Jon Stone Photography
Preparing your home for a photo shoot sounds daunting, but there are certain steps you can take which will make the whole process run smoothly and will allow the photographer to take the very best photographs possible. Here is my guide which will help you get the most out of the photographer's visit and put you on track for a great set of photographs.
I have over 30 years experience in photography for the property market. Over that time I have learned a few helpful tips and pointers for home-owners, which make my life easier on shoot day, leaving me more time to concentrate on lighting, composition, and achieving the best photographs for you. Remember - great images start with good preparation. So lets have a look at the steps you can take which will directly improve the efficiency of a photo shoot, and hugely increase the effectiveness of the resulting images.
The general impression is more important than the details. ( i.e. Don't pass up the chance of a day with perfect weather while waiting for your favourite shrub to come into bloom).
Tidy the garden including mowing the lawn, trimming shrubs.
Have keys for any vehicle that may need to be moved out of sight.
Hide rubbish bins, garden tools, hoses etc
Sweep paths and driveways, terraces and decking
Remove children’s toys, and trampolines if possible .
Arrange garden furniture, and put out cushions if available.
Swimming pools should ideally be cleaned of leaves and have the cover removed. Pool chairs should have cushions if you have them. Put away pool “tools” and pool toys.
Fill baskets and tubs with seasonal colour and spread fresh mulch.
Closing all windows and opening blinds and curtains evens up the exterior look of a house.
Clutter can make your home appear as if you do not have enough storage space. Generally “less is more”, as photographs usually look “busier” than the reality, so if in doubt – remove it.
It is unlikely that ALL rooms will be photographed so maybe nominate an unlikely room (smaller bedroom or laundry room for example) as a temporary storeroom to free up better rooms.
As a general rule: -
Cameras won't see dust, and windows have to be particularly dirty before it shows, although you will need to address these things for a viewing.
Minimise what you have on show.
Open curtains and open blinds
Turn off TVs and computer screens
Clear away piles of newspapers and magazines
Move all pets and pet toys away from areas to be photographed
Display flowers - fresh or silk. (The camera won't know the difference). Small arrangements are often more useful than overly large arrangements. Ideally have different flowers for each main room to avoid repetition.
Have an old newspaper and matches to hand in readiness for burning on the fireplace (providing the chimney works!)
Fill a bowl with fresh seasonal fruit.
Hide pet bowls, toys dog beds etc.
Clear any clutter from counter tops - all food should be put away.
Hide cleaning materials and cleaning cloths, washing up, crockery drainers etc.
Tidy any open shelving by removing cards, photos, books laid horizontally etc.
Remove photos and magnets from your fridge front and cabinets.
A bedroom is a very personal space, please consider carefully what you want left visible.
Make beds and put clothes away.
Tidy and store away children’s toys if their room is to be photographed.
Clear surfaces of unnecessary clutter.
Don’t forget that space under the bed. Unless it is covered by the bedspread the camera will be able to see underneath it!
A selection of reading material by the bed or some fresh flowers on the dressing table, gives a great impression.
Straighten table and chairs.
Add a centrepiece such as fresh flowers, plant or candles
Laying the table for a dinner-party is not always essential, flowers often look just as attractive.
Like the bedroom, bathrooms often contain highly personal items, so please consider what you are leaving on view.
Clear away excess toiletries and any medications, leaving only a small selection of attractive bottles/soaps etc.
Clean the taps and mirrors
Remove laundry, wet towels etc.