How Best to Prepare Your Home for Photography

a guide from

You only have one chance to make a first impression.

Clean, clutter-free homes attract buyers.

Before the Shoot

  • Turn all overhead lights on (replace burned out light bulbs). Floor and table lamps may be better off, your photographer will help you decide.
  • Turn all ceiling fans off.
  • Turn all TV’s and Computer screens off.
  • Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light (you cay either spin blinds open or pull them all the way up).
  • Have a plan for the dog/cat (the shoot will work best if your pet is outside, in a crate, or contained in a room).
  • Move trash cans inside garage, move cars out of drive, close garage door, hide pet bowls and beds, toilet brushes, plungers and toothbrushes.

What to expect for your photoshoot?

  • Shoots take about an hour. You need not be present, but you’re also welcome to stay and watch or help move items as the photographer travels from room to room.
  • If the house is not entirely prepped, you may want to reschedule before the photographer arrives. Our photographers are glad to help move things as time permits, but cannot exceed the one hour window for the shoot as it risks making them late for the next appointment.

Front Exterior

  • Clean yard
  • Hide Trashcans inside Garage
  • Close garage door
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home
  • Open window coverings inside the house so the home looks inviting (blinds may be either pulled up or spun open)

Kitchen / Dining


  • Clear countertops of all clutter (ask your Realtor their opinion on small appliances)
  • Clear refrigerator exterior of magnets, papers, photos, etc.
  • Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
  • Hide dog/cat dishes
  • Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher


  • Clear table, or dress table with decorative place settings
  • One centerpiece is okay
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
  • Remove child seats/booster chairs

Living Room

  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
  • De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth
  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
  • Remove kid’s toys
  • Hide media, cords, and television equipment


  • Clear counter tops of all personal items (no toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, soap, etc.)
  • Put toilet seats down and hide the toilet brush and plunger
  • It is typically best not to see any rugs in bathrooms, but ask your Realtor if you have a nice one.
  • If the shower is to be photographed, remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc.
  • Put out new towels and keep them perfectly straight


  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available
  • Clear nightstands of all personal items
  • Store away phone/tablet charging cables
  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers and tables
  • Remove family photos from walls
  • Clean under bed and other furniture, removing items that may show in the photos
  • Remove diaper genies
  • Hide pet beds.

Back Yard

  • Clean patio/deck, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
  • Uncover patio furniture and grill (weather permitting)
  • Put out patio cushions/pillows
  • Clear back yard of children’s toys and pet waste/toys