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Photo Shoot Tips

Donna Story

Real Estate was the perfect choice for Donna because she loves working with people.  Her involvement in the community and industry knowledge help...

Real Estate was the perfect choice for Donna because she loves working with people.  Her involvement in the community and industry knowledge help...

Mar 19 4 minutes read

We always use a professional photographer for our homes. We will confirm the appointment with you in advance. The photo shoot can take up to an hour depending the size of the home. If video or floorplans are included, it can take even longer. In general, it is not necessary for you to be home for the photos.  Either Cindie or I will meet the photographer at the house.

There are certain things that we want to remove for photos that are perfectly fine in real life for showings.  For example, a bright white roll of paper towels stick out like a sore thumb in photos but is no problem in real life. We may angle a chair or scoot a table a little for a better picture. So, don't be surprised if things look a little differently in your photos than in real life.

Cindie or I will arrive before the photographer to make sure everything is set. But you can help us present your home in the best way possible by following this checklist.


  • Remove all cars from the driveway 
  • Put garbage cans in garage or out of site
  • Remove any seasonal flags or wreaths--these date the photo too much
  • If seasonally appropriate, add some colorful flower pots to the front porch
  • A quick note: dark mulch looks much better in pictures than red mulch.  Red mulch can look like it is glowing in pictures. 
  • If appropriate, set up your patio furniture with colorful pillows, open the umbrella, hang the hammock, etc.

General Info

  • Open all curtains and blinds
  • Turn on all overhead lights and as many table lamps as possible
  • Turn off all ceiling fans
  • Turn off all TVs and computer monitors
  • Put away throw rugs, especially in bathrooms, or in front of kitchen sinks, stoves or patio doors
  • Put free-standing garbage cans out of site.  If not possible, make sure garbage cans are empty.
  • Put all pet related items out of site. This includes pet food bowls, toys and especially cat trees (some buyers won't even come to a house if they are worried about pet allergies/smells) 
  • Remove any posters or decor that would make the buyer raise an eyebrow (like the teenager bedroom with the pot poster and half-naked girl posters)

Specific Rooms

  • Kitchen: 
    • Remove pots from the stove top
    • Put away the paper towel holder if free standing on the counter
    • Remove bottle of dish soap and sponges
    • Take items off top of fridge and all magnets, pics, schedules, etc from the fridge
  • Bedrooms: 
    • Make all beds, fluff the pillows.  Stand back and look at the bed and make sure the sheets are tucked in and you can't see anything under the bed
    • Put out of site any dirty clothes hamper
  • Bathrooms: 
    • Close toilet seats
    • If the shower is awesome and we will take a picture of it, remove all shampoos and personal items
    • Remove extra stuff from the counters
  • Office: 
    • Hide stacks of papers 
    • If seen, tidy the cords 
  • Family/Living/Rec Rooms: 
    • We may remove some of the throw pillows and throw blankets.  Sometimes they look good in photos and sometimes not. 
    • Put away the 25 remote controls on the coffee table

We generally do not take photos of pantries or closets. Sometimes if your master bedroom closet is fantastic, we will take a photo.

Remember, you don't have to do these items before every showing.  We know you have to live in your home. But we want as few distractions as possible to appear in the photos.

It's Now Or Never.

We know it may be scary, but if it's been on your mind for a while, now is the right time.

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