How to Prepare Your Home for a Photo Shoot

How to Prepare a Home for Photography

Home Seller Secrets | Home Staging Advice

By Jilly Pretzel | Mar 8, 2019 | Posted on

Home Seller Secrets:  'The Best Home-Staging Advice I've Heard, Ever'


Thoroughly clean the whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard-surface floors, clean counter tops)​.

Clean windows and all mirrors.

Turn on all interior lighting. Make sure bulbs are same type and replace all burnt out bulbs.

Turn all ceiling fans OFF.

Turn all TVs OFF.

Turn all computer screens OFF.

Open all blinds & window treatments.

Remove personal photographs (or replace with general art if possible).

Make all beds and fluff the pillows. Every wrinkle will show in the photos.

Remove small floor rugs in kitchem, bathroom and by front & back doors to reveal the flooring.

Place all clothing items in closets.

De-clutter rooms that may be excessively furnished. Clutter makes rooms look smaller. 


Close garage doors.

Remove cars from driveway and in front of home.

Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves).

Remove visible water hoses and garden tools.

Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables, chairs, cushions, etc.

Remove all children's toys.

Clean swimming pool, fountains etc.

Hide trash cans.


Clear counter tops completely. No baking supplies, dish soap, mail, sponges etc.

*CLEAN WINDOWS & ALL SHINY SURFACES including all appliances.

You can leave out one or two small appliances e.g. a coffee maker.

Remove magnets, papers, photos, etc. from refrigerator.

Hide garbage/trash cans.


Clear table, dust and polish the table top.

Use decorative place setting if available.

Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers.

Straighten all chairs and space them evenly.


Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.

De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth.

Clean interior of fireplace.

Fluff and arrange furniture pillows.

Remove all children’s and pet toys.


Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available.

Clear nightstands of all personal items.

Hide phones, remotes and tablet charging cables.

Remove all clutter from top of dressers. Hide jewelry and all personal items

It is suggested to remove family photos from walls.

Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos.


Remove personalized names and photos from walls.

Remove wall stickers & posters if possible.

Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos.


Clear counter tops completely.
No soap, toothbrushes, perfume, medications, deodorant, etc.

PLEASE put toilet seats & lids down.

Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs.

Remove dirty towels - leave out only new, unused towels or no towels.

Remove floor mats.


Hide pet beds, toys, water and food bowls.

Hide pet crates.

Hide Pets!
Do not allow your pets to wander loose while photos are being taken. This slows me down significantly!

Secure pets in hidden crate or outside.

Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair.
Clear back yard of pet waste & toys.

I will be photographing your home exteriors and would rather not walk in Doggie Doo Doo.


I appreciate all help and suggestions! I will ask for a simple walk-through before setting up my equipment. This will give you (and/or your listing agent) the opportunity to point out details and features of your home that you want included in your marketing photos. Once I begin, please try to stay out of the way as wide-angle photos can include adjacent rooms where you may inadvertently walk into the frame, which I will have to re-shoot. I love friendly conversation, but only before or after the shoot as I need 100% focus (pun intended) to get the best shots of your home.

Typical photo shoots average 1.5 - 3.5 hours depending on the size of the house and number of photos taken.