Virtual Zone Media
Preparing Your Home
for a Photo Shoot
COVID-19 Work Flow Policy
No one may be present during photo session, including realtors. Property must be photo ready. Please make sure to bring your pets along with you when leaving the house. If you must stay, you need to sign COVID-19 liability waver.

Please ask for liability waver to be e-mailed to you if you wish to stay during photo session

30 minutes prior to photographer's arrival please do the following:

  • Turn on all lights and lamps in the entire house, please do not miss any lamps, make sure lamps have working lightbulbs and are plugged into the wall, unplug timers

  • Open all light blocking curtains, turn blinds to open, we will close them if needed, or please open/close them the way you like. Keep the windows open if you have very strong sunlight coming into the room, we do know how to handle bright light, we do not cut corners

  • Turn off TVs, music and ceiling fans, I work with assistant and we need to be able to hear each other

  • Unplug all wall air fresheners, they clutter spaces, for safety of your property please do not light any candles

  • All pets must be crated, leashed or removed from the property, we will not start photo session with pets walking about the property. Hide all pets related items, bowls, toys, beds, leashes

  • Hide all trashcans (into closets or garage, we normally do not photograph these areas). Bring outside trashcans into the garage, remove all vehicles from the driveway prior to our arrival

  • Put toilets lids down in each bathroom, hide all toiletries (esspecially toothbrushes), hide plungers and toilet bowl brushes, please check that you have fresh towels on towel racks, no any personal items hanging on doors, remove scales, sponges, remove everything that does not relate to decor, leave decorative items only

  • If there is a special circumstance, let's discuss ahead of time so we can plan accordingly

  • Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!
    Overview for Homeowners & Realtors
    Unless otherwise requested, these areas are NOT typically photographed. Instead, use these areas for storage during the photo shoot. Occasionally, laundry rooms include features that are compelling enough for photography. The realtor will typically decide if any of these areas should be photographed.

    Areas Not Photographed
    • Garage

    • Toilet Rooms (In Master Bathrooms)

    • Closets

    • Kitchen Pantry

    • Storage Sheds

    • Laundry Room

    • Remove the lock box during the exterior photo shoot

    • Install signage AFTER the photo shoot
    General Prep
    General Prep
    • Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)

    • Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON

    • Make sure all LAMPS have light bulbs and all lamps are plugged in

    • Replace all burned out light bulbs

    • Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)

    • Turn all ceiling lights ON but DO NOT turn on any ceiling fans. Make sure all ceiling fans are OFF and do not spin as they blur in the photos

    • Turn all TVs OFF

    • Turn all computer screens OFF

    • Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light

    • If a window has a view, raise the blinds completely for a completely unobstructed view

    • Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)

    • Make all beds

    • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring

    • Place all shoes/jackets in closets

    • Hide all Fans and Space Heaters

    • Hide all Trash Cans and close all Toilet Lids

    • Remove exterior flags that may blow in the wind
    Front Exterior
    The front of the home is usually the first picture buyers will see, and this picture will determine if they will look at additional property details.

    • Close garage doors

    • Remove cars from driveway and front of home

    • Remove trash cans from front of house

    • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)

    • Remove empty planters

    • Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames

    • Remove visible water hoses

    • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.
    Back Yard / Decks / Docks
    • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions

    • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded

    • Clear out kid?s toys, balls, frisbees, etc.

    • Clean pool

    • Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose if possible

    • Hide pool cleaning supplies

    • Turn on pool fountains/water features

    • Remove visible water hoses

    • Remove trash cans

    • Docked boats and/or jet ski?s should be clean

    • Fishing gear should be neatly organized

    • Fire pits should be lit if evening photography is being provided
    • Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.

    • Leave out max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker)

    • Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.

    • Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet

    • Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher

    • Clean stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops to ensure there are no fingerprints or smudges
    Living Room & Family Room
    Living Room & Family Room
    • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.

    • De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)

    • Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed

    • Do not block fireplace with furniture

    • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows

    • Remove kid?s toys
    Master Bedroom
    • Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available

    • Press bed linens and bed skirts

    • Clear nightstands of all personal items

    • Store away phone/tablet charging cables

    • Remove all clutter from top of dressers

    • Remove family photos from walls

    • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos
    Kid Rooms & Guest Rooms
    • Remove personalized names from walls

    • Remove wall stickers/posters

    • Remove diaper genies

    • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos
    • Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.

    • Put toilet seats down

    • Close closet doors

    • Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs

    • Remove dirty towels, leave out only new, unused towels

    • Remove floor mats
    • Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet

    • Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet

    • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair

    • Contain pets in hidden crate or outside

    • Clear back yard of pet waste/toys
    Holiday Decorations
    Holiday decorations are not recommended for real estate photos. If a property listing has holiday decorations it can date the media, resulting in problems if the listing is active outside of the holidays. We strongly discourage our clients from displaying holiday decorations. Of course, we also understand the reality of decorating for the holidays. We will do our best to shoot around decorations, but we can?t guarantee that we can avoid decorations in the finished photos.

    • Remove yard decorations and visible lighting

    • Remove interior decorations including Christmas trees

    • Any decorations that are up should be kept to a minimum

    • Remove window decorations
    Twilight Photography
    Twilight Prep
    Twilight photography is impressive and creates a dramatic presentation. Here are some tips to help achieve the best results. These tips are in addition to the Front Exterior tips previously covered.

    • Turn on all exterior AND interior lights that are exposed to the shoot area

    • Open blinds and/or window treatments that are exposed to shoot area

    • Keep windows clean

    • Visible outdoor fire pits or fireplaces should be lit

    • Turn on landscape lights

    • Make sure pool lighting is operational

    • Ensure timers are working and operation prior to the shoot

    • Replace burned out bulbs or broken fixtures

    • Turn on pool lights and patio lights for pool/patio shoots

    • Test lights prior to arrival and reschedule if needed
    Virtual Zone Media