Real Estate Photography Checklist


You’ll have your home professionally photographed. The camera is a very unforgiving device: everything that is in the frame will become part of the photo, and affect the entire image. In order to have a smooth and efficient photo session, please go through the following checklist thoroughly. Contact me or your agent with any questions or concerns at least one day before the photo session is scheduled.

Please avoid the day of trash collection for the photo shoot! Curbside trash cans are extremely unsightly and moving them out of view may not always be possible, especially for town homes and condominiums inside a complex with shared driveways.

Photos will be taken of all major rooms in the home. This includes living areas, bedrooms, bathrooms, office rooms, workout rooms, entertainment rooms, etc. Unfinished basements, attics, garages, closets and other utility rooms usually will not be photographed, unless specifically requested. Specialty features, both indoor and outdoor, that you would like photographed will be included at your request. Outdoor features such as a pool, hot tub, tennis court or waterfall display will be included in the exterior shoot. Keep these notes in mind as you go through the checklist.

Indoor checklist:

  • All lights are working (every bulb is good)
  • Vacuum all carpets
  • Clean all hard floors (reflections will reveal dust & dirt)
  • Dust thoroughly
  • Hide excess furniture to avoid “crammed” rooms, create space
  • Remove magazines, newspapers, letters, paperwork from desks, tables etc.
  • Empty all trash, hide trash cans
  • Remove clutter like remote controls, pens, DVDs, cables, etc.
  • Pick up & stow away all toys
  • Clean glass surfaces and windows
  • Open & neatly arrange drapes, blinds and shades
  • Turn off all electronics (TVs, computers, etc.)
  • Clean kitchen appliances, especially if stainless steel
    (try Orange Glow furniture polish for stainless steel, works miracles)
  • Clear & stow away all dishes, towels, cleaning supplies, soaps, lotions, etc.
  • Remove family photos (hanging on walls may be okay, tabletops no)
  • Make beds neatly, arrange decorate pillows
  • Furniture should be neatly organized — place dining table chairs equidistant from the table, puff up couch pillows, etc.
  • Clean bathrooms, hang matching towels, shut toilet lids, stow away shampoo bottles etc.

Outdoor checklist:

  • Have key/access code for common area/pool/gym ready, if required.
  • All lights are working (every bulb is good)
  • Cut hedges/bushes, mow lawns, remove weeds, trim edges, rake leaves, especially around walkways
  • Keep pets out of view (no need to remove them, I am pet friendly)
  • Pool should be clean of dirt and clutter and all lights turned on
  • Driveway and walkways should be clean (do NOT hose down!)
  • Empty planters or pots should be filled or removed
  • Water hose should be rolled up neatly/stowed away
  • Grill should be cleaned and uncovered
  • neatly arrange patio furniture, place pillows on outdoor chairs, open sun umbrella
  • Close garage and park all vehicles off-site

Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!

While this is mentioned above, it needs to be stressed:

  • remove as much clutter as possible!
  • decorative items on shelves, nightstands, countertops etc. should be large in size, and very few (no small trinkets etc., these are often personal items and should be removed anyway)
  • remove all magnets etc. from the fridge (sides/doors)
  • no toiletries, perfume bottles, toothbrushes etc. on bathroom counters
  • no soap/shampoo/shower gel bottles in the shower.
  • no brushes, sponges, soap, dish soap etc. at the kitchen sink
  • stow away as many loose items as possible; get them out of sight
  • you want attention to the beauty of your property; small items draw attention AWAY from the room so HIDE THEM

Thank you very much for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

This list is based on the work of fellow photographer and friend Jennifer Luzio and used with kind permission.