How to prepare for your Photo Shoot

If you can possibly afford a professional stager, by all means do it! They are totally worth it. Your listing will look so much better, likely sell for more, and will definitely look better in photos.

Try to make your place look like a clean, tastefully furnished hotel. It should be stylish, but somewhat generic. The goal is to allow the buyers to imagine living there. Don’t make this fantasy more difficult by having too many personal photos and overly distracting belongings out, and don’t make the fantasy a nightmare by having cluttered, messy rooms. Less is more.

Clear Your Clutter!

This is THE #1 MOST IMPORTANT THING for showing off your listing: Get all knickknacks, stacks of paper, remote controls, video game systems, DVDs, or any other cluttered electronic items, extraneous furniture, family photos, pet stuff & toys out of sight. NOT under your bed. I can often see under beds when I photograph bedrooms, and it’s not a pretty sight when there’s a yard sale stuffed underneath. Store it all in a closet, in the garage (if we aren’t’ photographing it), or sacrifice a room for storage that won’t be photographed. Again, your goal is to make the house (or condo) look like clean, cared-for, tastefully arranged haven. Hide power cords and cables as much as you can. If you have childproof latches on cupboards and drawers, remove them for the photos if it’s not too difficult. Make your beds look like you see in magazines. The pillows should be big and fluffy and the bed cover should be hotel-room perfect. Hide all knickknacks, phone chargers, and cords lying around the bed. A tissue box is not a staging prop! Get it out of site. Remember: less is more.

Let the light in

Before I arrive, turn on every single light in the house, don’t forget the surface lights on your stove and under your cupboards accent lights and so on. If any lights are burned out, replace them with new bulbs. Open all curtains and blinds (unless there is a very unappealing view out the window you don’t want to highlight in the photos). Turn all ceiling fans on the lowest setting or off.

Flowers and fruit and arty books

Bring some color, freshness and serenity to your listing by staging a few nice flower arrangements on the dining room table, in a corner of the living room, and in a bedroom or large bathroom. A bowl of apples or lemons or oranges in the kitchen always looks nice. If you have a nice big attractive coffee table book, preferably home decor or architectural in theme, set it on (you guessed it) your coffee table. Hide the Maxim and People magazines. See all those books you love on your overstuffed bookshelf? Now take half of them out (the bright, clashing, odd-sized ones) and put them in a box.


The kitchen often collects a lot of things on the counters, but you want to make sure the counters are as open as possible. Get rid of appliances that are sitting around, as well as stacks of paper or dishes that may be placed at the end of the counter. Clear away dish racks, cutting boards, tea towels, hand and dish soap bottles, cleaning products, mops, brooms, garbage cans, and magnets off the fridge.


Many bathrooms are small or narrow and difficult to photograph. In the bathroom, everything should be removed, including makeup, razors, soap, toothbrushes, and any other beauty products. Hide all your personal bath and shower stuff and bathroom trashcans plungers and so on. Put on a new roll of toilet paper. Neatly hang a few matching color complementary towels and hand towels. If you have room, put a nice looking candle or small plant next to the sink or bathtub. Once again, make it look like a nice, clean, cozy hotel bathroom.

Curb Appeal

The view of the front of your listing is very important. Your goal is to make the front of the house appealing enough that buyers will want to see more. If you can afford it, bring in a landscaper who will make your property looks stellar and save you a backache.

  •   Pull weeds, trim overgrown shrubs and low-hanging tree
    branches. Rake and mow the lawn. Put away garden hoses. Hide the garbage cans, yard tools, dead plants, empty pots and any other yard clutter
    . Lay down mulch wherever there is dirt showing in beds.

  •   Before I arrive for photos, move all vehicles out of the driveway, and preferably not directly in front of your house. Clean up the front porch and stairs. Sweep the decks and patios. Wipe off the outdoor furniture and put the nice cushions on them. Some nice comfy chairs in the corner of the yard gives lets your buyers have a place to relax and enjoy the yard while they consider how much they love your property.

  •   During the shoot please make sure pets and pet beds bowls and toys are contained and put away during the shoot. Pets are never included in photos and need to be out of the way during the shoot.

  •   It is our goal at the shoot is to provide quality photos that include a front exterior, back exterior and all the major rooms such as living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, master bedroom, master bath and bedrooms. Powder rooms, small bathrooms, utility rooms or garages are not a shooting priority unless you give us direction otherwise. If you have any special shots or selling features you want special shots of let me know.