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  • Writer's pictureHolly Catherall

How to Prepare Your Home for a Photoshoot

Whether you're selling your home, showcasing your interior design skills, or creating content for social media/print, you want your home to look the best it possibly can. Most of these suggestions apply specifically to those selling their homes but a few also apply to those styling their home for a creative shoot. It can be difficult to get your home looking photo-ready when you're living (and often working) there but taking these tips on board from a professional property photographer can really make all the difference when it comes to marketing your home.


blue kitchen with island and marble worktops

Declutter

Now, you don't have to go full Marie Kondo on the place but decluttering can help your home appear much more spacious. It will also help guide the viewers to focus on the lovely features rather than draw the eye to unwanted places. This doesn't mean you have to throw out everything you own, just keep things out of sight that you wouldn't want the internet to see. Keep things in cupboards, sheds, garages, etc. If you're really short on space, many vendors tell me they've loaded up the car! Anything you can see, the camera will see. Keep surfaces clear of clutter, such as coffee tables, kitchen worktops, bookshelves, bedside tables, desks, dining tables...you get the idea. Kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the worst for this. Remove all plastic bottles and branded products, such as cleaning supplies, toothpaste, hand soap, food items, etc. With bathrooms, remove anything associated with bodily functions - loo roll, toothbrushes, hair brushes, toilet brushes, bins, etc.! And the toilet seat down is a must. This is a personal preference, but I tend to remove all textiles from kitchens and bathrooms too like bath mats, towels, face cloths, loofas, tea towels, and oven gloves.



throw pillows on a bed with sunlight streaming in

Deep Clean

Doing those annoying menial tasks you've been putting off will make a massive difference to the finished photographs. Think of anything that may be dusty or have fingerprints/marks and thoroughly clean it. If the light hits in a certain way, these things will be really distracting in the photographs. This includes cleaning the inside and outside of windows, hoovering carpets, mopping hard floors, cleaning mirrors and surfaces, and any metallic surfaces. Make your bed. Straighten cushions & blankets and iron bed sheets! This can transform a room. Creased bedsheets can be very distracting as the bed is usually the largest piece of furniture in the room. Putting that extra care and attention to the styling of your home will shine through in the photos.


sleek modern bathroom

Depersonalise

Depersonalising the space will not only protect your privacy but will help potential buyers envision themselves in the home. It isn't necessary to remove every single photograph from your home (for example if you have a gallery wall). But note that these will need to be blurred out which in itself can cause distraction in an image, so removing as many as possible in person will help with this. Any personal papers related to life admin or work need to be put away in case any personal information is legible. And lastly, if you have a large fridge full of pictures, drawings, to-dos, calendars, and schedules, removing these will protect your and your family's privacy and avoid drawing the eye. To depersonalise doesn't mean stripping your home completely of any personality or quirks, it just means streamlining anything that could be specifically identified with you. Interior style, for example, doesn't identify who you are and can be leaned into to create that sense of home.


London patio garden with lots of greenery

Don't Neglect the Outside

In these long winter months, it's easy to neglect our outside space. Don't let the bad weather convince you it's not worth tidying up outside. Photographers can overcome most miserable weather (hello sky replacement) and still get your property looking bright and vibrant. Weed the garden as much as possible, clear out dead plants, and mow the lawn (if possible). Keep gardens/yards free of any clutter, including the bane of my life - BINS! Move them out of sight while the photos are being taken and you will be the photographer's favourite client. While we're talking about the front of the house, moving the car off the driveway is a must. Not only does it protect your privacy once again but there will be a much clearer view of the property.


A few extra tips to get the most out of your shoot:

  • Open all curtains/blinds fully (*if one doesn't open fully, keep them all down but open for consistency).

  • Tuck wires away neatly, where possible

  • Replace any blown light bulbs

  • Adding in some flowers or house plants can add a pop of colour and bring some life to the shots


When in doubt, tidy up as much as you can before the photographer arrives and ask their advice on any bits you're unsure about. We know what to do, it's kind of our job!



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