How To Prepare For Your Shoot

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 have put together this preparation checklist of things you should do prior to your scheduled shoot.

General Prep

Be shoot-ready: Cleaning and staging needs to be done before I arrive, preferably the day before your photoshoot. I may move small items (flowers, 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.

IMPORTANT: If a home is not shoot ready, the photo shoot will need to be rescheduled. A Reschedule Fee of $50 will be added to the bill and another date will be booked. Please click to review our Photo & Video Readiness Policy.

Secure or remove pets: 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 also be secured, 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.

Plan not to be seen: Ideally, all occupants should plan on being off the property during the shoot. If this is not possible, all occupants should 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: Unless the garage is a selling feature, I normally don’t shoot garages, so this is a great place to store items you’d like to hide.

Outside Prep

Move 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 trash cans: Trash cans can be placed on the side of the property or in the garage.

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.

Mow and trim the yard: Do at least 24 hours prior to your photoshoot.

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.

Prep pool and spa: If you have a pool and/or spa, please have them clean with covers removed (season permitting). For spas, provide instructions to the realtor on how to turn it on.

Prep water features: If you 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 or installed after the shoot, since visible signs violate MLS policies and can’t always be edited out.

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.

Inside Prep

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.

Prep bedrooms: All bedrooms should have their beds made and items put away.

Hide trash cans: Trash cans can be distracting so it’s best to hide all of them in closets or the garage.

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.

Clear entryways: Remove all shoes, umbrellas, and similar items from entryways.

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.

Turn off ceiling fans: Before I arrive, please make sure all ceiling fans are turned off.

Twilight Prep

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 (season permitting): 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. (season permitting).

Turn on water features: If you have fountains, waterfalls, or similar water features, please turn them on before I arrive.

Thank you for your time and patience to go through this checklist!

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