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How to Prepare Your Home for a Photo Shoot

Proper presentation increases value and sells homes faster.

At the core of all residential real estate presentations is the photo shoot. If presentation is the key to selling a home, then the photo shoot is the key to an appealing presentation. And as any experienced real estate photographer will tell you, a quality photo shoot will almost never happen without advance preparation. If you are a real estate agent or a home owner seeking to get the best value for your property, this post will assist you in the days leading up to your photo shoot.

It doesn’t matter whether you have an amateur or a professional photographer taking the listing photos. We’re going to walk you through your home, and give you a room-by-room breakdown on how to prepare for that important day when the photographer arrives.


Before we get started on what you need to do to prepare the interior of your home, let us begin where perhaps the most important photo of your house will be taken: the exterior.

When preparing for your photo shoot, careful attention must be given to the outside of your home. Less is almost always more in this important area. Some of the most important (and overlooked) items to remove are:

  • Cars, caravans and trailers from the driveway. These bulky obstructions can block the house you are trying to showcase.

  • Garbage/Rubbish bins. Hide them out of sight. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to steer home buyers’ thoughts towards the trash when you are seeking to unlock their dreams.

  • Toys, bicycles and skateboards. These emblems of life and leisure create a bad impression when left abandoned in the yard or driveway.


Before we start focusing on the individual rooms, let’s go over some general ways to prepare your home for when the photographer arrives.

To begin, almost all personal items or items of sentiment, should be out of sight for the shoot. Family pictures, memorabilia and personalized ornaments, like the ‘World’s Greatest Beer Drinker’ fridge magnet you got for Christmas in 2012, should all be removed before a shoot.

Another general rule is that anything indicating the presence of an animal should not be on display in the real estate photos of your home. Water bowls, pet beds, squeaky toys, leashes, or collars should all be removed from sight in advance of the photo shoot. Other things to keep in mind are:

  • Windows and mirrors should be free of streaks

  • Rubbish/garbage bins should be hidden

  • Remove floor mats, door mats, and rugs

  • Turn on all lights and lamps; also, replace all faulty bulbs

  • Ceiling fans should be turned off


Professional photography of living areas generally follows the de-clutter rule. People need to envision themselves living in these spaces. This can be difficult if their eyes are tripping over children’s toys or electrical cords, if coffee tables are cluttered with magazines and newspapers, or couches are so loaded up with decorative pillows that there’s no place to sit down! Here are some reliable ways to prepare your living room for a photo shoot:

  • Put away any video game equipment, TV remotes, or DVDs

  • Hide any visible electrical cords

  • Get rid of all books, magazines, coffee cups, or additional clutter

  • Neatly arrange cushions, and keep their presence minimal


Do not underestimate the home-selling power of the bathroom! Any agent will tell you how high on the priority list a good bathroom is to most home buyers. A bathroom is where a great deal of time is spent to begin and end each day. It is also a room that will be seen by friends and visitors.

A bathroom that exudes a clean, relaxing and comfortable atmosphere is a major selling point for any home. Perhaps even more importantly, an unappealing bathroom can be a dealbreaker.

Here are some ways to prepare your bathrooms and ensuites for a real estate photography shoot:

  • Ensure shower screen is free of streaks

  • Put out coordinated, matching towels and double-fold them

  • Adjust all taps to centre or side on

  • Remove items like toothbrushes, tissue boxes, skin creams

  • Close medicine cabinet, ensure no medications are visible

  • Place toilet seat down, hide reading materials

  • Bath mats should be taken off floor and hidden from site


Like the bathroom, the kitchen and dining areas of a house can exert great influence either for or against a buyer’s decision to purchase a home.

Though preparing a home for a photo shoot usually leans heavily on the removal of eyesores, and other clutter. The kitchen is your opportunity to let the interior decorator in you shine. Before photographing a kitchen or dining room, it’s a good idea to set the table with your best cutlery and glassware. A low-height centrepiece can also be a charming touch.

Other things to keep in mind when preparing your kitchen for photo shoot:

  • Turn on all lights to supplement the natural light. Even turn on the oven light for that little bit of extra ambience.

  • Remove everything from the fridge, magnets, photographs, things-to-do-lists

  • Clean all appliances so that they are streak, stain and clutter free. Put away dishes and remove tea towels.

  • Hide small appliances like toasters or coffee makers


Like the exterior front, the entry area of your home is a hotbed for first impressions. Make the impression count. Here are some tips to prepare your entry area for a shoot.

  • Remove, shoes, shoe racks, umbrellas, floor mats

  • Consider removing mirrors that could cause awkward reflections or shadows on the day of the photo shoot


The main bedroom is an extremely important image. Remember that the people who want to see the master bedroom are usually the people buying the house. For this reason, attention must be given to making the main bedroom look as inviting as possible.

  • Make the bed, using your most attractive pillowcases and blankets, neutral colours work well

  • Clear all personal items from night tables and dressers

  • Turn on all the lights in the room

For more information contact your processional Realtor, Christine Oleynick

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