How to take photos of your activity using just your phone

All our activity providers at GetYourGuide have amazing experiences to offer. But not all of them see the same amount of booking conversions. If you’re wondering how you can drive more bookings and expand your business, then look no further. 

We’ve seen that the activities with the best photographs get more customers than other ones. Nearly 3%, in fact. 

Luckily, you don’t have to buy expensive equipment or hire a fancy crew to join their ranks. You can take great pictures with your phone alone. As long as you follow these guidelines, you can get more bookings and see an uptick in your revenue thanks to images taken on your phone. 

Before taking your photos, get your settings right

The proper settings will keep your image quality high.

  • Use the grid feature. Why? This helps frame your photos and keep your lines straight.

grid in camera

  • Turn off the flash. Flash harshens the light in your images, making them look unnatural. Your customers are drawn to authenticity, so when shooting, try to leverage natural light as much as possible. Use flash only when absolutely necessary.

    turning off flash

  • Check your image resolution. We require a minimum of 1280x960. Make sure your phone isn’t storing low-resolution versions.

    higher quality photos

When taking your photos, get the composition right

Good composition drives a compelling visual story. The more appealing your photos, the more likely a viewer will book your experience.

  • Follow the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is a concept where you think about your images as if they’re split in thirds, both horizontally and vertically. Learn more about why this creates a better experience for your viewers in this article.

    • DO: Place your main subjects where grid lines intersect and keep them slightly off-center.

    • DON’T: Put your main content in the top or the bottom third of the photos. Doing so can put your content at risk, as your images get used in different sizes on our platform.

  • Orient the camera.

    • DO: Take horizontal images. Leave lots of space around the central subject of the photo.

    • DON’T: Upload vertical photos.

  • Keep your images in focus. To get people excited for your activity, you want to keep your photos sharp and clear.

    • DO: Use autofocus

    • DON’T: Take photos with one hand on the move. Steady the camera with both hands and take your photos with intention.

  • Use the zoom sparingly. Your customers want to know what to expect from your experience. Give them a good understanding by putting the subject of your image in the wider context of your activity. 

    • DO: Use close crops and zoom on unique and specific parts of your experience. For example, if you offer a special dish or a small gift to your customers, you can highlight this more closely. 

    • DON’T: Add more than a few close-up photos. Remember, to give your visitors a strong sense of place, most of your activity photos should be in a wider context.

Think about the story you’re telling with the photos

Your images are your first chance to showcase what makes your experience truly unforgettable. Spark your customers’ curiosity by keeping the following in mind:

  • Highlight unique selling points of your experience. When you look at your photos, can you tell what’s unique about your experience? For example, let’s say you take your customers to a special spot where an engaging guide explains the magic of your place. Does your photo make this clear?

    • To do this, add plenty of context. We recommend using more wide-angle photos than close-ups to tell this story. 

  • Vary the composition of your photos. Your customers will get bored and click another activity if they keep seeing the same type of image. Keep your viewer interested by switching up the way you frame your photos.

    • DO: Show how the various photos relate to each other

    • DON’T: take photos only from one spot or view. Move around and interact with the experience to give a more in-depth visual experience with the images

  • Take more photos than you think you need

    • You’ve prepared everything to take photos of your experience, so make the most of it. You’ll have more options to choose from later. 

Taking wide photos? Use these as establishing images to show where and how your experience works. These should make up the majority of the photos.

Taking close-up photos? These should show off important details in your experience that viewers would otherwise miss in the wider shots. For instance, does your guide have an iPad with relevant materials to show guests? Is there a special snack guests get to eat at a stop? Feature these in your close-ups.

When making your selections, follow these best practices

If you follow the guidelines above, you’ll have tons of incredible images to choose from. Still, knowing which ones to pick can be challenging. To make your selection as engaging as possible, these guidelines should help.

  • Your photos should be unique from each other and have good variety to show the full experience

  • Set expectations properly by selecting images that tell an accurate story about your experience.

See if you can keep your images:

  • Authentic → Feature genuine interactions, true-to-life colors and textures, and actual moments from the activity itself. Posed photos and unrealistic edits set the wrong expectations for customers.

  • Dynamic → To create a sense of curiosity about your experience, use images that are filled with action, emotions, and moments of discovery.

  • Contextual → Showcase your activity location and experience. Avoid unnecessary and indistinguishable close-ups of items.

When ordering your images, think carefully about your first ones

Encourage your viewer to keep browsing through your activity by ordering your images the right way. 

  • Lead with a strong first photo. This photo appears as the first image on your activity details page. It’s also what appears across the platform and in search results.

    • DO: Pick a well-composed image. Be mindful of the subject matter. Keep your image clear and vibrant. All the aforementioned tips in this article should help you get on the right track.

    • DON’T: Use close-ups/sensory shorts, posed people, generic/stocky and uninteresting or messy images.

  • Choose your first 4 photos wisely. On desktop these are featured as a collage to represent your activity. 

    • DO: Create a balance between informative and aspirational imagery. Add your tour’s biggest highlights.

  • Create a diverse, eclectic gallery. Your entire photo collection should be interesting, eclectic, and varied. Just like your experience.

    • DO: Tell your future customers the story of your experience.

Here are a few real examples of this done well:

Get the full set up tips and tricks for improving your activity photos yourself:

  1. How to take photos of your activity using just your phone 
  2. How to prepare to take photos of your experience 
  3. How to select and edit your photos for optimal bookings

By now, you should have all the tools to create captivating photographs using just your phone. 

Log in now to upload new photos and start seeing new visitors pour in.

Need more assistance? Take your images to the next level with our professional photography services.

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