Real Estate Shoot Preparation Checklist

Your realtor has chosen Andrew Keithly Photography to showcase your home with high-end professional photography.


My goal is to create high-quality images of your home that show it at its best in order to wow buyers and attract as many offers as possible. To ensure your photoshoot goes smoothly and safely, please consult this checklist while preparing your home.


General Prep

  • Be shoot-ready: Cleaning and staging need to be done before I arrive, preferably the day before your photoshoot. I may move small items (flowers, small pictures, etc.) to improve photo composition, but larger items need to be in place before I arrive, and staging accessories need to be in place as well.

  • Secure or remove pets: I love pets but we can’t have them around for your photoshoot. Dogs must be secured or off the property to ensure the safety of myself and my equipment. Cats should be secured as well, though they usually pose fewer problems than dogs (cats often just hide). It's also a good idea to hide pet food and water bowls as well.


  • Plan not to be seen: The occupants should plan on either being off the property or remain in areas where they can't be seen during the photoshoot. Rooms overlap in the photos, people can cause shadows and reflections, and there is the risk to equipment that will be set up throughout the property.

  • Use the garage for storage: I normally don’t shoot garages, so this is a great place to store items you’d like to hide.

Outside Prep

  • Move vehicles: Make sure there are no cars in the driveway. If possible, also move cars from the street in front of the home. We want as clear a view as possible of your property.

  • Hide trashcans: Trashcans can be placed on the side of the property or in the garage.

  • Hide hoses: Do this the day before the shoot since hoses can drip water onto the pavement when being moved, leaving puddles in your pictures.

  • Prep the yard: Do at least 24 hours before to your photoshoot. The yard should be mowed and cleared of any toys, tools, etc.

  • Turn off sprinklers: Do not water the day of the shoot to prevent puddles on the pavement.

  • Pick up poop: If you have a dog, make sure that all of their droppings are cleared from the yard.

  • Prep pool and spa: If you have a pool and/or spa, please have them clean with covers removed. For spas, provide instructions to the realtor on how to turn it on.

  • Prep water features: If you have fountains, waterfalls, etc., please clean them and provide instructions to the realtor on how to turn them on.

  • Remove the for-sale sign: The for-sale sign should be removed from the property (if possible) by the realtor if it has already been installed. Visible signs violate MLS photo rules, and they can’t always be edited out. It’s best to schedule the sign installation for after the photoshoot.

  • Clean patio furniture: Dust and remove cobwebs from all outdoor furniture. Do not hose down your furniture the day of your shoot, since this can create puddles.     

Inside Prep

  • Declutter kitchen: A few items on the counters are usually fine, but dishes, sponges, rags, etc. should be put away. It's best to remove all magnets, pictures, etc. from the refrigerator and remove throw rugs from the floor.

  • Declutter bathrooms: Toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, and other "personal" items should be hidden. Decorative unused soaps, candles, flowers, etc. are preferred. It’s also good to remove all throw rugs from the floor.

  • Prep bedrooms: All bedrooms should have their beds made and items put away.

  • Hide trashcans: Trashcans can distract so it’s best to hide all of them in closets or the garage.

  • Hide portable fans: Ceiling fans are selling items but portable fans can give the wrong impression. It’s best to hide all portable fans in closets or the garage.

  • Hide cords and remotes: Sometimes electrical cords can’t be hidden, but you will have more appealing pictures if you can hide TV remotes, game consoles, and any noticeable cords.

  • Clear entryways: Remove all shoes, umbrellas, and similar items from entryways.

  • Open blinds with views: Your indoor photos will show outdoor views if there are views, or just light if a window looks onto a neighbor or other unappealing view.

  • Turn on lights: Before I arrive, please make sure all interior lights are turned on. If need-be, please replace all burned-out bulbs at least 24 hours before the photoshoot.

  • Turn off ceiling fans: Before I arrive, please make sure all ceiling fans are turned off.

Twilight Prep

If you’ve scheduled a twilight shoot the following are additional items to prepare before I arrive. Note that twilights have tight schedules to ensure optimal lighting, so please make sure all of these items are ready before I arrive.

  • Turn on all interior and exterior lights: All lights throughout the property need to be turned on. Please replace all burned-out bulbs at least 24 hours before the photoshoot.

  • Turn on spas and remove covers: If you have a spa, remove the cover, and turn it before I arrive. Turn on the lights in the spa as well.

  • Turn on pool lights: If you have a pool, turn on the pool lights before I arrive.

  • Turn on water features: If you have fountains, waterfalls, or similar water features, please turn them on before I arrive.


Thank you for going through this checklist! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

Providing professional photography and video to realtors and commercial brokers in middle Tennessee and beyond.

Nashville, Franklin, Brentwood, Spring Hill, and the surrounding areas.

Andrew Keithly Photography

Architectural and Commercial

Nashville, Tennessee   (931) 286-1971

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© 2021 by Andrew Keithly