Your Home's Photo Shoot: A Comprehensive 20-Point Checklist | Griffioen

Your Home's Photo Shoot: A Comprehensive 20-Point Checklist

by Caleb Griffioen - 29 October, 2023

Your Home's Photo Shoot: A Comprehensive 20-Point Checklist

Your Home's Photo Shoot: A Comprehensive 20-Point Checklist

Great photography is one of those effective marketing tools we’ll have when it comes to promoting your home, so it’s important that we put our best foot forward when it comes to preparing for the photo shoot.

When the photographer shows up, they will walk around the property and spend some time seeking out the most important aspects to highlight to potential buyers. As professionals, they know how to showcase your property’s best attributes. Their skill set and post-production tools allow them to manipulate light and space to make your home look as bright and as spacious as possible.

You will get the most out of our photographer if your home is entirely ready when they arrive. You want their attention to be focused on a bright and clean home, not on the work it takes to get to that point.

Here’s a twenty-step checklist to prepare for your home’s photo shoot. I hope you find it helpful!



(1) Clear and clean kitchen counters 🍴

When the kitchen counters are completely cleared, it makes the kitchen look more prominent and buyers can imagine how they might use the space. Coffee machines, toasters and other small appliances can often make the kitchen appear cluttered. Remove everything except for a few decorative items from the bench - a cook book, fresh flowers and a bowl of fresh fruit can be a great touch. Remove tea towels and oven mitts from your oven door.


(2) Replace blown light bulbs 💡

Be sure to check all of the ceiling lights to make sure they work. Use table and floor lamps to further enhance your home’s ambient lighting.


(3) Turn on all lights throughout the entire house 🔛

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography. Turn on all of the lights in your home, including lamps and exterior lights (especially for twilight photography).


(4) Open all curtains and blinds 🪟

Natural light from windows brings life and emotion into real estate photos. Let in as much light as possible. If it’s too bright outside, your photographer will alter your blinds and curtains to balance the shot. Don’t forget to clean the windows!


(6) Declutter 📦

Clutter eats equity! You can dramatically improve the look and feel of your home by removing any unnecessary furniture, knick-knacks and general clutter. Donate surplus items, load up the garage, or hire a storage unit if required.


(7) Depersonalise 🖼

It's hard for buyers to visualise themselves in your house if your personal items are everywhere. Buyers want to believe that the home was made especially for them. Since you want your buyers to focus on the house and not on you, you'll need to remove all private photos and articles from the entire home.


(8) Remove floor mats and runners

Floor mats and runners are great at protecting your floors, but they can make the overall floor space look smaller and can clutter the photo. On the other hand, rugs can be used to provide contrast and demarcate a space.


(9) Turn off all ceiling fans, TVs and computer screens 📺

We recommend turning off anything that moves or causes motion blur. Remember to clean your TV and computer screens as marks are easily seen on black screens.


(10) Clear appliance surfaces

Remove all magnets, calendars and personal items from your fridge. Not only will this make your home appear tidier, it also keeps your personal info safe from the general public.


(11) Make all of the beds 🛏

Be sure to make and decorate all the beds with light colours to brighten up the space. Use cushions and throws to add a splash of colour - you may wish to use the colours in your drapes to tie the room together. Insert two duvets into your duvet cover (a size larger than your bed) and stuff two pillows into your pillowcases to create that plush magazine look.


(12) Give your bathrooms a heavy edit 🛁

Store all shampoo bottles, shower gels, toothbrushes and toiletries away out of sight. Ensure showers, mirrors and tapware are sparkling clean. Use the marketing of your home to treat yourself to some fancy hand soap (think Aesop, Aromatherapy Co or Ecoya) to enhance the aesthetic. Put your good guest towels out on display and finish off with a small flower arrangement or indoor plant.


(13) Clear all night stands and dressers 🌙

Nightstands tend to accumulate items naturally. Magazines, prescription bottles, tissues, and electronic devices will quickly clutter these areas. Remove everything but a lamp and one or two pieces such as a nice candle or ornament to make the space look clean and presentable. Think of a freshly cleaned hotel room.


(14) Remove all pet items 🐈

It’s time to put that scratching post, dog crate or litter box away and out of sight.


(15) Tidy up the garden and mow the lawns 🏡

First impressions are crucial, so make sure that the front yard is cleaned up. Your gardens need to be trimmed back and tidy. The first picture that people will see of your home will be the outside back yard shot. This photo needs to be presented in its very best condition to grab the buyer's attention immediately.


(16) Sweep up the entranceway, patio and deck 🚪

This step is imperative in autumn when leaves accumulate daily. Ensure that the entire front and back porches are swept clean. Stage these areas with flowers and plants to create a space that invites homebuyers in. Invest in a new door mat to maximise that first impression.


(17) Remove all cars from the street and driveway 🚙

It’s never good to have cars in the driveway during real estate photos. Move all cars, bikes and trailers away from the front of your home.


(18) Hide all wheelie bins and lawn equipment 🗑

Those bright-lidded wheelie bins and stray garden hoses won’t be doing our photos any favours!


(19) Remove the BBQ and spa pool covers

It’s time to show off your home’s outdoor entertaining capacity. If your BBQ isn’t in a presentable state, then best keep it out of view.


(20) Open up patio umbrellas ⛱

If it's not too windy during your photoshoot, be sure to open up any patio umbrellas to stage the area. Dust off your outdoor dining set and set up the space as though you will enjoy it with friends later. Fresh outdoor pillows and flowers will create an inviting space for your photographer to highlight while they're in your backyard.



A few extra things to be aware of:


Be prepared to reschedule 🗓

Most photographers work around the weather because it has such a substantial impact on the final marketing materials. It's impossible to fly drones and get footage if it's raining or too windy. Be prepared to have us call and reschedule your photoshoot if the weather takes a dramatic turn for the worst. If a professional photographer determines they should wait, trust them that it's for the best.


Be prepared to leave for a couple of hours 🕓

It's best to plan to leave your home and give the photographer a non-occupied space to work with. It also helps them not to get distracted. Even if you're shuffling from room to room to "stay out of the way," it's very distracting. You will get the most out of the process if the home is unoccupied.



Summary 🤗

Your home's marketing is the most important piece of the selling puzzle. It begins with your preparation, paired with a great photographer. Having the items on this checklist completed will ensure that your home will be ready before the photographer arrives. This move will enable you to get the most out of their time and talent.


You've likely done a lot of work to get your home ready to sell. Don't fizzle out at the end when these details matter the most! Remember, great marketing leads to great offers!