How to prepare your property for photography

Hello, my name is James. I have been photographing properties in Bristol as well as the South West for the past 8 years. I have worked on all types of properties, from small flats in the city to estates in the country.

I have created this guide on how to prepare your property for photography to improve your property photographs. All the information you need to know about preparing your property can be found below. Following this information will help to get more interest in your property.

The service lasts approximately 50-60 minutes. It starts with a tour of the property and myself suggesting the order to photograph each room.

james-billett-property-photographer

What if it’s overcast or raining?

Generally speaking, interior images look fine on wet or overcast days. If the property has floor to ceiling windows or similar ask your estate agent to re-arrange. Exteriors on the other hand do look much better on clear days and at the right time of day for the property. It is possible to replace skies on overcast days but I am unable to remove the wet floor. This is up to your Estate Agent to arrange for the shoot to take place at the best time.

Clutter Clutter Clutter

In property world its location location location, in the photography world it’s clutter clutter clutter. Everyone has some clutter. It’s natural but it doesn’t help your house sell. The best places to hide clutter is in cupboards or anywhere pictures won’t be taken. If you run out of space, place the items in boxes and leave them in room and I can adivse.

Pets

As lovely as your cat, dog, hamster or guinia pig is, potential buyers don’t need to see them. Please keep pets out of the way, and  remove pet beds/toys/pet waste before I arrive.

Exteriors

The front exterior is usually the first photo any potential buyers will see so it needs to look immaculate. Paint anything that needs painting and remove anything that needs removing. I can move bins and recycling boxes when I take the photographs.

  • If terraced, park car in front of property and move for picture
  • Mow the lawn
  • Remove any visible weeds
  • Remove any garden matter, leaves, wood or any kind of waste not in a bin.
  • Sweep the drive/pavement if there is dust, leaves or litter
  • Remove/hide all garden toys
  • Open the curtains/blinds to match on all visible windows
  • Clean tables and chairs
  • Put lids on BBQ’s
  • Remove bikes

Bedrooms

Bedrooms are generally shot to show a window and fireplace if present. If unable to hide clutter please leave in the corridor outside the bedroom.

  • Make the bed (please don’t leave clothing under the pillows – it shows)
  • Remove/hide things from top of wardrobes
  • Remove/hide things showing under bed (so many lovely shots ruined by this)
  • Remove/hide phone chargers if visible
  • Remove/hide glasses, cups from bedside table
  • Arrange curtains evenly
  • Close windows
  • Remove/hide personal items including: jewellery, photographs, deodorant, dentures, sleepwear
  • Remove/hide cots

Bathrooms

Removing toiletries from the bathroom can go a long way in depersonalising your bathroom. It’s often easiest to put them all in a box and leave them on the bathroom floor by the door.

  • Remove all toiletries (soaps, shampoos, tooth brushes, loofahs etc)
  • Remove cleaning products/cloths
  • Removing dressing gowns
  • Ensure any towels visible are not creased
  • Put the toilet seat down
  • Remove the bin (this can be put by the toilet door)
  • Remove the toilet brush (this can be put by the toilet door)
  • If you decide to clean the bathroom on the day of photography, please allow a few hours for it to dry

Hallways (may not apply)

Hallways are only photographed if they are wide or if they feature intricate details such as stained glass windows. I can advise on the day. Please be prepared to move anything.

  • Remove/hide coats
  • Remove/hide shoes
  • Be aware that people in photographs on the wall may be visible
  • Straighten rugs to be parallel with wall
  • Tidy any electrical cables that may be visible

Living Rooms and Snugs

Living rooms are really important to get right in pictures. The main shot will be to show the windows and fireplace. A second shot may be taken if it adds something to the property.

  • For fireplaces or wood burners, have 2-3 pieces of newspaper ready to light. This looks much better than a wood fire
  • Remove any personal photographs
  • Fluff sofa, cushions and arrange throws nicely
  • Place TV remote controls out of sight or neatly in front of TV
  • Remove toys
  • Draw curtains as wide as possible but keep them neat and even
property-photography-guide-living-room

Dining Rooms

It’s always good to have at least enough chairs around the table to match the number of people the property sleeps. If you have less it suggests the property is not big enough for that number of people to live in.

  • Match the number of chairs with how many people the property sleeps
  • Fresh flowers or candles on the table always look good
  • Remove photographs
  • Remove any clutter from the room
  • Organise possessions on shelving
  • Remove paperwork if your dining room doubles up as your home office

Kitchens

Arguably one of the most important rooms to show well. Make sure the kitchen is clean and decluttered the rest will take care of itself.

  • Hide/remove all electrical appliances except for kettle, toaster and microwave.
  • Hide/remove all detergents and cloths
  • Hide/remove any tea towels
  • Hide/remove any pet food bowls/trays
  • Hide/remove fridge magnets
  • Hide/remove children’s drawings
  • Place flowers on kitchen table/work top/window

Utility Rooms/Offices

These can go either way. It’s often useful showing this room but not essential. It will be on your floor plan. Unless it looks good I would recommend not showing it.

  • Remove/hide washing from washer/dryer
  • Remove/hide detergents
  • Remove/hide pet food/bowls/litter trays
  • Straighten rug
This service is a property photography service for estate agents. This is not architectural photography or editorial photography that you see in magazines. Architectural, Editorial, and Advertising photography is much more time intensive and includes re-arranging furniture, stylists, lighting and waiting for perfect ambient light. Typically, in a whole day 12 images would be reasonable. Property photography is about showing space and the strengths of a property.