How to Prepare for your Photo Shoot

Are You Ready?

Check our detailed Photoshoot Prep Checklist twice and nail your next first impression!

Text the word PREPARE to 866-648-0022 to receive our How to Prep sheet


Home selling is as much about psychology as it is about pricing and marketing.  Buyers need to be able to picture themselves living in a home – not how you live in it.  Floor Plans can help tremendously with this side of the equation but your listing photos are the first thing anyone will see.

With social media becoming a prime marketing platform, media-rich marketing materials are everything. But, high quality listing photos or videos won’t matter if the home itself is scattered with laundry piles, family portraits, soccer-themed wallpaper,  and a funky rooster collection. You want buyers to immediately picture themselves living in the home – and a blank, or neutral, canvas is more likely to inspire their imagination.

Not to mention, a totally prepared house ensures that we can hit the ground running and don’t miss a beat (or a room!) while waiting for things to be moved, cleaned or mulched. Because our photographers do not handle cleaning, dusting or furniture rearrangement we fully rely on you and your clients to ensure the space is ready before the scheduled shoot. 

Pro Tip:

It’s a specialized process to make your home as appealing as possible to a diverse range of people. A professional home stager  can provide you with a consultation to help you prepare your home for sale and make sure your home shows at its best online through the photographs. If your home is vacant, virtual staging is always an option!

General Tips:

Clean all visible surfaces

Declutter by removing unnecessary decorations, counter top appliances, toiletries, wires, laundry and toys.

Neutralize colorful walls (children’s rooms in particular). 

Depersonalize by removing family portraits and personal collections or nicknacks.   

Illuminate by replacing any bulbs that don’t match the other lighting throughout the home or are just totally out. 


Day Of: Prep for your Photographer

  • Turn off all ceiling fans. 
  • Turn on all lights – replace any bulbs that are out and/or replace mismatched bulbs. 
  • Open blinds to let in natural light.
  • Park vehicles 1-2 homes down from the property so they don’t show up in window reflections. 

Exteriors – Clean, Green and Manicured.

  • Put away garbage cans, toys, bicycles, and other garden items away.
  • Clean windows, especially if they look out to a fabulous view.
  • Sweep / blow away leaves and debris from patios, walkways, driveway.
  • Power-wash siding to remove dirt / mildew / mold buildup.
  • Clean the pool water of leaves / debris and put away the nets, toys, and inflatables
  • Park vehicles up the road a few houses down before the scheduled shoot time

Living Room – Cozy, Comfy and Clean

  • Remove unnecessary items from the coffee table, side tables and bookshelves,
  • Remove any personal photos 
  • Straighten cushions, pillows and throw blankets
  • Hide any dangling cables (You might need to unplug the appliance in question and tuck or tape the cord away)

Kitchen & Dining – Clean + Declutter

  • Clean countertops, tables, and kitchen island surfaces. 
  • Straighten barstools and in-kitchen dining chairs
  • Remove unnecessary appliances or cooking utensils (paper towel rolls and sponges in particular!).
  • Remove or replace grungy rugs or tea towels
  • Remove rugs and/or mats

Bedrooms – Neutralize

  • Make all the beds.
  • Remove clutter or personal items from bedside tables, dressers, desks and walls.
  • Organize closets; clear them completely where possible.  
  • Remove dangling cables / cords (unplug and  remove the item or simply unplug and tuck the cord up. 
  • Clear wall decals, funky wallpaper from children’s rooms, etc., to neutralize the rooms

Bathrooms – Create a Spa-Like Ambiance

  • Clear all toiletries from shower, bathtub or counters.
  • Close toilet lids.
  • Replace or remove well-worn rugs. 
  • Remove trash and clean all mirrors and windows.
  • Details:  Rolling hand towels or small bath towels creates a special touch.

Pets – Minimize Presence

  • Put away food, water bowls. 
  • Take your pets for a fun walk or contain them in a secluded area (crate or garage are best!)
  • Put away pet beds, cat towers and toys – unless they are super fun like this!