Preparing Your Home For Professional Photography

Generally speaking, the closer your home can look like a Pottery Barn catalog, the better, when it comes to Real Estate Photography.

Inside the Home

  1. De-clutter as much as possible.
  2. Put away toys, clothing, dishes, towels, shoes etc.
  3. It’s a lot cheaper to put these things away before the photo shoot than to pay to have the photos “photoshopped”.
  4. Depersonalize to a certain degree; minimize personal photos if possible
  5. Photos of young children and any potentially offensive art should be put away. 
  6. Remove any seasonal/holiday decorations that can quickly out-date your photos. 
  7. Dust and vacuum. 
  8. Make all the beds, fluff all the pillows, and check the bed skirts. 
  9. Make sure there are no bins or other storage items under your beds - the camera is lower than your eyes and will likely see them.
  10. Clean the kitchen sink and put away all the dishes. 
  11. Clear all kitchen counter tops and put away toasters, can openers, etc. 
  12. Clear all bathroom counter tops and put away all personal items. 
  13. Remove all shampoos, conditioners, body-washes, etc. from the shower. 
  14. Put out the guest towels and hide all the others. 
  15. Hide all trash cans. 
  16. Remove all magnets and decorations from the refrigerator. 
  17. If there are pets, hide all food/water bowls, pet beds, and pet toys. 
  18. Put all toilet seats and lids down. 
  19. Replace all burned out light bulbs, and make sure they are all the same color (warm/cool white)
  20. Consider decorating the tables with your prettiest place settings. 
  21. Consider putting out vases of fresh flowers. 

Outside the Home 

  1. Have the lawn trimmed, leaves raked, bushes and trees pruned. 
  2. Clean up after any animal Put away all garbage cans, hoses, garden tools, toys, bikes etc.
  3. Hide any “cute” yard decorations.
  4. In snowy climates, shovel snow from walkways, driveways, patios, decks when necessary.
  5. If there is a pool, hot tub, or spa, take any security gate down, uncover, and clean. 
  6. If there will be any twilight photos taken, replace any broken lighting on the home, around the landscape, and in the pool. 
  7. Open the umbrellas on any patio sets. 
  8. When in season, uncover grills. 
  9. Remove any seasonal/holiday decorations. 
  10. Consider adding splashes of bright colored flowers to the landscape and in pots. 
  11. If there are any garbage cans visible on the outside, put them in the garage or otherwise out of the way.

Right Before the Photographer Arrives 

  1. Turn OFF all interior lights - our photographers use their own lights.
  2. Turn OFF all ceiling fans. 
  3. Light fireplaces and candles. 
  4. Open all blinds, shades, and curtains. 
  5. Clear all cars and vehicles from the driveway and the street in front of the home.
  6. Please secure all animals in a safe location, away from all rooms being photographed. 

FINAL NOTE

Although I would love to help you style/design your home, I unfortunately do not have the skill set required to do so. When I arrive to take photos of your property, I ask that all staging and cleaning be done prior to my arrival. To efficiently maintain my busy schedule and deliver the level of service my clients expect, I can not spend unnecessary time at the home waiting for it to be cleaned, dusted, de-cluttered, etc. Please review the previous sections for tips on preparing your home for real estate photography, and note that I am not responsible and will not partake in any of the following duties while photographing your home:

I Do Not: 

  • Move or re-arrange furniture 
  • Make beds, clean, dust or de-clutter 
  • Pick up toys or yard items 
  • "Photoshop" vehicles, walls, damaged walls, power lines, wall pictures, cords, etc. 
  • Touch personal bathroom supplies (shampoo, toothbrushes, deodorant, towels)