Photoshoot Preparation Guide


Remember, less is more. For example, work with your real estate agent to identify whether furniture needs to be moved (prior to the photo shoot) to ensure rooms look less cluttered. The goal is to make your home show beautifully online and sell quickly!

Our photographer’s do not prepare or help you prepare the home for the photo shoot.  They have been instructed not to move furniture, pickup clutter or touch items in the kitchen or the bath. The home MUST be ready for the photographer when they arrive. 

The following is a checklist to help prepare you for the photoshoot:


Whole House

  • Clean house entirely.
  • Clean rugs if necessary.
  • Freshly vacuum and dust the house.
  • Wipe down baseboards.
  • Check switch plates for dirty fingerprints, hope you giggled, just checking to see if you are paying attention.


  • Open the blinds/window shades to allow for natural light, unless there is something you don’t want visible through the window.
  • Clean windows (preferably professionally, inside and out).


  • Replace burnt out light bulbs.
  • Use same temperature light bulbs (e.g., soft white or daytime).
  • Turn on all lamps and overhead lights. 
  • Turn OFF the ceiling fans.


  • Remove all items from the outside of the refrigerator (e.g., magnets, calendars, children’s artwork).
  • Clean and clear the kitchen sink (e.g., hide sponges, drying racks, scrubbers).
  • Clean and clear stovetop (e.g., remove tea kettles).

Personal Items & Family Photographs

  • Remove as many personal items/photographs and awards/certificates as possible.
  • Do not leave out jewelry of any kind. 
  • Remove or store safely items of value.


  • Put ALL toilet seats and lids down. 
  • Clean shower doors (if necessary, hire a professional to steam clean glass shower doors).
  • Close all shower curtains (especially if tile is not clean).
  • Remove all toothbrushes, hair products, razors etc. from countertops.
  • Clean mirrors.
  • Hang bath/hand towels neatly or remove entirely.


  • We do not shoot inside “normal” closets. 
  • We do shoot walk-in closets that have been designated by the listing agent as a feature of the property.


  • Minimize the amount if possible.
  • Organize them neatly.


  • Minimize items on nightstands to a lamp, clock or box of Kleenex.  Nothing personal.
  • Make ALL the beds.

Miscellaneous Items

  • Switch OFF all TVs & dust or wipe.
  • Switch OFF all computer screens & dust or wipe.
  • Put away all clothing and shoes in drawers and closets (even those at the front door). A mud room shoe rack is fine.


  • It’s preferable dogs be taken for a walk or crated out-of-sight during photo shoot.
  • It’s preferable cats also be removed to ensure nobody “sneaks” into an image.
  • Fish tanks should be clean and not murky.
  • Temporarily remove all pet food bowls, bedding and crates.


Front Door/Porch

  • Remove any items hanging on the door.  They are buying your door not the wreath.
  • Straighten/clean outdoor furniture.
  • Freshen up any potted flowers or clean out the old debris/remove completely.


  • For twilight, turn on all outside lights (e.g., outside garage, front & back porches/patios). 
  • Garbage cans, place them in the garage, preferably not on the side or the front of home.


  • No vehicles of any kind on the driveway.
  • Homes with parking for trailers and motorhomes, on the side and not directly in the front of home, that’s an exception. (This is often a selling point for the home.)


  • Always closed.
  • We do not shoot inside the garage unless it is very neat and organized.  When built-ins are included then the items in the garage become a selling point.  PLEASE share that information so our photographer doesn’t miss shooting it.

Security Yard Signs

  • Temporarily remove them.

Seasonal Items

  • If possible, remove them temporarily (e.g., flags, pumpkins, holiday items).


  • Trim shrubs.
  • Mow the lawn.
  • Turn off sprinklers for the photo shoot.
  • Clean out flower beds (e.g., mulch hides messy beds).
  • Clean up leaves.
  • Roll up hose or remove completely.


  • Clean deck.
  • Straighten/clean or cover outdoor furniture. 
  • Purchase new cushions and/or pillows (if necessary).
  • Remove items that cause the yard to feel smaller (e.g., trampoline).
  • Remove or place all athletic items in garage or organize neatly (e.g., athletic balls, football/soccer/lacrosse goals).
  • Pools and/or Hot Tubs be sure they are clean. Remove pool toys. Neatly store all outdoor cleaning supplies.
  • Turn on all water features (e.g., fountains)
  • Cover grills.
  • Uncover firepits.  For twilight shoots (if possible) light the firepits.

You Need Photos That Sell