Checklist to Prepare for Photo Shoot

Having the best photographs to sell your home is crucial in the real estate business, and it has to start with some “staging” of your home that you probably have already done for potential buyers to see. This checklist should offer some items to be sure your home is “camera-ready” before I arrive to photograph your home.

Just a few notes you should know before I get to the checklist: The photo session could take from one to two hours depending on the size of the home. I’ll be photographing both the inside and outside of your home. Inside, photographing all of the major rooms will be done. Normally, photographing closets or the garage will not be done, unless there are special features that need to be highlighted.

Standard photographs include: front exterior, back exterior and all the major rooms such as living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, master bedroom, master bath, and bedrooms. If you have special features of your home that are not obvious, please let your agent know about these so I can include them in the photo session.


• Close the windows

• Park your car on the street away from your home or in a closed garage

• Rake the yard

• Remove all children’s or pet’s toys

• Put away any garbage cans, all garden tools, and garden supplies

• Close the gates and garage doors

• Remove all pool toys, visible cleaning supplies, and equipment

• Keep the pets out of the yard during the photo shoot


• Please clear all non-essential items in a closet or cabinet; please don’t move it to another room.

• Dust and vacuum the house... All the corners, too.

• Turn on all the lights and lamps. Replace any burnt out bulbs.

• Turn off all ceiling fans

• Close the windows and open the curtains and blinds

• Hide any visible electrical cords

• Put away all children’s or pet’s toys


• Clear the fireplace mantle of personal photos, chachkies, trinkets, and collectables

• Turn off the television

• Optional: Light a fire in the fireplace

• Replace any large family portraits with generic artwork, or remove the portraits

• Straighten the bookshelves

• Straighten area rugs and throw pillows


• Set the table or clear everything but a small centerpiece


• Remove all refrigerator magnets, photos, artwork, etc.

• Clear the top of the fridge

• Clear the countertops

• Put away all small appliances and dish drainers

• Put away all cleaning supplies

• Put away all towels including wash rags, sponges, and dish towels

• Hide the garbage can in a closet or pantry


• Make the bed(s)

• Remove anything stored under the bed if there is no dust ruffle to cover it

• Put away all shoes and clothing

• Clear the nightstands

• Leave only the lamp, clock, and one or two books.

• Clear or straighten the dresser

• Straighten the bookshelves


• Tidy-up the closet by organizing or sorting clothing and shoes

• Matching hangers are a nice touch


• Open the shower curtains

• Put down the toilet seat

• Put out fresh, matching towels

• Hide all bath products from the tub/shower including soap bars, shampoo & conditioner, washcloths, etc.

• Hide all bath products from the sink including hand soap, makeup, etc. Decorative soaps can stay.

• Hide all appliances including the hair drier, curling iron, etc.

• Hide all air fresheners including those that plug in

• Hide all cleaning products


• Hide any visible cords

• Put away all paperwork


• It is the homeowner’s or agent’s responsibility to keep the pets out of the shot

• Put away all toys, food and water bowls, and litter boxes

Click here to download a PDF version of the checklist for printing.