Prep Your Home for Photography

Photos are one of the most important marketing tools for the sale of your home. Do your part to make them exceptional by following the guidelines below.


  • Thoroughly clean your whole house (vacuum, mop, clean counters and wash windows). Don’t forget floor coverings and walls; a spot on a rug might be overlooked during a regular home showing, but it could become a focal point online.
  • Remove small rugs to reveal flooring
  • Remove personal photos or replace with general landscape type photos
  • Declutter; a home that feels comfortable in person can look jumbled online. A cluttered home looks smaller than it actually is. Removing one or two pieces of furniture from each room, even if just for the shoot, can make your space appear larger on screen.
  • Place all shoes, jackets, etc. in closets
  • Open all blinds or curtains to let natural light in / show view
  • Turn all overhead lights and lamps on
  • Turn all ceiling fans off
  • Turn all TVs and computer screens OFF
  • Snap practice pictures with your camera – This will give you an idea of what the home will look like on camera before the photographer shows up. Examine the photos and make changes to improve each room’s appearance.


  • Clear the counters off all items except 1 or 2 small appliances. (Coffee Maker, Toaster Oven, can opener, etc.) No knife blocks, canisters, food, or junk mail. Keep it clean!
  • Clear the outside of the refrigerator of magnets, pictures, your child’s art, everything.
  • Hide garbage cans.
  • Remove dishes from the sink.


  • Remove magazines, newspapers, books, etc.
  • Fluff and arrange throw pillows.
  • Remove toys (kid’s and pet’s)
  • Declutter fireplace mantle/hearth. Minimum items displayed.
  • Clean the interior of the fireplace and arrange logs.


  • Make all beds including decorative pillows or shams.
  • Press bed linens and skirts
  • Clean under beds, removing anything that may appear in the photos.
  • Remove family photos from walls
  • Clear nightstand of personal items.
  • Hide phone/tablet charging cables.
  • Clear all clutter from the top of dressers.
  • Remove wall stickers and posters.
  • Hide any toys that can be moved.
  • Remove any personalization from walls.


  • Put toilet lids down.
  • Clear the counters completely of all personal items, soap, etc.
  • Remove shampoo, soap, scrubbies, etc. from tubs and showers.
  • Remove dirty towels. Only leave clean, unused towels hanging on towel bars.
  • Close any closet doors.
  • Remove floor mats.


  • Remove any vehicles from the driveway and front of the house.
  • Close garage doors.
  • Straighten up the landscaping. (mow, edge, trim bushes)
  • Power wash the exterior, walls, driveway, and patio.
  • Remove cobwebs from eaves and door and window frames.
  • Remove water hoses. 
  • Hide trash cans.
  • Clear out toys, basketball goals, sports balls, etc.
  • Clean patio, porch, lanai. 
  • Clear backyard of any pet waste or toys.
  • Tidy up outdoor furniture, cushions, pillows.
  • Hide pool supplies, including pool vacuum hoses.
  • Turn on any water features.


  • Place food/water bowls in the pantry or closet.
  • Place pet beds and toys in the pantry or closet.
  • Use a lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair.
  • Remove pets from home or contain them in the garage.

Day of the Shoot Welcome Letter

Hi, I am Tim Helmuth, owner, and photographer of Tim Helmuth Photography, LLC. 

Tim Helmuth
Tim Helmuth

I  am looking forward to photographing your home! I want the photos of your home to be the best they can be. This requires teamwork and cooperation that will result in a fantastic presence when your listing goes live on the market. That first impression and those early days on the market are critical to getting your home sold fast. So, we will work hard to make sure your home will be featured in its best light. 

When I arrive to take photos of your property, I ask that all staging and cleaning be done before my arrival. To efficiently maintain my busy schedule and deliver the level of service my clients expect, I cannot spend unnecessary time at the home waiting for it to be cleaned, dusted, de-cluttered, items moved from room to room, etc. 

I am not an interior designer and therefore am unable to help you style and stage your home. That is something outside my skill set. I specialize in amazing photography that is properly exposed and taken at the best angles. Interior design and photography are two very different skill sets. Please ensure that any staging is completed before my arrival.

Note: MLS rules prohibit having persons or pets in the photos, therefore I ask that any pets be taken out of the home or contained in the garage for the duration of the shoot. This also protects my equipment from accidentally being knocked over and damaged by an enthusiastic pet. 

I don’t mind if you want to watch me photograph your home, however, you must stay clear of the shots. I need to focus on the photography of your home in a proficient, timely manner, so please forgive me if I don’t engage in small talk. I’m easily distracted and don’t want to inadvertently miss anything. I will gladly chat or answer your questions when I’m finished as time allows.

Please review the above sections for tips on preparing your home for real estate photography, and have the home ready to shoot when I arrive. 

Please Contact Us if you have any questions regarding your upcoming photoshoot. Thank you.