How To Prep Your Home for a Photo Shoot

At Milu Media, we’ve prepared a comprehensive guide to get your home camera-ready and one step closer to selling! In this article, we cover three key sections to the home prep process — Exterior Shots and Interior Shots — and it’s all you’ll ever need to prepare your home before your real estate photographer’s scheduled to arrive.

How To Prep Your Home Exterior

Ever heard of the phrase, “it’s not about what’s on the outside but what’s on the inside that counts?” When it comes to real estate photography, the outside counts just as much as the inside. And with the bulk of your life taking place indoors, it’s no wonder that a home’s exterior is often overlooked during the prep process.

That said, below are 5 areas to consider when prepping the exterior sections of your home. Keep in mind that an impeccable exterior can help your property score a great first impression! 

1. Yards & Landscaping

A well-groomed front yard, ideally with some flowers and plants that pop, can certainly set the mood for the rest of the home-viewing experience.

What’s more, a home’s exterior and front lawn are usually the featured image in show sheets, so you’ll want to make sure that the outside sections of your home are as photogenic as possible, starting with your grass.

Grass should be trimmed uniformly for a clean and consistent look. There should be no unruly patches of grass or overgrown shrubs that distract from a uniform look. On the other hand, if your front lawn is comprised of Astroturf or synthetic grass, be sure to spot-clean any stains that may have set into the grass over time.

2. Pathways & Driveways

Are there tire streaks on the driveway leading up to the garage? Are there trash and recycling bins lined up against the curb waiting to be collected by the utility company? Are there any other obstructions that might further distract from the main focus of the image (ie. your home?)

When it comes to real estate photography, these are important questions to consider! So make sure that these areas are unobstructed before the photographer arrives.

And lastly, we know that you’re super proud of your sweet ride, whether it’s a ‘95 Corolla or a ‘21 Maserati, but homebuyers aren’t very keen on viewing pictures of your car (so maybe save that for “Car and Driver” Mag?)

3. Unsightly Elements

Piggybacking off Step #2, you should check for unsightly elements that could derail your real estate photography efforts, such as tricycles parked on freshly mowed lawns, water hoses coiled over rusty pipes, and stray garden shovels staked into the soil.

Seriously, not even the adorable child swing hanging from a branch of your olive tree is safe.

In real estate photography, less is certainly more.

4. Windows & Doors

If you’re already prepping the front and back exteriors of your home, we’d like you to take a moment and glance at each exterior section. 

(Go ahead. We’ll wait.)

Alright, so now that you’re back, may we ask, Where did your eye go? What exactly did you see?

A basic interior design trick is to design around a conversation piece in every room. This conversation piece could be a blush wingback chair or an exquisite marble top coffee table that your eye will be immediately drawn to. And then, as you survey the rest of the area, everything else centered around the design will sort of just make sense.

You can apply the same technique to your home exterior and really up the ante in your real estate photography game.

For example, you might not know the house number for your neighbor down the street, but you know that her door is painted in a “school bus yellow” that you can’t help but notice as you drive past.

Before you splash a gallon of yellow paint on your front door, ask yourself if there could be a “conversation piece” to your home exterior that your real estate photographer can capture during the photo shoot. This should be something eye-grabbing, such as an ornate door knocker or a comfy seating area.

At the very least, you should aim to keep your front and back doors clean and presentable. That goes for window panes, too.

5. Outdoor Entertaining

Does your home boast an appealing deck, patio area, or gazebo?

If your home is rich in outdoor amenities, use them!

Good real estate photography showcases exterior areas in your home where the prospective buyer can imagine themselves spending time. This can be a BBQ grill area, swimming pool, or zen garden.

Remember, your goal is to entice the homebuyer to set up a viewing of your property right away, and a flawless photoshoot (highlighting exteriors as much as interiors) is the quickest way to accomplish this.

How To Prep Your Home Interior

At Milu Media, our photographers are instructed not to rearrange items in your home when they arrive to snap pictures. This is why the below 3 steps to prepping your home’s interior are crucial. 

Before we dive in, note that a home is best captured when empty, so no photobombing with your pets and guests in the background, please.

