Home Photography Preparation
The Big Picture
• De-Personalize – Pack away identifying items on walls, tabletops and refrigerators such as family photos, diplomas, and other items with names or personal images on them.
• Put away Valuables – You will want these items put away for showings. Now is a good time to decide how you want to deal with these items. If there is a large object that cannot be packed away like artwork, let me know so I can either make it unrecognizable or eliminate it in the photograph.
• De-clutter – Clear surfaces of extra items. 1-3 decorative objects is acceptable. Keep it tasteful.
• Arrange – Take a look at the furniture in every room. Is it all necessary? Is it arranged to make the most of the space? Remove and/or re-arrange furnishings as needed.
• Consider visually harmonizing the space with neutrals and less patterns. – Fabrics with a great deal of pattern doesn’t show well in photographs. If you have options of bedding, towels, curtains, etc., it is best to go with the one with less pattern and the most neutral that goes with the room.
• Surface Clean – Get all the surfaces in view, smudge, fingerprint and dust free. If there is time to make the house spotless (in view or not) before my arrival, then please do. However, if you are getting short on time preparing, a quick wipe down to remove smudges/dust on surfaces and removal of specks on flooring/furniture will be enough for the photo shoot. Concentrate on getting your home staged for the photos and then deep clean everything for your first showings and open house. What a busy time this is!
• Step back and fix things that effect the photo
Make sure all lightbulbs are working and are the same color temperature
Arrange/straighten items on shelves
• Don’t forget the outdoors! – Clear the outdoor space of trash cans, hoses, and other clutter.
Mow, trim, and rake the yard. Sweep the hard surfaces. Weed the beds. Vehicles will need to be moved out of the driveway. Please be sure your sprinklers are off during the shoot time.
Things to know…
• We don’t photograph storage spaces (garage, attic, crawlspace, unfinished basement) unless requested or if it has a feature that could be a selling point. These can be great places to store items that are being removed from rooms.
• Early Arrival – We may start by photographing the exterior first, especially if we arrive early for our appointment time. We pay attention to the position of the sun in the sky for your property. Sometimes light is better at the start of our appointment, other times it is better near the end of our photo shoot.
• Pets – We ask that all dogs, cats, or other normally free roaming animals are contained during the photo shoot. We want them to be safe with no escapes! In addition, even the most polite pet may take issue with a stranger in their home, especially when/if their owner isn’t present. Also, keep in mind that there will be expensive equipment in the home. Cameras and flashes on tripods can easily be tipped over and cause damage to our equipment and/or the owner’s property. Let us know if there are any concerns with your pet or if they are contained in a room we should not enter.
• Items being arranged – Having access to your property is an honor we take seriously. We will always take great care to leave the home in the same condition in which we entered it. However, please realize that sometimes items will need to be arranged to compose a photograph properly. The reason for this is we are creating a 2D photograph out of our 3D environment.
Some examples would be:
a lamp could be blocking a view
items on a countertop may need to be aligned for our photographic angle
Window shades need to be adjusted
We always try to put things back to their original position. Be assured that only visible items in the room will be adjusted with the utmost respect of property. I use my best judgement on this. If there is are any particular items you would like to make sure we don’t touch – like tricky blinds and such, then please let us know ahead of time.
Day of Shoot
Straighten each room including throw pillows, bedding, curtains, and towels
Put away those items that are in view because you use them daily – toiletries, remotes, tissues, dishcloths
Make sure all surfaces and mirrors have been wiped down and are streak free
Tuck interior trash cans out of view, possibly in closet or cupboard.
Put down all toilet seats
Move vehicles out of driveway and try not to park directly in front of the house
Put away other exterior items
Make sure sprinklers are turned off
Turn ON all interior lights
Turn OFF all ceiling fans and televisions
Open window treatments
Put away pet
Helpful Notes to Leave for the Photographer:
Is there a Pet that has been contained – where? Can I enter that room?
Any large valuable items you would like me to edit out of the photos?
Any issues with neighboring properties?
Any special features I should be sure to photograph?
Anything else I should be aware of?
Ethics – While all sorts of editing is possible today, the photographs we take must ethically be representative of a specific property when it is being marketed for sale. Permanent physical features of a property will not be modified. Image enhancements that do not materially change permanent physical characteristics of a structure or its environment are considered standard practice.
Safety – If at any time, the photographer feels that some aspect of their surroundings may cause them harm, the photographer has the right to remove themselves from the shoot or suspend/delay a portion of the shoot.