Well done real estate photography is crucial and will be the key to peaking the interest in your potential buyers. Anything you can do to soften the home’s appearance will allow a potential buyer to imagine themselves in that space.

The first photographic decision you need to make is what you want for the the look of the images.

A fully occupied residence will certainly photograph differently from a staged home (best option) which will also photograph differently from a vacant home. What is shown in the home’s spaces (inclusive of carpet lines from a professional vacuuming service) will all go a long way for your images. 

Possibly the most important is what NOT to have showing. Packing away anything that could dissuade buyers is at the top of the list:

  • animal beds, bowls & food dispensers, trash cans, cigarette trays, personal hygiene items (such as old lufas & used towels), alcohol, signs or decorations with obscene language, undergarments, toilet brushes & plungers, etc.

To allow your home to look as clean as possible, also focus on these areas:

  • Extra countertop decor and random items will make the area appear smaller (keep ONLY essentials).
  • Clutter on top and on the front of your refrigerator should be gone.
  • All children’s toys should be neatly placed or completely taken out of the home.
  • Extra soap dispensers, step stools, blankets and the like should be hidden.
  • Push items FAR under the beds or make sure a bed skirt hides it all.

Remember that the sides of the home and the back yard will also be photographed and seen by your potential buyers at a showing:

  • hoses should be wrapped neatly, garbage cans need to be completely out of sight & mowing lines are similar to carpet lines when it comes to the feel of freshness.

If you are willing to make drastic changes to attract buyers, think of the overall feel of the home. Think about this:

  • Wall colors should be neutral, such as gray, white or beige.
  • Trim should be clean of grime.
  • Railings should be shined or repainted.

Preparation for the arrival of your photographer is very important:

  • Notify your photographer of special neighborhood “attractions” to shoot (such as a dog park, splash pad, running path, etc).
  • Have a list ready of the features in the home you want detail shots taken. Please note, not all homes have these features. However a shot of an expensive light fixture will add value to your listing.
  • Pack away anything you do not want in your images and place it in a place which you do not plan to have in your images such as an attic, crawl space, garage or inside a vehicle. Do this rather than drag those items around out of the shot. This will allow the photographer adequate focus to ensure no rooms or important shots are overlooked and it will allow the photographer to move quickly through the home.
  • All lights should be working & turned on (with fans turned OFF). You will want the best lighting for your images to be sure that every inch of the image is well lit.
  • All vehicles should be parked inside a garage (if it will not be photographed) or outside of the property lines by at least a few feet. This is to allow a front view photography without personal property.

Speak with your real estate agent or your photographer, but often the following rooms are not photographed for the listing unless they are well kept, fully unoccupied or a major selling point:

  • Inside of the garage
  • Interior of small and regular closets
  • Interior of pantries

Looking for a photographer for the sale of your land or your home? I am available for hire in North Carolina with a few annual options for Arizona, Michigan, South Carolina and Virginia. Pricing can be seen on my website under investment or you can click HERE.


  1. Chelsea did a truly amazing job on our home photos. Every detail was attended to with true professionalism. Her pictures definitely set our home apart and helped it sell quickly. We would recommend her to anyone who is looking to sell their house!


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