5 Tips For Preparing Your Home For Real Estate Photography

2019-11-21T21:07:23+00:00 13th September 2019|Categories: Property|Tags: , |

When preparing your home for real estate photography the main thing to remember is that you want to give the prospective buyer a good reason to come and have a closer look at what you are bringing onto the property market. 

The way I help you to do that is to visually show the cool factor of your home in the best possible way. I want to tell a story of how the rooms flow, any special features the home has and what makes it a good proposition for the buyer. 

I’m not looking to photograph every inch of the property and as such I tend not to photograph things like W/C’s, storerooms, laundries and any other messy areas. I want to show Wow! rather than meh. The most important areas to photograph are the living room, kitchen and any entertainment spaces you may have, so I prefer to do multiple angles of those than cover rooms that are not going to be good reasons for people to come and have a look at what you’re selling.

Here are some tips I can give you that will help you achieve the best from your photo shoot. 

1. De-clutter

If you have a maximalist approach to decor know that this is going to make it very difficult for a prospective buyer to visualise how their furniture or tastes will translate to the space you are showing. 

Removing some small furnishings can go a long way towards creating the impression of space, so typically if you have a lot of side tables and single chairs in a living room, rather take them out of the space and put them in the garage while we are doing the photo shoot. Leave the essentials like sofas and coffee tables in place. 

In the kitchen you should de-clutter counters as much as possible. Appliances like blenders, bread makers, etc, take up big chunks of counter space which can make your kitchen look very small. If you are using the top of cupboards to store appliance boxes rather remove them for the shoot as they will make your space look very tacky. 

In your bedrooms be sure to make up the beds neatly and put away all clothing, toys, fans and heaters. 

Outdoor areas should be tidy also. Put away garden hoses, buckets, dogs beds, toys, etc. Park your car in the garage or if you have no space try to leave it outside for the shoot. Mow the lawn! Don’t hang up laundry on the day we do the photos. 

In the bathroom please remove all toothbrushes, face cloths, towels and any other toiletries that create the impression of clutter. 


preparing your home for real estate photography

2. Clean Up

Typically the photos that real estate agents use are low resolution, so dirt doesn’t show up unless it’s really bad. What you want to do is give a good sweeping of all the floors, outside areas and of course wipe away any mess on your counters (especially if you have just removed the blender that hasn’t been moved in the last 20 years!). 

Windows are not always a big problem when I do interiors because I prefer to let those blow out, but if one of the major selling points of your home is the view then I will do what we call a “window pull” in Photoshop so that the outside is visible. For this to work you will want to make sure that your windows are clean. 

preparing your home for real estate photography

3. Emphasise Flow

Big sliding security gates like Trellidors that lead to patios need to be opened, as well as any folding or sliding doors, but please close the garage doors. 

Curtains should be opened, however if you are using Venetian blinds I prefer to show those at a 45 degree angle, so rather leave them in the down state slightly opened (unless the view is a selling point). 

preparing your home for real estate photography

4. Set The Stage

In the USA there are staging companies who come into your home and do what they call “staging” of the decor to help make the home more appealing for the photo shoot. Obviously there is a bit of a price tag attached to doing that, but there are some things you can do yourself when preparing your home for real estate photography. 

Fresh flowers are always a happy addition to any home. Go out and buy some small bunches and place them in vases in strategic areas, such as on the dining room table, sideboards or even in the kitchen. 

Set up entertainment areas as you would if you were about to entertain guests, ie. place all the cushions on your outdoor furniture, put up the umbrella on your patio or deck, expand the retractable awnings, get the jacuzzi fired up. Show off! 

preparing your home for real estate photography

5. Lighting

Photography is all about light. Typically I will brighten up all areas in post production, but I do ask that all the inside lights in the home are turned on. The reason for this is that while the lights themselves don’t affect the overall exposure of my photographs, they do model the texture and shape of other things that are in the room. This can make a room seem a bit more alive than with the lights all turned off.

Colour temperature should be consistent, so please try to keep your light bulbs uniform in colour, especially bedside lamps (warm white is best).

preparing your home for real estate photography

Remember, as with anything that gets sold the first impression counts, so the photos I make are really very important to get people interested. I hope that you found these 5 tips for preparing your home for real estate photography helpful and I look forward to working together with you to get your home sold quickly. If you have any questions about the process or you need clarity on anything please just drop me a line on 0711331733.


Welcome! I am a commercial photographer operating in the Durban area, specialising in property and product photography.

Contact Info

Phone: +27 71 133 1733