Getting Your Residence Photo Ready In a Hurry
I get this question a lot, from both owners and tenants;
“How do I prepare my home to be photographed?”
It’s actually a lot easier than you think, in my opinion. A lot of times I’ll walk into a property that has been scrubbed from top to bottom, which is great, but not necessary.
If you have time, cleaning is great. But I understand that if I’m there to take pictures of a rental, someone is likely moving out. I don’t know about you but I hate the whole moving process, so I understand that having to prepare for photographs is a serious inconvenience.
Focus on the areas I’ll outline below and the photos should turn out great, plus you’ll spend less time on areas that don’t matter as much.
I want to give you an essential guide to preparing your home to be photographed both to save you time, and a lot of elbow grease. Depending on the size of your home, this should only take 1-3 hours!
Let’s start with the number one pet peeve I have when it comes to shooting rental property; Clutter!
Look I get it, very few people keep their residence looking like a showhome at all times. (I certainly don’t!) For most tastes it’s not, well, ‘homey’. We all have little knick-knacks and we as humans seem to want to fill empty space.
But for the purposes of photography, it is best to hide away the clutter anywhere you can. Think of the cartoon kid cleaning his/her room by stuffing everything into the closet until it’s overflowing. I’m not kidding, just tucking away all that stuff makes a huge difference. If you’re a tenant and you have moving boxes etc; pile them up in one of the bedrooms or storage room if you have one.
Focus on the main rooms (Kitchen, Living, Dining) and if you have time/space maybe 1-2 Bedrooms and the Bathroom. Clear off your Kitchen counters of all small appliances, papers, salt & pepper shakers, etc. In the Living Room, clear off the coffee table, arrange the pillows, fold the blankets. The Dining Room just needs the table cleared and the chairs neatly arranged, that’s really it!
Before we move on, this does not apply to plants! This may be a personal preference I guess, but I think plants make any space more inviting!
Ok, cleaning; if you’re going to clean anything make it the windows and mirrors. There’s a lot a photographer can do with editing software, but windows and mirrors are very difficult to manipulate. Just a quick Windex will go a long way! If you have extra time, wipe down all other surfaces with a damp cloth. As long as there’s no blatantly obvious stains or crumbs anywhere, the photos should turn out just fine.
Prior to the photographer arriving, turn on all the lights and open all the window coverings (blinds, curtains, etc). Letting the most amount of light in is crucial for good photographs. If you do this before the photographer arrives, the whole thing will take a lot less time so you can get back to your life.
Finally, remove any personal belongings visible on the exterior of the house. This won’t apply to all properties (ie. apartments, certain condos, etc), but the exterior shot is a very important part of the advertising process. If you have childrens toys, garbage cans, or even your vehicle in the driveway; the photos will look alot better if these are not present. Think of it from the viewers perspective, it’s a lot harder to imagine yourself living in a property if you can see someone else’s car in the driveway.
So I hope this helps reduce some stress and time for some of you out there. I know that every situation is different and you may not be able to carry out these instructions to the letter, but I always tell people to just do their best. As Drummer’s photographer, I appreciate any effort made.
If you want any other tips relating to rental property, or you have a question, leave me a comment below! I’ll do the research and write a blog for you.