Property Prep: A Must for Great Photos

It happens more than I would like to admit, but I will open the door to photograph a property and as I walk in, I find boxes, trash, stray furniture, unswept floors, and unwiped counters. Most times, homeowners just run out of steam, especially when they've got everything else with a move on their plate. I definitely get it, and the temptation to call it quits when you've cleaned up 80% of the house is overwhelming. It's certainly okay to call it a day at that point if your agent is doing their own photos, but if you're hiring a professional photographer, the property needs to be 100% photo ready for the best results.  

If you're a DIY kind of person, here's a handy checklist of items you can use to get your home in tip-top shape:


  • Thoroughly clean appliances and fixtures (use appropriate cleaning agents for each surface)
  • Check under-cabinet lighting
  • Remove pet foods and dishes
  • Remove all cleaning products
  • Remove trash can if applicable


  • Clean the mirrors
  • Remove branded soaps and other products from view
  • Put the toilet seat down
  • Clean and empty the shower if it is to be photographed - this is important if you have fancy tile or glass work.


  • Check under the bed (for monsters like dust bunnies, slippers, boxes, and clothing)
  • Open all the shades
  • Even out any blinds
  • Make the bed
  • Remove all personal grooming products
  • Hide any loose clothing

Common Spaces / Whole House

  • Look under couches and other furniture for stray items
  • Straighten pillows, blankets, rugs
  • Remove cobwebs - especially in basements
  • Mow the lawn and tidy the yard
  • Clean all mirrors and windows
  • Test all the lights
  • Remove yard sign
  • Remove personal items such as photos
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of house if possible
  • Remove political and religious items accordingly

Keep these items handy

  • Extra light bulbs - 2700K is best
  • Paper towels
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Swiffer or broom+dustpan
  • Adhesive lint rollers
  • Trash bags
  • Work gloves


Always think return on investment

How much is your time worth?  How many hours would you spend cleaning, de-cluttering, landscaping, and more to get your home ready for the market? Most homeowners will take at least a day off work to get their properties ready, and many will take more time.  Here's another, less stressful option that allows a seller to keep their vacation days:

Property QuickPrep Packages

With advance notice, photographer will make an additional consulting visit to the property prior to the photo shoot to provide sellers and agents with information on how best to prepare for pictures. JS O'Connor Photography maintains relationships with many trusted professionals and can provide concierge style service to manage any of the following and more:

  1. Professional Cleaning
  2. Minor Landscaping
  3. Staging
  4. Junk Removal
  5. Moving & Storage

Consultation visits are $75 for approximately one hour on site and packages are custom quoted based on property size, condition, location, and selected services.