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Tips for Your Photo Shoot


Photo Shoot Tips

Tami Stough

Do you love where you live? I do. And, I can help you get to that place. We'll take the hassle out of real estate and do it all with a bit of fun...

Do you love where you live? I do. And, I can help you get to that place. We'll take the hassle out of real estate and do it all with a bit of fun...

Apr 24 5 minutes read

I always use a professional photographer for my listings. I 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.  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.

I will arrive before the photographer to make sure everything is set. But you can help me 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 (a Valentine's Day wreath can look weird in April)
  • 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 (these are usually fine in real life, but again, they can stop the eye in the room)
  • 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.  I know you have to live in your home. But I want as few distractions as possible to appear in the photos.


Need some inspiration and confirmation that YOU CAN DO THIS!  Let me tell you about Bob and Michelle. They owned their home for 17 years, were raising several children (4? 5? lots!) and had just started the process of prepping the home to put on the market in the spring, 2020. They were busy cleaning out closets, storage rooms, etc with life changed and COVID hit.

All of a sudden all their children returned home, bringing friends and more stuff from college. There were now lots of people staying in the home, with lots more stuff and all the donation centers like Good Will were closed. When I first visited them even I was overwhelmed. But we put together a game plan and they were able get the home in perfect photo ready condition.  Swipe the gallery below for the amazing Before & After Transformations.

If they can do can do it!  You got this!  Need help? Let us know and we will find you professionals to help you organize or pre-pack for your move.

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