Mary Conroy

Portside Real Estate Group

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How to Prepare Your Property for a Photo Shoot!

The proper presentation increases value and sells homes faster. I've seen it unfold over an over on the buy side. The audible ooohs and ahhhs you hear when a listing is prepped with care and attention.

At the core of all residential real estate presentation is the photo shoot. If presentation is the key to selling a home, then the photo shoot is the key to the best presentation possible. 

And as any experienced real estate photographer will tell you, a quality photo shoot will almost never happen without advance preparation.  This post will assist you with a room-by-room breakdown on how to prepare for that important day when the photographer arrives. 


Before we get started on what you need to do to prepare the interior of your home, let us begin where perhaps the most important photo of your house will be taken: the exterior. 

When preparing for your photo shoot, careful attention must be given to the outside of your home. Here are commonly found exterior items to remove when preparing your property for the photographer.

  • Cars, caravans and trailers from the driveway. These bulky obstructions can block the house you are trying to showcase.
  • Garbage/Rubbish bins. Hide them out of sight. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to steer home buyers’ thoughts towards the trash when you are visualizing their dreams.
  • Toys, bicycles and skateboards. Again, think clarity, not clutter.


Before we start focusing on the individual rooms, let’s go over some general ways to prepare your home for when the photographer arrives.

To begin, almost all personal items or items of sentiment, should be out of sight for the shoot. Family pictures, memorabilia and personalized ornaments, like the ‘World’s Greatest Beer Drinker’ fridge magnet you got for Christmas in 2012, should all be removed before a shoot. 

Another general rule is its best to put away pet related items for photos of your home. Pet beds, squeaky toys, leashes, or collars should all be removed from sight in advance of the photo shoot. 

Other things to keep in mind are:

  • Windows and mirrors should be free of streaks
  • Trash bins should be hidden
  • Remove floor mats, door mats, and most all area rugs
  • Turn on all lights and lamps; also, replace all faulty bulbs
  • Ceiling fans should be turned off
  • Pull any blinds all the way to the top to show as much of the windows as possible.


Professional photography of living areas generally follows the de-clutter rule. People need to envision themselves living in these spaces. This can be difficult if their eyes are tripping over children’s toys or electrical cords, if coffee tables are cluttered with magazines and newspapers, or couches are so loaded up with decorative pillows that there’s no place to sit down! 

Here are some reliable ways to prepare your living room for a photo shoot:

  • Put away any video game equipment and TV remotes
  • Hide any visible electrical cords
  • Get rid of all books, magazines, coffee cups, or additional clutter
  • Neatly arrange cushions, and keep their presence minimal


Do not underestimate the home-selling power of the bathroom! A good bathroom is high on the priority list to most home buyers. 

A bathroom that exudes a clean, relaxing and comfortable atmosphere is a major selling point for any home.

Here are some ways to prepare your bathrooms and ensuites for a real estate photography shoot:

  • Ensure shower screen is free of streaks
  • Put out coordinated, matching towels and double-fold them
  • Remove items like toothbrushes, tissue boxes, skin creams - clear countertops
  • Close medicine cabinet, ensure no medications are visible
  • Place toilet seat down, hide reading materials 
  • Bath mats should be taken off floor and hidden from site


Like the bathroom, the kitchen and dining areas of a house can exert great influence either for or against a buyer’s decision to purchase a home.  

Though preparing a home for a photo shoot usually leans heavily on the removal of eysores, and other clutter. The kitchen is your opportunity to let the interior decorator in you shine. As a general rule, I guide clients to have one countertop item/appliance per section of counter. 

Other things to keep in mind when preparing your kitchen for photo shoot:

  • Turn on all lights to supplement the natural light. Even the oven light.
  • Remove everything from the fridge, magnets, photographs, things-to-do-lists.
  • Clean all appliances so that they are streak, stain and clutter free. Put away dishes and remove any hand towels, no matter how decorative they are.
  • Fresh fruit or fresh flowers are always nice touches.


Like the exterior front, the entry area of your home is a hotbed for first impressions. Make the impression count. Here are some tips to prepare your entry area for a shoot.

  • Remove, shoes, shoe racks, umbrellas, floor mats.
  • Consider removing mirrors that could cause awkward reflections or shadows on the day of the photo shoot.


The main bedroom is an extremely important image. Remember that the people who want to see the master bedroom are usually the people buying the house. For this reason, attention must be given to making the main bedroom look as inviting as possible.

  • Make the bed, using your most attractive pillowcases and blankets, neutral colors with small accents of colors work well.
  • Clear all personal items from night tables and dressers.
  • Turn on all the lights in the room.
  • Pull any blinds all the way to the top to show as much of the windows as possible.

Now sit back, relax and let me take it from here!


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    modern living room with wood flooring and dining table. Blue filter overlaying image. modern living room with wood flooring and dining table. Blue filter overlaying image. modern living room with wood flooring and dining table. Blue filter overlaying image.

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