Real Estate Photography & Video Preparation Checklist

The photographs or video tours of your home or business are the most important part of making a great first impression. While we may do some staging, we do not clean rooms or organize things, so it is important that the property is prepared in advance of our arrival. Completing this checklist before the photographer arrives makes the process go fast and smooth. Remember the camera sees EVERYTHING - the cleanliness & neatness of the scenes we photograph impacts directly on the quality of our photography. We can fix some things digitally after the fact at your request, but this is time intensive and can increase your costs. Please use this checklist to help you prepare your home or business for that crucial first impression. 

Listing real estate sales associates and home sellers - The goal is to enable potential buyers to project themselves into the home.
Business Virtual Tours - The goal is to showcase and reflect your business atmosphere and create an experience for your customers.

Twilight Interior or Exterior Photo Shoot (dusk or dawn)

  • Turn on all exterior and interior lights.
  • Be sure that all blinds and curtains are pulled open so that the light can through the windows.
  • Don’t forget to turn on the pool lights.
  • Use candles to illuminate outdoor entertainment areas.
  • Light fire pits and fireplaces (even if it’s summertime).

Typical Daytime Production Shoot

  • The photo-shoot will take no more than 2 hours. I will be photographing both the inside and outside of your home/business.
  • I’ll be photographing all of the major rooms.
  • We normally do not photograph the garage unless it has special features.
  • If you have special features of your home/business that are not obvious please let me know about these so I include them in the shoot.

Consider procuring small flower arrangements, fresh fruit and loose tropical flowers to be used in the photo or video shoot.
INSIDE HOME GENERAL - Home should be cleaned and staged as for a showing.

  • Replace all missing or burnt out light bulbs in light fixtures.
  •  Clean windows and screens.
  • Add or remove valuable artwork.
  • If your home/business contains valuable works of art that is difficult to move, we can edit photos to make these items unrecognizable or make sure the are not in the photographs.
  • Dust everything.
  • Remove cobwebs.
  • Raise all Blinds to the mid way point of the windows.
  • Hide all remote controls.
  • Move cords out of sight(lamp, extension, computer, etc.).
  • Remove all personal photos.
  • Clear home office of all clutter. Box up loose papers.


  • Fish in clean tank, Ok. All other pets out of sight.
  • Be sure any pets are contained in an area of the house that will not be photographed. (Garage or Utility room).
  • Remove any signs that you have pets. (crates, food, toys, water bowls, litter box, etc.).


  • Towels on towel bars.
  • Remove toilet covers.
  • Remove all items out of the shower and bath.
  • Remove all items from the bathroom counter tops.
  • Close the lids to all toilets.
  • Remove all floor mats and area rugs in the bathroom and kitchen; unbroken floor space increases perceived square footage.
  • Hide garbage.


  • Clear all items off bedside tables.
  • Bedrooms, beds made, tidy.
  • Closets, tidy with nicely hung clothing; floors cleared.
  • Avoid hiding items under the beds. They will be seen in the photograph.
  • For family safety, remove children’s names from bedroom. The images of their room will be posted on the MLS. (people should know your address and not your children’s names.).


  • Remove all dishes from the sink.
  • Remove all appliances and clutter from kitchen counters.
  • Remove all magnets, photos, notes and items off the surface of the refrigerator. Remove fingerprints.

GARAGE - Not normally photographed unless it has special features.

  • No vehicles.
  • Clean, de-cluttered.
  • As much ‘off’ floor as possible.

HIDE (out of sight)

  • Hide all remote controls.
  • Hide garbage cans.
  • Brooms & other cleaning supplies & equipment.
  • Trashcans.
  • Hide all remote controls.
  • Cleaning supplies.
  • Magazines.
  • Books.
  • Coffeemakers (etc.).
  • Tissue boxes.
  • Religious items.
  • Political items.
  • Broken decorations.
  • Exposed power cords.
  • Pet dishes, crates & toys.
  • Boxes.


  • All ceiling fans.
  • Computers.
  • Televisions.


  • Turn on all interior lights, lamps and overhead lighting in the home.


  • Move any cars that are in the driveway down the street or in the garage.
  • Move outside trash cans and hoses to the garage or at the end of the drive, near the street.
  • Yard should be prepped as it would be for a showing - Grass, freshly cut and raked.
  • Prune trees, foliage.
  • Move BBQ grill into the garage.
  • Pool should be debris free with clean, clear water.
  • Hoses and pool cleaners should be removed from pool.
  • Patio/Lanai floors should be dirt and dust free.
  • Patio Furniture should be clean. Covers should be removed.
  • Clean, Swept, & Dry: Driveways, Sidewalks, Decks, Patios,  Staircases.

HIDE (out of sight)

  • Trashcans.
  • Garden tools, hoses, and sprinklers. 
  • Lawn equipment.
  • Vehicles - No parking in front of home.
  • Toys (including in pool areas).