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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Aloha USAF: The Fewell Retirement

I consider each ceremony as a very special moment in history. Those who give their years to this nation and serving the needs of it deserve the upmost respect and thanks.


During ceremonies you learn the impact which that person has had on lives. You learn the role that person played in the greater picture. You also learn the sacrifice which that person’s family has made for the greater good of the missions which went on. For all these reasons and more, each ceremony marks a moment in history which we can all choose to learn from.


MSgt Fewell’s retirement ceremony wasn’t any different. It was really a great moment to capture. The stories which were told and the details of service which were read we beyond humbling. The fact that I was asked to be there is the cherry on top.



Do you have an upcoming event or ceremony? Consider having it professionally photographed. You can sit back, relax and enjoy it without the worry of making sure each detail and facial expression is captured. Let me do the work for you!



Growing Gambones: Friendship & Photography

Joining a running group in Hawaii, I never knew I’d meet such an inspirational and wonderful person like Jess. Certainly, that was not the intention when I began attending. We became fast friends which turned into best friends.

Proof 01

It was a couple of months after we knew each other that she asked me to capture her daughter’s 3rd birthday. A couple of years later, that one session has turned into many more sessions.

Proof 02

This is where my job constantly reminds me how blessed I am. Yes,  it is true, friends are given the opportunity to witness children grow up and even celebrate with them. However, as a photographer who is also a friend, that honor of being the one asked to capture the milestones is something I do not take for granted.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

From shooting a certain once in a lifetime occasion to the annual picture for a family is something I feel great pleasure in doing. It is what I consider my “calling” to be. Being behind the camera I feel at home, I truly feel like I am able to help others step INTO the picture and become a part of that memory.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We were finally able to have all four of them together for a family session. Before parting ways, due to military orders, we spent a relaxing evening strolling the Windward shores of Oahu.

It is nights like that I thank God for the gift I have been given. It is nights like that I am in awe of the supportive people in my life. It is nights like that I will never forget.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Mahalo Gambone family!

The art of “Goodbye”…

Just a month ago I was a mental mess. I was tired. I was unsure. I was completely overwhelmed by the loved ones I was leaving and the unknown I was headed into.

This is the military life.

Arizona was our first base as a married couple and it was the most emotional departure I have ever had. The people, the place. It was where I became a wife and graduated college. It is where I became the adult I am today. Mississippi was only our “home” for about 10 months. Just enough to graze the surface of the deep South and left us wanting more. South Carolina we made “home” quickly. We made fast friends and traveled a lot. Each move has had it’s hurdles but Hawaii was its own beast. The obvious beauty, the culture but most of all, Hawaii is where I proved to myself I could do it — be the best mom to my child.

I have spent my entire adult life thus far attempting to perfect this imaginary art of “goodbye”. Everything from the preparation of the move to the hug and then dealing with some emptiness after leaving that area. I have come to the conclusion there is no perfection in such a situation. It is a messy, exhausting and anxious time. However, there is a solution to help you through it all. Choose to focus on the “hello”.

As we packed up and flew to the mainland from Hawaii, the worst part for me was the thought of saying “goodbye” to Lifesong. Lifesong has been more than a job. It has been something I have built with all of my interests and best attributes in mind. It is something which challenges me, forces me to manage my time and gives me a sense of pride. It has been something which proved that my degree in business was not just a degree, but something I could run with. Little did I know I was in that unfortunate mindset — focused on the “goodbye” and not what was on the horizon. I was acting as if it was the end of an era and there was nothing I could do about it. Wrong. That needed to change. There was so much I was able to experience in North Carolina!

Arriving in North Carolina a new feeling of excitement arose, it was time to say “hello”! One week into our time in North Carolina and bookings began, friendships from previous bases flourished and time was spent in a new (and very cold) climate getting to know the area.

Thanks to a good photographer friend, Raymie, I was asked out to a downtown Fayetteville sunrise shoot. Twice a year the sun rises perfectly between the arches in the old Market House. Talk about a time to be excited about the new opportunities and a new area.

I am now able to look back at this short time here and smile with tears. I smile knowing I have so much to explore and learn about this new area. I tear up because (as my daughter has taught me) sometimes you just need to cry and miss something because you have to. No logic, just emotion to cope. Those combined seem to do the trick.

Most people have heard the expression, “When one door closes, another one opens.” This could not be more true IF you are willing to help yourself to the next handle and turn it. With each of the moves I have given myself something to look forward to, but never forgetting the amazing experiences I have had in the past. Often this is in the form of a bucket list. I challenge you to find the “hello” you can hang onto when your next “goodbye” situation presents itself.

