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Prep for a great shoot:


For me to get the best shots possible, the house should be neat and clean. Professional staging isn't necessary but highly recommended! I may move some small things to improve a photograph but I will not do excessive moving or lifting. The property should be ready to be shot when I arrive. Pets must NOT be loose during the shoot!

Tips for all areas in the home:


  • Thoroughly clean the whole house: Vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows. (Clean windows are a BIG deal if I’m going to capture the view outside.)

  • Replace all burned out light bulbs. Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)

  • Decorative lamps often throw odd color casts and do not need to be turned on

  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF.

  • Turn all TVs OFF.

  • Turn all computer screens OFF

  • Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light.

  • Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)

  • Make all beds

  • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring

  • Place all Shoes/jackets in closets




  • Clear countertops completely: knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.

  • Leave out max of one small appliance (ex: coffee maker)

  • Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.

  • Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet

  • Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher


Dining Room/ Table


  • Clear table, dust and polish tabletop

  • Use decorative place setting if available

  • Feature one centerpiece such as a bouquet of flowers

  • Remove child seats/ booster chairs


Front Exterior


  • Close garage doors

  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home

  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)

  • Remove empty planters

  • Use a broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and doorframes

  • Remove visible water hoses

  • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

Back Yard

  • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/ chairs/ cushions

  • Pillows/ cushions should be fresh not faded

  • Clear out Kids’ and pets’ toys, balls, Frisbees, etc.

  • Clean pool – Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose

  • Hide pool supplies

  • Turn on pool fountains/water features

  • Remove visible water hoses

  • Remove Trashcans


Living / Family Room


  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.

  • De-clutter fireplace mantel/ hearth (no more than 5 items)

  • Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed

  • Fluff and arrange furniture/ pillows

  • Remove kids’/ pets’ toys




  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/ shams if available

  • Press bed linens and bed skirts

  • Clear nightstands of all personal items

  • Store away phone/ tablet charging cables

  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers

  • Remove family photos from walls

  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos




  • Clear all personal items

  • Clear countertops completely

  • Put toilet seats down

  • Close closet doors

  • Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs

  • Remove dirty towels – leave out only new, unused towels

  • Remove floor mats




  • Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet

  • Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet

  • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair

  • Contain pets in hidden crate or outside

  • Clear backyard of pet waste/toys


Pets must NOT be loose during the shoot!  (I'm saying it again because I've been bitten by an owner's dog that was loose, have learned my lesson, and I will have to reschedule due to loose animals.) 

* It is not necessary for the owner to be present during the photoshoot. Often the shoot will go much faster and better without the owner there. It is best to treat the shoot like a showing. Great practice! 




Below is a PDF document for prepping for a shoot. Feel free to download it and share it with your client to remind them of what is necessary to show their property in the best light.  

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