Photoshoot Preparation

Thanks for choosing First Showing Photography! The purpose of this preparation guide is to ensure you get the best possible results from your photoshoot. We’ll photograph a property in any condition, however, by following these guidelines, you can be sure to get the best possible images and the most interest in your listing.

  • Preparation will take longer than expected. Don’t wait until the last minute to start readying the home for photography! The cleaner the house, the better it will photograph—but removing all clutter is most essential.
  • Regardless of the level of preparation, it should be completed before the photo session is scheduled. We cannot shoot a house while someone is cleaning it.
  • Generally speaking, worry about the physically larger problem areas first. Don’t fret over a little dust when there’s a pile of stuff in the room.
  • Items not to be photographed should be completely obscured from view. Hide them in closets, cabinets, garages, etc. As opposed to a hallway, or a room that’s going to be photographed.
  • If you place a storage container under a bed or a box beside the refrigerator, it will often still be visible in the photo.
  • Lights everywhere in the house (with the exception of closets) should be turned on. Don’t forget the small lamps! The photographer doesn’t know where all the switches in a particular home are exactly or how they work, and finding them takes up a lot of precious time during a shoot. We would kindly ask that lights be turned on before the photographer arrives.
  • All ceiling fans throughout the entire home should be turned off prior to the photographer’s arrival. These can be difficult to turn off and take a while to finally stop moving. The photographer will not be equipped with a stool and cannot climb on beds to turn these off.
  • Televisions, computer screens, and projectors should be off.
  • In the kitchen, hide away refrigerator magnets, paper towel rolls, pet feeding dishes and beds, as well as trash cans. Dried hard water stains tends to show on dark-colored lower cabinets. Clean fingerprints from stainless steel or black appliances.
  • In bathrooms, clean the mirrors and shower doors. Put down toilet seats. Take brightly colored bottles and other items out of the shower and hide them if they are visible.
  • Replace any nonfunctional light bulbs, and consider replacing any mismatched color light bulbs.
  • We’ll change the blinds as necessary, but usually they should be angled upward and just about closed.
  • If the driveway is in front of the house, it’s best to move the vehicles to the street. (In front of the house on the street is usually ok.)
  • Make sure the lawn is as clear of leaves and debris as possible.
  • If it becomes overcast, and depending on a few other factors, it might make sense to reschedule. Keep this in mind before doing a lot of preparation on the day of the shoot. (We can certainly put a blue sky in your photos, but this has its limitations. Especially if there are going to be many shots of outdoor property.)


During the Photoshoot

  • A typical photoshoot runs 60-120 minutes.
  • With more than one person other than the photographer present, it’s almost impossible to keep people out of the photos. We only use premium ultra-wide angle lenses, which will see you at even extreme angles on either side of the camera. It will catch you even if you’re standing all the way down a hallway across the house, on another floor, in a reflection, or outside a window.
  • In our experience, moving a group of people from room to room during a shoot is just not a workable solution. It’s difficult to tell if you’re standing in the photo area or not, so the photographer has to instruct people where to go and wait for the scene to be clear. When people are milling about just off camera, the photographer must wait to make sure they aren’t walking into the scene, or ask them to move and try to determine where they can safely hide. This process can increase the time required for a photoshoot by 30-60 minutes.
  • Pets obviously must be kept out of all areas being photographed. But keep in mind that they often will get into the photos if they are standing by the windows in the backyard. Consider putting them in the garage for the duration of the shoot.
  • Our photographers have limited time to spend on each property, so we would kindly ask that you vacate the premises of as many people and pets as reasonably possible to ensure a quick, painless photo session. Thanks for understanding!