Thank you to the hundreds of you who have been my “goodbye” and my “hello”. Each of you have impacted me and changed me for the better. Cheers to new adventures and new opportunities.








(A little behind the scenes from Raymie of Raymie Day Photography, thanks girl!)



Motorcycle Mama


Recently I had the opportunity to photograph a stunning mama and she was in her element! I am working on a few new techniques with lighting and am thrilled to see it come to life! Catherine is a natural in front of the camera, which made this shoot so fun and relaxing. It is obvious that the vintage pin-up is her forte.

Thank you to the Rose family for letting us use your bike for such a unique shoot!

(Click on each image to make them larger.)

I enjoyed this shoot so much, be on the look out for a model call for an upcoming project!



MILES Of Beauty

The landscape of an image sets it’s tone and can bring energy to an image. Without the best landscape, the focus of the image can get lost and the message can become unclear. Fortunately, I am living in one of the most picturesque places on Earth-islands of the Pacific. I have miles of beauty to choose from and a wide array of backdrops to go with.

Stacy is a good friend and already a wonderful mama. I am so incredibly thankful she and her hubby asked me to capture this journey for them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hair and Makeup: Lifesong Photography & Designs

Floral Crown: C Crafts and Cupcakery

Please contact me at for details and pricing.

The innocence, the beauty…

The children and youth I have been asked to capture have been, without a doubt, the most vibrant of subjects. There is no exception when it comes to Talyn and Haven. Looking at these incredibly innocent, beautiful faces through my lens brings a breath of fresh air. Thank you Amanda for giving me the chance to be a part of their young lives. They are incredible children.




I have had the opportunity to work in the awareness industry. As an employee with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I was honored to meet those who were fighting and had survived their cancer and cancer treatments. In my personal life I have met some incredibly strong people who have survived their cancer and cancer treatments, as well.

Each month, there is an awareness effort for something which is effecting thousands. In the month of October, as I am sure you know, Breast Cancer was at the top of everyone’s minds. I believe that the stories of the survivors and their family members are vital to moving forward with the efforts to raise awareness. Learning from other’s experiences is how we avoid duplicating mistakes previously made and help each other in the struggle. This means that even though we left the month of October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we shouldn’t stop spreading the word or being vigilant on self exams.

Early detection is KEY


Kyla is the daughter to a survivor of Breast Cancer and has had a close call, herself. Her story greatly parallels to this idea of learning from another. Her mother is also a Breast Cancer Survivor and Kyla was diagnosed at the young age of 16 after doing a self-exam. At the age of 20, she had a Bilateral Mastectomy and Reconstructive Surgery. By the time Kyla had the surgery, she had a total of 10 lumps which consumed most of her tissue. During the surgery, the doctor’s found 2 extra lumps they didn’t know were there and those looked precancerous. Since her surgery, she is now on her 3rd reconstruction and has dealt with over a dozen needle biopsies, ultrasounds and mammograms. They have taken all of the breast tissue from her and a total of 13 lumps have been removed throughout these surgeries.

Kyla is an avid runner and this year I was honored to run the Susan G Komen Race For The Cure by her side (although she quickly out – ran me). She runs for her mother and states, “I run for her strength, courage, fight and for all the other men and women who are survivors, still fighting, or those who we have horribly lost to this deadly disease. It was the most challenging time my family has ever been through. Watching a loved one in so much pain every day is something I’d never wish on anyone or anything.”

Wearing pink to be cute, or a bra to direct attention toward yourself is not the type of awareness many survivors and families appreciate. It is the prayers, fundraising and sharing of stories which will save people from experiencing the horror cancer brings. If you talk to any survivors or their family members, there are a few things they will all agree on:

  • Early detection is KEY and the best way to be aware is a yearly mammogram and self-examination.
  • Even after surviving all the pain, the fight never stops.
  • Spreading awareness will help someone.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Breast Cancer Awareness 5k with the Pearl Harbor Stroller Warriors

Behind the scenes at the Hussey’s….

Have you ever referenced the fantastic view a “fly on the wall” has? I know I have! I often wonder how things look if I just take a moment to step back and think about nothing but what you are seeing. Sometimes we don’t have the time to do this and that is where I so greatly appreciate it when someone makes it possible for me to ponder the situation later!

I am always thrilled when someone else surprises me by snapping some images while I work. After the session, when I get to step back and ponder it, the fact that someone was excited enough to want to share an image of the session brings a smile to my face. The captured workspace also shows me what I could have done differently in my set up. These are two things which make each session extremely valuable; appreciation of photography from someone other than me and the experience I gain.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A big shout out to Chloe for asking me to be a part of something so special. Eloise is so precious, I hope there are many more behind the scenes chances with this family!


Lifesong Photography and Designs