First and foremost, spaces should be clean, organized and styled. If you don't have a nice looking space no amount of flashy professional photography will make it look better. Great spaces will benefit greatly from "professional" photography.
Second most important is a tripod. If you are using your cell phone camera that is fine. But get a tripod! A tripod will ensure that your photos are not blurry. If you have an SLR (single lens reflex) camera you can increase the exposure to brighten dark spaces, but only if you have a tripod.
Here's the plan:
Create attractive spaces. If your rooms or exterior are ugly, the photos won't help. Advice for Newbies - Part 2 - Design (diyvrbo.com)
Open all window coverings to allow as much natural light as possible and to create a visual openness to the spaces.
Do not use ultra wide angle lens. You do not want to falsely advertise the size of the room, home, or spaces. Nothing worse than your guests arriving to a place that feels much smaller than they anticipated.
Style your rooms. Clear out the junk, put the toilet seat down, hide the trash cans, fluff the pillows, smooth out the rugs and blankets, and neaten decorative accessories. Only style with items that your rental is stocked with.
Now take test shots. Examine what is in the shot. Then adjust as needed to highlight the best of your space or room.
Think of the what's beyond the space. Sometimes seeing beyond the space is enticing and expands the space.
Bathrooms are tough to photograph. If you can't get the whole bathroom in one shot, take two and put them side by side in your listing. Reiterating again, don't use the ultra wide angle here. If you really feel compelled to use the ultra wide angle, pair it with the non wide angle in your listing so that potential guests can see them side by side.
Avoid overly styled bedrooms. I personally think towels should not be stacked on beds. There should be a place for towels. Make your bedrooms bright and welcoming.
Focus the best elements or offerings. For example, if you have a fireplace, or other desirable feature or amenity, create a beautiful vignette of it.
Place the camera below your eyelevel, and avoid funky perspectives. You want your potential guest to see the space as they would actually see it.
Let's look at some of my photos with commentary.
No wide angle. This is a king bed in an quaint old cape. It is bright, looks clean, and the bedding fresh.
I chose to leave the lower window covering to show that there is privacy when needed. This is a realistic representation of the size of this guestroom.
This is a purposely over exposed shot because this room faces west and the light coming in would always throw of the interior lighting. The counters are clear yet the shot conveys that the kitchen is stocked and open to the dining area.
This vintage cabin has a wood burning fireplace. This is an asset in a ski tourism location. Highlight yours with big flames. Do this with paper and cardboard. It burns big and fast.
Bring the camera down to below eye level. It allows for you to to see more of the room. Again, this one is over exposed to make it bright. There is software where photo layering is possible to show the bright interior and what is outside the windows. This will require a professional.
The goal here is to convey that the kitchen is fully equipped, has ample counter space, and is open to the dining room.
Follow an overall space shot with an up close detail shot.
This is a shot of a kitchen showing the overall layout with expanded views through adjacent windows. Include windows as much as possible.
This is a closer in shot showing the kitchen work area. This kitchen is a bit over-minimalized, but at least it is clear of all clutter. Illustrating that there is obviously enough cabinetry to store stuff.
A fun way to highlight that games are stocked at a rental.
Consider setting up an "action shot". In this example, I am showing that this space can be used for playing games, all of which are stocked at the home.
Notice that the eye level is lower than your standing eye level. This allows for more of the floor and furnishings to be in the shot. Feels as though you are really in the space. The 50mm "wide angle" provide a bit more to fit in the shot without distorting or misrepresenting the space.
Most importantly take several shots of a room from different angles and eye levels, with differing exposure / brightness and compare them side by side to see what captures and represents the room best.