Home Preparation Guide – Real Estate Photography

This Guide is not meant to scare or intimidate you (the seller).   I am really easy-going and easy to work with.  However, these are the common things that put me behind, and can lower the quality of what I can produce.   Thank you for inviting me into your home.

***I will not shoot a home that is obviously not ready.  I often have multiple shoots a day so I can’t wait around while it’s being cleaned or staged.  I have broken bones, and expensive equipment and more in homes that are not ready.***

  • I shoot the home as-is.
  • I do not provide any cleaning, moving or home staging services
  • For my safety and yours, the less I touch the better (COVID-19)
  • Please do not schedule any other workers or contractors at the same time of your photo shoot

I do my best work when the home is ready. 

Here are some of the MOST COMMON issues that will directly impact the quality of the photos I can produce.   Please send this page to your sellers.

Note: these are not finished photos – many of them were taken with my phone while on location.


Window and Mirrors – Smudges and Spots Show Up!

Mirror Smudge

Please make sure all mirrors and windows are clean.

There Is NO Way To Get A Clear Window View If It Is Filmy and Dirty

Dirty Window

The dirt and film will reflect every bit of light coming through it.

Please Move Vehicles From Driveway and Front of Property


This car was not able to be moved and had to remain in the shot.


Please Make Sure All Lights are Plugged In with Working Lightbulbs

Master Bath

Burned Out Lightbulbs Catch the Eye


The Fewer The People In The House – The Better


Honestly, I do my best work when nobody is home. I know this is not always possible – so if there are people home, please try to stay out from in front of the camera. I’ve had to retake countless shots from people walking into it.


Stainless Steel Refrigerators & Appliances

Stainless Steel Refrigerator

Stainless Steel will show EVERYTHING. Look at the fridge from all angles to see what smudges and fingerprints are visible


Secret or Hidden Rooms

Secret Room

I have missed photographing rooms simply because I didn’t see them. Please let me know about hard-to-find areas of the house. This was a hidden bar in the basement of a home I shot. The entrance was a bookshelf door.


Clutter, Jackets, Toys, Dishes…

These items catch the eye and take away from the home.


Don’t Leave “Questionable Items” In View


I didn’t even try to shoot this property – it’s the only one I left and refused to do. Notice the rolled up dollar on the counter.

Allow Ample Time


I do my best work when I am not rushed. I need time to set up lights, and get the best shot and exposure. Generally, most standard houses allow 1.5 to 2 hours. Bigger spaces can require even more time.


Garden Hoses and Lawn Items/Debris

Garden Hose

Garden Hoses and outdoor items take valuable time to put away, and can make my hands dirty, and thus, my camera dirty.


I Love Animals…But…


I’ve had pets knock over my camera, and have had to retake photos because of pets photobombing. Please keep them in a separate area if possible.

Speaking of Pets…


Please let me know if there are any “surprises” in the backyard, or house…or please pick them up before I arrive. I really like my shoes!


Additional Photoshop Fee

I hate to do it, but I have to charge a $50/hour fee for additional photoshop work like removing objects, smudges, pets, people etc.   I’d rather avoid it altogether. 

Additional Home Prep Guide & Tips:

You can get this free home prep guide from Shooting Spaces by going here

2 thoughts on “Home Preparation Guide – Real Estate Photography

  1. Pingback: My Covid-19 Real Estate Photography Guidelines - David Besnette

  2. Pingback: Rookie Mistakes to Avoid as a Real Estate Photographer - How Would You Shoot It

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