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How To Get Your Home Get Ready For Professional Real Estate Photography.

You just signed the contract to list your house. What’s the very first thing you need to do?

Disconnect from your home, the second you signed the contract it became a financial asset and investment.

We understand selling your home can be a whirlwind of activity and emotion. Making a few changes before the photographer arrives at your home will help you through the process. Your Realtor makes a significant investment in marketing your home and professional photography is one component of a successful marketing program.

I find that many homeowners over-work things that don’t matter so much and over-look things that dramatically impact how the home photographs. If you start the process with right priorities and objectives it can be a welcoming cathartic process.

To start have an honest and direct talk with your agent, make a plan, and then make a schedule with a generous time line. Many homeowners tell me getting ready to shoot and show their home was the most time consuming and painful aspect of the home selling process. It doesn’t need to be that way!

One of my most memorable shoots was a small well-loved 1960 Bedford home I shot well over 5 years ago. The home owner had spent weeks getting it ready for its new owner-to-be. It was tidy and sparkling clean; she had done everything her real estate agent requested. It shot perfectly; I was impressed by her considerable efforts.

As we were chatting in the street she started crying. She was happy and excited about her new beautiful home but mourned moving from the old one. It held 30 years of memories, families, friendship, neighbors and happiness. She told me this was her final cry; she’d been doing it for weeks as she packed up her knick knacks and severed her emotional ties to the house.

Till this day I vividly remember both of us weeping in the street, both happy and sad at the same time. Me, because there is nothing better than a good cry celebrating joy or mourning sorrow of a loss – no one should cry alone. Her, because she had disconnected from her home of 30 years and in spite of her standing right in front of it, she knew it was no longer hers and she missed it!

This woman’s tears taught me a valuable lesson.

photography is one component of a successful marketing program

If your deeply connected to you home, its going to be very hard to view it as an investment. While your home is on the market you still need to live there. Your daily life continues, but all the things that uniquely made it yours needs to put away. As a real estate photographer, I expect your whole life to be put in your garage and stuffed into every closet. Dont worry I won't Shoot it.

Make a carefully crafted plan of action to help you manage getting ready for your real estate photography

The objective of real estate photography is to capture the features of the house. This helps people who visit your home on the web envision living there. By removing distractions, a person viewing your home on the web sees your home and its features in its best light. If you are going have work done such as landscaping, painting or tile, have this done a few days before you schedule a shoot. This keeps things from being frantic during the shoot, leaving your frazzled and distracted.


  • Stow away trash cans, yard signs, decorative flags, seasonal decorations, etc.
  • Move cars out of the driveway.
  • Store water hoses and garden items in the garage.
  • Remove toys, cleaning supplies, recycling bins, tools and other items. An excellent place to store things is in the garage or laundry room, unless you want the room photographed.
  • Clean and arrange the outdoor furniture how you would l like to have it photographed. If you have an umbrella, open it and remove the grill cover.
  • Sweep decks and patios and stow away any items such as toys, pool equipment, and grill covers, etc.

Have the pool cleaned if you have one, clear blue water looks stunning.


  • Turn on all the lights, but make sure every fan is turned off. Open all drapery. The photographer will adjust the blinds for the light in your home.
  • If you have any burnt-out light bulbs, replace them.
  • Make the beds and tidy up rooms, removing personal items and kicknacks.
  • Install decorator globe bulbs in the exposed bulb lighting fixtures commonly used in bathrooms. Most importantly make sure all bulbs are the same type (incandescent, florescent, etc.) or it will look odd.
  • Remove all rugs and mats, we need to show the beauty of your floors. Surprisingly, people will use it to judge the scale of your room: small rugs make the room look smaller. However, put them back after the shoot. Leave room defining area runs in place.
  • Clear the kitchen counter of everything: small appliances, paper towels, soap dispensers, decorative items, absolutely everything! Even the smallest kitchen looks huge without items blocking the line of site.
  • Remove all refrigerator magnets. It's OK to leave discrete decorator items on the top of the refrigerator.
  • Clear bathroom, counters, showers and tubs of personal items, cleaning items, towels, hampers, scales, trash cans, again absolutely everything. We suggest keeping all your personal bath items in a plastic storage tub that you keep under the sink while your house is showing to keep it out of view.
  • Hide the TV remotes, small items, photographs, and knick-knacks from surfaces.
  • Hide away pet's dishes, dog crates, litter boxes, etc.
  • Remove personal items, nick knacks, and family photos from the walls and furniture. A general guideline for anything but large or necessary furniture: if you're not selling with the house stow it.
  • Clean the fireplace, if you have a gas fireplace, light it just before the photographer takes a picture of it.
  • If you have large photos of your family, especially children, we recommend taking them down. We do not want images of your family public ally displayed on the internet! We can blur images when required.

By now you may feel we're trying to make it seem like your house is an impeccably maintained self-cleaning dream come true. That is the ultimate goal of professional real estate photography! We want to turn your home into someone else's dream. A place where there is never a dirty dish and occupants leisurely meander about in bare feet pausing only to take a winsome look out the window at a tidy backyard while thinking about what to barbecue.

While our photographer is at your home please be aware of where the lens is pointing. Our photographer uses a wide-angle lens, so staying behind iv him best. If you or your pets are moving about please stay out of the lens' view. If the photographer is taking pictures outside please stay away from the windows. The photographer must wait until you or your pets are out of range of the lens to take a photograph.