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Resources: Prepping for Residential Shoots

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

Tucking away cables and rolling away the paper towels may be things we might not think makes a difference for a real estate listing but oh boy does it ever.

Even moderate visual clutter can subtly affect how clearly a viewer can judge a space and imagine themselves within it. Taking time to prep a home before a photographer's arrival instead of during means avoiding the frustration of moving things repeatedly and hurriedly as they wait anxiously watching the time tick anxiously before their next appointment. Trust us, we want to take good photos and working efficiently on a smooth shoot will make a world of a difference for all parties.

The Basics

  • Home should be clean and organized.

  • All blinds and curtains fully open to let in ambient light and to visually open up a space. Don't sweat it if the neighbor's house is close or if the outdoors aren't at the prime state. Unless specified for spaces with great outdoor views, interior window views are generally best brightened up to keep focus on the interior.

  • Decluttering countertops and hiding personal photos go a long long way. Hide them in basement storage or bathroom and we will bring everything out to photograph that area last.

  • Make sure the property is ready and empty of people by the time the photographer arrives. This critical point not only saves everyone their valuable time but lets the photographer focus and work efficiently to get you the best work possible.


  • Lights off highly recommended for a clean, natural look. Most household bulbs will create orange or blue casts and affect the color accuracy. The camera can handle any room with window light and in those dark areas the photographer will adjust accordingly.

  • Clear all countertops and remove clutter. Organize items on shelves neatly.

  • Cleaning supplies, dirty dishes, sponges and toiletries tucked away.

  • Depersonalize home from photos, magnets, names, etc.

  • Turn off fans; store portable fans.

  • Wipe mirrors and windows and ensure streak-freeness.

  • Vacuum carpets and polish floors.

  • Store garbage bins and filled laundry baskets out of sight.

  • Turn off any electronic screens.

  • Display those coffee table books.

  • Plants instantly bring life to any room.

  • Store remote controls and chargers.

  • Hide electrical cords and cables.

  • Store holiday decorations

  • Remove rugs and runners in kitchens, entryways, and bathrooms

  • Remove excess furnishings and knick-knacks from rooms.

  • Close toilet lids. Very few people will want to look in, trust me.


  • Park cars a few houses down or in the garage.

  • Tidy and straighten out outdoor furniture.

  • Remove trash, fallen branches and leaves

  • Stow trash and recycling bins in a garage area or shed.

  • Wipe windows and glass doors free of dirt and streaks.

  • Sweep outdoor space and walkways.

Whew, that was quite a lot of work. Is this all worth it? Absolutely.

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