Also, our photographers don’t photoshop items out of the pictures, so if you don’t want that lava lamp on your nightstand to be featured, please do your best to remove it.

1. Declutter

In real estate photography, knickknacks are no bueno, that goes for the spice jars on the kitchen counter and the piles of bills on the dinner table.

To ensure that all interior rooms are camera-ready, please put away all personal care items including laundry bags, toys, pet beds, food, and water bowls. 

It’s also recommended that you remove personal photos, such as framed pictures or photo albums that are otherwise on display.

And lastly, if you care to leave towel linens hanging on rods in the bathroom, opt for colors like white and beige to offer a neutral palette to the viewer.

2. Lighting

Light is an important element to consider when prepping your home for the real estate photographer.

Make sure that all light bulbs are working properly and that they’re switched on. 

Also, leaving all doors open in each room can help brighten up your spaces even more and aid the real estate photographer in capturing more depth to your spaces.

3. Cleanliness

To prepare for the perfect interior shots, your home should be sparkly clean and uber tidy.

To that end, ensure that all beds are neatly made, vacuum and clean all carpets and rugs, empty out all sinks, showers and bathtubs, lower all toilet seats, wipe all counters, surfaces and mirrors, and put away all waste bins.

We can’t stress enough that when it comes to real estate photography, visual details matter, which is why you should strive to conceal electric wires (if possible) and to arrange furniture items in an aesthetically pleasing way.

For instance, you can fluff up the pillows on your couch and arrange them through color coordination.

 

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Pam Sigel
Pam SigelColdwell Banker
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Thank you for making my listings sell! “The Milu Media team is Awesome! As a top producing Realtor, I have a high standard. Milu Media Team delivers everytime! Sometimes I need photos the next day and Milu Media is there for me. My photos go everywhere from the mls, to fliers, to social media and they have to show the home In the best light-again Milu Media delivers. I can’t give Patrice and James enough praise – Thank you for making my listings sell!”
Vince Sheehan & Stacy Lynch
Vince Sheehan & Stacy LynchRE/MAX Gold
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Milumedia is a part of our team, and has absolutely contributed to our success over the years. Lots of work goes into getting a property ready, so when it comes to unveiling a home for sale to the online world, gorgeous photography matters! We need artful and stunning photos, so we call on the Milumedia team. They are easy to book, flexible on timing, and quick to turn-around high quality MLS and print photos & videos. Milumedia is a part of our team, and has absolutely contributed to our success over the years. If you’re looking for ‘best in practice’ photography or smooth and sexy real estate video, call James and the gang.
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Peg & Jeremy KingColdwell Banker
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The Milu Media team is always fast, efficient, and accommodating. “The Milu Media team is always fast, efficient, and accommodating. Whether we need simple photos, a drone shot, or some video editing in a couple days or a couple weeks, we rest assured they can handle it without dropping the details. The quality of the products are always top-notch and drive the our property marketing every time we use them. A great team that provide a great service!”
Tim Johnson
Tim JohnsonColdwell Banker
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As the complexity of online marketing has evolved during that time, the staff at Milu Media has risen to the occasion in numerous ways to help me stay one step ahead of the competition. “I have been working with the staff at Milu Media for approximately ten years. During that time I have found them to be extremely creative, reliable and most importantly, flexible when my schedule required it. As the complexity of online marketing has evolved during that time, the staff at Milu Media has risen to the occasion in numerous ways to help me stay one step ahead of the competition. I can truthfully say I owe a good deal of my success to the innovation and creativity they were able to supply me with through their excellent services. I would highly recommend them to anyone in need of state of the art photography or videography.”
Candace & Keith Nordstrom
Candace & Keith NordstromColdwell Banker
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The Milu Media Team not only listens to our vision for each property, but they take creativity to the next level. “We have a reputation of being very picky with regards to who we choose to represent our listings because “getting it right” is always our goal in exposing a property with style and finesse. The Milu Media Team not only listens to our vision for each property, but they take creativity to the next level, and ALWAYS give a finished product that helps us to sell “the magic”, which has produced huge results for our clients. We hired them because we liked their positive energy and their Can-Do attitudes. We’ll keep them on our team because their finished product is one of the best we’ve seen!”
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