How to Airbnb for Free | Tips & Tricks for Photographers

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I serve women owned small businesses here at Madalyn Yates Creative. Together we create a strategic plan to bring heart & soul to your brand through storytelling photos & beyond.

When I’m not behind the camera, you can find me hanging out in my office, sipping on a latte at local coffee shops, baking something delicious & traveling the world.


Whether you have a destination already in mind or not, this is how I Airbnb for FREE 75% of the time! Okay, maybe I should say for less than $20 for two nights, so not 100% free but I mean you can’t pass up a better deal! Let’s get to it … An Airbnb Tip for Photographers!

The Search

  • Pick dates that you want to visit the specified destination (you can now choose Flexible which is super cool!) 
  • Enter the number of guests that’ll be coming (I am typically a solo traveler, but I’ve done it with my mom too!) 
  • Under Type of Place, select Entire House (you want to get the most for your services) 
  • Under Price, I usually stay between the $100-$150 a night since I am going to stay 2-3 nights which then equals my portrait session rate
  • Sort through the selection & find 2-3 that you love

Bonus Tip: So, I am really picky & have found it helpful to see who the Hosts are and if they are a couple it’s easier to pitch to them unless they share they are a business owner or something like that where they could possibly need photos!

The Contact

  • Click on the listing, and scroll down to the Hosted Information & click CONTACT HOST *this is important!! Don’t click book now before doing this step*
  • In the Still Have Questions? Ask the host box … write something like this: 
    • Hi, my name is (name here) and I am a photographer looking to come to visit (location, here) and I absolutely love your space! (insert a compliment about their space here) Being that I am a photographer, I’d love to maybe work out a trade with you – 3 nights stay for a portrait session! I’ve done it in the past with my Airbnb host & it’s been great for both of us! Either way, I would love to stay at your place, let me know if this is something you’d be interested in! 
    • I usually leave my Instagram information but keep in mind that Airbnb doesn’t allow you to share direct links so you have to awkwardly type it out so that it’s not obvious to AirBnb (for example My website is madalyn yates photography dot com)
  • Once you have your message crafted, hit Send Message. You’ll wait until they respond. This is when I reach out to the others with that same message, just change the compliment about their space!

The Response from the Host

  • The response can go 1 of 2 ways: 
    • Hey, (your name)! We love to take you up on this offer! I’ll create a special offer for you & then you can accept it! *Note: So technically Airbnb can’t do a $0 charge so it ends up being like $12 but you can’t pass that up!!!!*


  • Hey, (your name)! Unfortunately, at this time we’re not looking for any photography but if you’d still like to stay with us, here is the link to do so.

Your Response to the Host

– So, if they respond saying, YES you would respond with gratitude; sharing how to decide on the best time for their shoot & seeing what kind of session they’d like to do. I’ve done family sessions, couple sessions, new Airbnb listings they are about to launch, or just better photos of their current Airbnb! Below are some examples!

– And if they respond saying, NO you can say, “Thanks so much for considering, I will let you know if I decide to still stay with you!” *keep it nice and simple! 

Using Airbnb for photography sessions is just a great idea in general. I have many clients rent out spaces for their sessions! Most recently, Maliquea rented this loft in Winston Salem and it was PERFECT for her brand!

That’s it, friends! It’s a simple Airbnb Tip for Photographers that I wanted to share with you! I’ve had a wonderful time exploring parts of the country. When I have the chance to stay somewhere cute & quaint, oh and really discounted, it’s the best feeling ever! This is the next place I want to go! Let me know if you give it a try!

Business, Travels

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