Real Estate Photography Prep Sheet
My goal is to photograph your home with the highest quality that will wow buyers and attract offers. To ensure your photoshoot goes smoothly and safely, I’ve put together this preparation checklist of things you should do prior to your scheduled shoot.
- Your property MUST BE PHOTO-READY!!! Cleaning and staging must be done BEFORE I arrive. I may move small items (flowers, pillows, small pictures, etc.) to improve photo composition, but larger items need to be in place before I arrive, and staging accessories need to be in place as well.
- Secure or remove pets: I love pets but we can’t have them around for your photoshoot.
- Dogs must be secured or off the property to ensure the safety of myself and my equipment. MLS rules also prohibit people and pets from being in pictures. Cats should be secured as well, although they usually pose fewer problems than dogs (cats often just hide). It’s also a good idea to hide pet food and water bowls as well.
- Plan not to be seen: All occupants should plan on either being off the property or remain in areas where they can’t be seen during the photoshoot. Rooms overlap in the photos, people can cause shadows and reflections, and there is risk to equipment that will be setup throughout the property.
- Use the garage for storage: I normally don’t shoot garages, so this is a great place to store items you’d like to hide.
- Hide trashcans: Trashcans can be placed on the side of the property or in the garage.
- Turn off sprinklers: Do not water the day of the shoot to prevent puddles on pavement.
- Pick up poop: If you have a dog, make sure that all of their droppings are cleared from the yard.
- Clear the cars: Make sure no cars are in the driveway. If possible, also move cars from the street in front of the home. We want as clear a view as possible of your property.
- Hide hoses: Do this the day before the shoot since hoses can drip water onto the pavement when being moved, leaving puddles in your pictures.
- Prep the yard: Do at least 24 hours prior to your photoshoot. Yard should me mowed and clear of any toys, tools, etc.
- Prep pool and spa: If you have a pool and/or spa, please have them clean with covers removed. If you are the property owner, and have a spa, provide instructions to the realtor on how to turn it on.
- Prep water features: If you are the property owner and have fountains, waterfalls, etc., please clean them and provide instructions to the realtor on how to turn them on.
- Remove for-sale sign: The for-sale sign should be removed from the property (if possible) by the realtor if it has already been installed. Visible signs violate MLS photo rules, and they can’t always be edited out. It’s best to schedule sign installation for after the photoshoot.
- Clean patio furniture: Dust and remove cobwebs from all outdoor furniture. Do not hose down your furniture the day of your shoot, since this can create puddles.
- Declutter kitchen: A few items on the counters are usually fine, but dishes, sponges, rags, etc. should be put away. It’s best to remove all magnets, pictures, etc. from the refrigerator and remove throw rugs from the floor.
- Declutter bathrooms: Toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, and other “personal” items should be hidden. Decorative unused soaps, candles, flowers, etc. are preferred. It’s also good to remove all throw rugs from the floor.
***Here’s a big one…CLOSE THE TOILET SEATS!!! Viewers should have a good idea of what it looks like on the inside.
- Prep bedrooms: All bedrooms should have their beds made and items put away.
- Hide trashcans: Trashcans can distract so it’s best to hide all of them in closets or the garage.
- Clear entryways: Remove all shoes, umbrellas, and similar items from entryways.
- Turn off ceiling fans: Before I arrive, please make sure all ceiling fans are turned off.
- Hide portable fans: Ceiling fans are selling items but portable fans can give the wrong impression. It’s best to hide all portable fans in closets or the garage.
- Hide cords and remotes: Sometimes electrical cords can’t be hidden, but you will have more appealing pictures if you can hide TV remotes, game consoles, and any noticeable cords.
- Open blinds with views: Your indoor photos will show outdoor views if there are views, or just light if a window looks onto a neighbor or other unappealing view.
- Turn on lights: Before I arrive, please make sure all interior lights are turned on. If need-be, please replace all burned-out bulbs at least 24 hours before the photoshoot.
If you’ve scheduled a twilight shoot the following are additional items to prepare before I arrive.
*Note that twilights have tight schedules to ensure optimal lighting, so please make sure all of these items are ready before I arrive.
- Turn on all interior and exterior lights: All lights throughout the property need to be turned on. Please replace all burned-out bulbs at least 24 hours before the photoshoot.
- Turn on spas and remove covers: If you have a spa, remove the cover, and turn it before I arrive. Turn on the lights in the spa as well.
- Turn on pool lights: If you have a pool, turn on the pool lights before I arrive
- Turn on water features: If you have fountains, waterfalls, or similar water features, please turn them on before I arrive.
I do appreciate you taking the time and patience to go through this checklist! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me anytime.
And remember…close the toilet seat.