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Home Preparation

Home Photography Preparation

Click here for a pdf of our Home Preparation Guide

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 us 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 before our 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.

Step back and fix things that effect the photo

  • Make sure all lightbulbs are working and are the same color temperature

  • Hide wires/cables

  • 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 generally 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. Unfinished walk in attic spaces can be a selling point, so we will consider photographing them on a case by case basis. Newly sealed crawlspaces may also be of interest.

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, but also have to consider the incoming/outgoing weather conditions. 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 or at least of the room we are shooting. 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.

Property Preparation – 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. Now that we have moved into the age of novel viruses, the Property will be photographed “as is” at the time of the appointment in an effort to minimize contact. If you don’t want something in a photo please remove it.

Lights, Ceiling Fans, Window Coverings and Doors: The only items we may adjust are the lighting, ceiling fans, doors and window coverings with gloved hands. For photos, we prefer lights to be on, ceiling fans off and window coverings to be open (blinds may be turned flat open). Although not necessary, you may make these adjustments prior to our arrival to minimize contact. We only suggest leaving lights on if your absence is limited to the appointment window.

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…

  • Don’t forget to clear the bathroom counters and showers

  • 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 (we can do this if vacant)

  • Move vehicles out of driveway or away from house. Try not to park directly in front of the house

  • Put away other exterior items

  • Make sure sprinklers will be off during the shoot

  • Open window treatments

  • Put away pet or bring offsite

Helpful Notes to Leave for the Photographer

  • Is there a Pet that has been contained – where? Can the photographer safely enter that room? Do we need to be careful about open doors because you have a cat that is an escape artist?

  • Any large valuable items you would like us to edit out of the photos?

  • Any issues with neighboring properties?

  • Any special featureswe  should be sure to photograph?

  • Anything else we 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.

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