Prepping For Pictures: A Checklist For Your Real Estate Photography

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.

Washington Washes Worries Away

Washington was an incredible undertaking. One I could not have done without the support of the client’s who chose to trust my vision.


I must say, God provided the most perfect eight days of weather. Again, without this piece of the puzzel, these sessions would not have been what they are.

I have grown accustomed to what I call it, “travel togging”. This is where I find numerous possible locations to shoot at hundreds, or thousands of miles away from my home studio using the internet and maps. Once I arrive at the destination, I travel to those locations to see if they are what I thought they would be. This means it has the lighting I want, the color scheme which works for the skin tones and provides a safe environment for myself and my clients.

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Washington was a new type of travel togging. I spent eight days, where I had seven sessions. These sessions ranged from indoor boudoir sessions to outdoor beach and mountainous family shoots. When I arrived I had just enough time each day to confirm the locations I had found online, so I knew my research had to be spot on.

Whenever I travel for sessions, some of the clients I have seen through my lens in another state or country. With each #traveltog trip, I always have a few who trust the referral of their friends and for that I am so thankful. I know how hard it can be to hire someone solely based on their reviews, even if it is from a friend.

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The support of those who hired me made these sessions more than anything I could ever dream up. They allowed me to work with them on styling and we had wonderful communication on the hopeful full look of their session, inclusive of which Washington backdrop they preferred.

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Without A Doubt: Daniel + Anna

This couple made me smile the moment I met them. They had the spark, the energy and most of all, the interaction of two lovebirds who are meant to be.


These are the couples who make my time behind the camera so memorable, so enjoyable and without a doubt, they are the type of couple who allow me to live the dream.

Because of you, Daniel and Anna, I get to fall in love with my job over and over again.


Thank you!

The Last Frontier Made New

Lifesong Photography & Designs had the pleasure of traveling to Alaska last summer.

Although some time has passed, I have finally found the time to share with you some of the images which were captured in an effort to always remember what I saw and how my breath was taken away.

Ending the long days with stunning moments such as the one below …


and starting the days with equally lovely colors will never fade from my memory.


While I traveled, my eyes were opened. The snow-capped mountains in the distance paired with the wildflowers blooming amongst me made such an impact. The idea of something having fertile enough ground to blossom while in a climate like the one Alaska is known for took me by surprise.

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Such a perfect opposite of the mountains in Hawaii, we enjoyed wearing some layers and doing a cooler-climate hike to Exit Glacier.

Congratulations to Kylie, the senior I photographed there! She has recently graduated and is one her way to making her place in this world.

I feel so blessed to be a part of these cherished moments. Thank you, Brock family!

Watching & Waiting: A Stanchfield Moment Captured In Time.

I always enjoy watching and capturing a family who allows their family-time to happen as if I wasn’t watching.

Themes of sessions sometimes seem to reveal themselves without provocation. For this family, that was certainly the case. The theme? Watching & waiting.

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The four of them watched one another at various times and waited for reactions. Together, they allowed their laughter to fill the air around us.

Walking, relaxing, parenting and playing; now that is a good combination. Mix that with this evening sky at one of the clearest teal water beaches I have ever seen, that is THE combination.

You never would have known that just moments before the session began and as we were leaving the parking lot, rain clouds filled the evening sky. I stuck to my gut knowing they’d clear and an impressive sunset revealed itself.

I am still coping with the idea that I may never again be able to capture this stunning family, due to distance and military duty stations, but I feel blessed beyond belief to have had the chance when I did.


Across The Pond: With Sophie & Sam

This year has been one of Lifesong’s most diverse years yet! From the monuments of Washington D.C to the quaint roads and villages of Europe, I am astonished with what I have been blessed to capture in the first couple of months of 2018!

Travel has always been a part of my hobbies and certainly a big part in making me into the photographer I am today. However, if you would have told me I was traveling world-wide for sessions and to seek out photography opportunities, I never would have believed you!

I have known Sophie for well over a decade and had the opportunity to meet her wonderful boyfriend, Sam, when I traveled to England last month!


Amongst the castles, the farmsteads and the unique towns, we walked the woods and enjoyed the architecture of a bridge centuries old.

Because of people like Sophie and Sam, the time in Europe was incredibly relaxing and meaningful.


I cannot wait for the next Europe trip.

I can only imagine what it will be – third time is a charm, right?

Livin’ The Dream: A Hike With Destiny

When someone hires me to do a lifestyle session, I literally do a happy dance. When Destiny suggested that her lifestyle session be at the beach followed by a hike to the Lanikai Pillboxes, my excitement went through the roof. An afternoon starting at the beach and ending at sunset overlooking the Pacific, and I get to call it my job?

I am SURELY livin’ the dream.


Destiny is a fit and fierce woman who can take on anything.

I urged her to hike the hardest portions of the hike for “that shot”…


…and she certainly took that challenge head on.

Enjoy the little video below of our adventure to the second Lanikai Pillbox at sunset.

Enjoy your ALO][A Friday and thank you for stopping by! Be sure to “share” and comment if you like what you see!

Email me at for your Lifestyle session!

Corey + Alyssa: Capturing JOY


THIS is a couple which exudes happiness and love for the life that they share.


Corey & Alyssa’s smiles are never forced or fake. The hands never had to be told to be held. The lips never had to be begged to be kissed.


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They are the real deal.


“Joyous” is the best way I can describe their session. They are a couple which everyone would love to have as a leading example in their own lives.


I wish this couple the best as their journey continues. I pray our paths will one day cross again!


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Senior Sessions: The Styled. The Solo.

Senior sessions are notorious for being ‘over-thought’ and ‘over-worked’. I aim to grab those stunning shots for everyone to hang on to: grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, the boyfriend and the best friend. In doing so, I also focus on not letting too much get in the way.


How to get the best session? Only focus on the parts that are vital. This allows a little extra time to play and nab the unconventional shots because you aren’t worried too much about the additional things which can create stress and unnecessary work.

1. A simple theme.

2. Fresh makeup.

3. Surroundings which are symbolic to the senior.


4. A relaxed style look with a maximum of two other looks.


5. A background which needs very few props — if any at all.

Picture Perfect: The Parker’s

Some might say that there is no such thing as “picture perfect”.

I disagree. There certainly is.

Any family, couple or individual who is willing to step forward and be themselves without hesitation IS “picture perfect”.

The Parker family is just that.

It was a very cold morning, but even through the brisk air, I could feel the warmth of their smiles as I looked through my lens. Their hearts were open and ready to share the joy with one another. I was able to give very little direction and in what I consider the best shots, I felt like I was witnessing something so very rare; true love.


This family had love for one another, love of being together and love of experiencing life…no matter where that journey took them.


Don’t get wrapped up in “your best side” or what you might think is your biggest flaw. Those issues will fade into the background, per say, and the interactions will shine through.

Next time you are worried about being “picture perfect” remember, very little has to do with what you are wearing or even where you are. The energy, the soul and the perfection of those images are found at their core —  the raw emotion which lingers through the session.

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Thank you, Parker family, for giving me this time with you. It was my honor!!