiday Let Touches

As you prepare for your holiday let photography shoot which will showcase your Cotswold cottage, remember that each photograph tells a story. Your goal is to make that story so compelling that potential guests are drawn to book their stay, attracted by the promise of comfort, relaxation, and the chance to make memories on a stay in your Cotswold cottage. Through detailed preparation and thoughtful staging, you can ensure your holiday let stands out.