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  • John Newstead

Preparing for property photography

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

Most home buyers make decisions about which properties to view based what they see on Rightmove and other property portals. Photographs are probably the most influential part of the estate agents’ online advertisements and as a result many estate agents now use the services of professional photographers.

The property photography service I provide to estate agents does not include ‘home staging’ and whilst I am always happy (with the homeowner’s consent) to move a few items in order to improve the final image, the onus is on the homeowner to prepare the property prior to my arrival.

This is a general guide intended to provide advice to homeowners preparing their property for photography, but much of this advice is just as relevant when preparing for the visit of prospective buyers.

However, this cannot possibly be a ‘one size fits all’ guide because all properties are different and the ideal presentation of one type of property may look distinctly odd when applied to another. For example, an ultra modern contemporary home may benefit from a minimalist approach, with clean lines, formally placed furnishings and no clutter of any kind. However, a period cottage presented in this way will look false and unwelcoming – a more informal approach presenting an inviting home will be more appropriate.


  • Bins out of sight – we all have them but they don’t look great on the photos!

  • Cars off the drive

  • Cut the lawn and weed the borders

  • Neaten garden furniture (place cushions etc)

  • Put garden tools etc away

  • In the autumn/winter months sweep up the leaves


  • De-clutter as much as possible

  • Put away personal items/clothes etc

  • Make the beds

  • Remove dressing gowns from the backs of doors etc

  • Tidy up kids’ toys from main living areas

  • Remove kitchen bins

  • Remove tea towels from ovens etc

  • Remove unnecessary items from work surfaces

  • Remove pet items (food bowls, beds etc)

  • Remove remote controls etc from coffee tables

  • Close toilet seat lids

  • Remove towels

  • Remove detergent bottles

Other touches

  • Fresh flowers/a bowl of fruit on a dining table always looks good

  • Plug in bedside lamps and check that bulbs all work

  • Make sure all inset ceiling light bulbs are working (and ideally of the same type - halogen and LED bulbs give off different colours of light which can be noticeable on the final image)

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