Preparation is Everything

Your final finished images will work overtime to help your efforts to get your property noticed.  Once all your care and preparation and the beauty of your property is captured in bright, cheerful images, potential buyers will have them at their fingertips to review again and again.  Remember the last time you may have visited one or two or maybe more properties, and later couldn't remember details and tried to recall which home had which feature?  Or possibly your home had a showing and you return to find you had forgotten to make the beds.  Take comfort knowing your great images will allow your clients to browse at their leisure,  and see everything at its very best.

What you can expect on the Day of your Photo Session:  On arrival to take your photos, we will talk about your property's best features and consider ways to make your images shine.  Normally the session will take about an hour to complete.  I will capture all living areas, make sure everything is well lit and cheerful, add a cozy warm atmosphere with fire in fireplaces, and insure the all-important front image has an ideal blue and puffy cloud sky.

Checklist in preparing for your shoot:

Exteriors:  Cars need to be parked at least 20 ft from the front of the house, garage doors must be closed, and yard lights look best on, even in daylight.  Tidy yards are so important.  Check for garden hoses or other common items that may look nicer when neatly coiled or removed.  Grass should be recently cut, landscape areas near the home checked for weeds, bushes and flowers trimmed if needed.  Arrange cushions on patio furniture, and if you have patio umbrellas they look great in the up position. Potted flowers can be moved during the shoot to decorate more than one location. If interested in requesting DRONE images, consider visibility issues due to tree cover, or condition of roofing or neighboring property.

Interiors - Lighting, Personal Items, and Final Prep:  Light makes your home sparkle and can't be underrated.  All overhead lights and lamps on, and check for burned out bulbs.   Ceiling fans should be off so the blades won't look blurry.  Open all curtains to let that cheerful natural light in.  Consider removing larger personal photos that will be recognizable in your images, or ask for them to blurred.  You will benefit from removing highly unusual or controversial items that may attract too much attention.  We want buyers to focus instead on the inviting space and layout of your home.  On the day of the shoot, freshly dust and wipe down table tops as the camera really enhances gleaming surfaces.

Kitchens and Baths:  These are the most challenging rooms.  Counters just look larger when mostly clear, so show them off!  Open space on counters instantly conveys the feeling of cleanliness and plentiful storage.  Display higher end appliances, a pretty bowl of fruit or vegetables, a fancy baked cake, attractive stack of books, or fresh flowers, but tuck away smaller appliances and other items that may be crowding the counter space.  Kitchen appliances are an important consideration of the sale, so show them off as well by removing magnets, calendars and notes, or towels.  Always move inside cabinets any medicine bottles, Kleenex boxes, all cleaning items such as soaps and paper towels, personal grooming items such as toothbrushes and shaving gear, lotions and shampoo bottles.  Bathroom counters are best virtually bare.  Small scatter rugs, waste baskets, etc., must be removed to allow buyers to see the flooring.  Fresh towels for baths is a winning option, and some folks will buy plush new white towels just for the shoot.  Newly polished counter tops and shower doors are an inviting last detail.    

Pets:  No one loves animals more than me, but your buyers may have allergies, etc.  It is best to hide pet bowls, beds, and toys to insure those buyers do not eliminate your home from consideration.  We can usually just move those items as we go from room to room.

Day of Shoot Staging:  It is typical to adjust certain items during your session where something appears distorted in the camera lens, or where something appears to distract from showcasing your room. Your beautiful photos will attract lots of interest showing your home at it's sparkling best for potential buyers to review again and again as they make their decision. Your real estate professional will give great advise for prepping your property, and if any items you stow need to remain packed during the sale process, or if they need only be moved for the photo session.  Often items that are stowed for photos can be returned to their normal place in your home for your comfort and convenience after the photo session is complete.

Keep it Easy as Possible:  A last note, some preparation can be simpler than you may think.  We do not normally photograph closets, hallways, attics, garages, unfinished basements, storage sheds, etc., unless you have a feature that you wish to be shown.  Kitchen sinks and bathtubs are handy places to stash bottles and small items, even inside dishwashers or ovens.  In other rooms behind an open door can work for stashing scatter rugs or waste baskets, or behind a couch cushion is a handy place to store remote controls and other items.  Keep these spaces in mind as these and other creative places out of camera view can make stowing away extra items quick and easier to replace once photos are finished.  Additionally vacuuming and window washing is often something that will not show one way or the other.  If you have windows facing a sunny backdrop, that may warrant washing, but often the camera does not show that level of detail on glass the sun is not shining through.  I am happy to work with property owners and agents to get those final prep jobs done efficiently during the shoot, and strive to make it a low stress process for the sellers!  You will see in the final images that all the preparation will be well worth it!