top of page

How To Prepare Your Property (or Airbnb) For A Real Estate Photoshoot

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Real estate photography

If you are a property owner in Cairns, Port Douglas, or the Atherton Tablelands, then you may want your house/villa/apartment to be sold or rented as fast as possible. To sell it quick, you will need a professional photographer and videographer specialising in real estate to put your property on display. Successful real estate sellers know the importance of professional real estate photos. It is apparent that high resolution, professionally edited photographs and videos significantly increase the chances of an estate listing selling or renting and for greater profit. Great pictures and videos draw attention, and result in more showings, higher profits, and an increase in offers/bookings.

To achieve the best possible result from your professional real estate photo or video shoot, please follow the below mentioned checklist. This checklist will provide you with a clear idea on proper procedures and the means to prepare your property for a stress-free professional property photoshoot which will leave your house photo/video ready!

Must-Do Best Tips on How to Prepare a House for a Professional Photo Shoot and Make a Property Look Its Best in Photos


·    At the very minimum, the house should be decluttered, clean and organised. Ensure the property has been cleaned thoroughly and remove visible dust and stains in the house. Clear excess clutter as much as possible. Consider decorating the house with complementary decor or putting out vases with fresh flowers.

·     Clear all surfaces. This will leave your property with an open, spacious, and inviting atmosphere .

·     Smaller things, such as removing visible rubbish bins, can also make the house look cleaner. Make sure you pack away all dishes, clothes, shoes, pet food/water bowls, pet beds, pet toys and other excess belongings. It is way cheaper to clear small pieces before the photo shoot rather than to remove them via “photoshop” later. Ceiling fans are often overlooked. Please make sure that they have been cleaned inside of the house as well as outside if you have any.

 •    Lights. It is imperative to check all light fixtures in the property and confirm all are functionable and working adequately. Replace all burned out light bulbs. Also of importance is to maintain a consistent colour (warm white, or cool white/daylight; do not mix different colours/temperatures as this does not look great in pictures) among all fixtures. Warm white light is commonly more appealing in photos.

The same rule applies to your exterior lights, particularly for twilight photography.


    •    Park vehicles away from the garage, the driveway, and the street in front of the house. To ensure the house is on full display and show off the front of the property as well as the car space/driveway.

    •    Freshen up landscaping. Mow the lawn within 24 hours of the photo session.

    •    Remove trash, branches, leaves, etc.

    •    Remove dead plants, trees, etc.

    •    Sweep outdoor spaces and walkways.

    •    Remove noticeable foliage from the roof and gutters.

    •    Spread fresh mulch.

   •   Remove all additional debris, put away rakes, wrap hoses neatly (and put way if possible), and store kids toys.

    •    Remove outdoor and recycling bins from sight - it is best to place them in an outside shed for the photoshoot or simply pull them to the side.

     •    Hide garden hoses and caddies.

     •    Hide outdoor tools, equipment, and so on.

·    Hide BBQ and further accessories or clean the area to make it clutter free.

·    Wash all windows and glass doors preferably one day prior to the property shoot.

·    Tidy up outdoor furniture (tables, chairs, add/replace/clean cushions, or umbrellas).

·     Rake up leaves, pull weeds, and remove any dead vegetation.

·   It is highly recommended to add some small details like candles, candle holders, fairy lights, bowl with fresh fruit and/or vase with fresh flowers to create that cosy, welcoming atmosphere.

Window Shades Shutters and Blinds:

1.    Horizontal blinds. It is usually best to keep horizontal blinds down. However, open the blades in a flat (45 degree angle) position to view the exterior. An exception can be made when you do not want to see outside the window. In those cases, place the shutter blades up further.

2.    Vertical blinds often appear best when fully open. Ensure that all blinds sharing a wall are adjusted in the same manner.

General Recommendations:

    •    Clear all countertops and remove clutter.

    •    Depersonalise home and remove all personal photos, names, etc.

    •    Clean all fans and store portable fans or air purifiers .

    •    Clean mirrors and windows.

    •    Vacuum, freshen up carpets and polish floors.

    •    Remove wastebaskets in laundry out of sight.

    •    Hide pet dishes, toys, beds, etc.

    •    Display minimalistic or chic magazines, books, etc.

    •    Store remote controls and chargers.

    •    Straighten furniture (polish wooden furniture, deep clean fabric couches, etc).

    •    Hide electrical cords and cables.

    •    Store toys and video games.

    •    Remove seasonal decoration unless it is necessary for a particular photo shoot.

    •    Remove excess furniture and unnecessary/personal souvenirs from rooms.


The kitchen is a centrepiece in the home, and it must be clutter-free and clean.

    •    Clean the kitchen sinks and hide all dishes and food.

    •    Clear the countertop and the fridge. Less is more.

    •    Place a couple of stylish items on the countertop and a bowl of colourful fresh fruit.

    •    Remove all magnets, documents, notes, photos, and decorations from the refrigerator.

    •    Clear the top and surface of the fridge to remove dust and smears.

· Clean and polish all surfaces and appliances (if you have nice and new appliances such as a coffee machine, toaster, and kettle it would be great to highlight them however if they are worn, it would be advised to place them in the cupboard).

    •    Hide away cleaning products and non-decorative kitchen towels.

    •    Hide rubbish bins.

    •    Store draining racks.

    •    Polish the surfaces to make sure they are free from finger-marks, stains, or smears.

    •    Organise and decorate open shelves. Declutter them and add some beautifications.

    •    Straighten all chairs and space them evenly.

    •    Clean the kitchen floor and any rugs/mats.


    •    Minimise personal items and remove family photos or swap them with “general” artistic pieces.   

    •    Organise shelves and ensure that they are orderly and stylish. If present, neatly arrange books or any collectables.

    •    Minimise unnecessary ‘knick-knacks’.

    •    Hide TV, stereo and other device cables.

    •    Remove all the clutter, excess furniture, and accessories.

    •    Place any decorative pillows on the sofa.


     •   Make all beds.

  •  Linens should be in matching colours, ironed with no fading or staines. Carefully remove wrinkles.

    •    Arrange and fluff decorative matching pillows.

    •    Store clothing and shoes.

    •    Remove items under the bed/s if they can be seen in pictures.

    •    Remove all unnecessary clutter.

    •    Clear master closets.

    •    Declutter and depersonalise bedside tables.

    •    Organise children’s rooms and remove unnecessary clutter.

    •    Remove laundry items and hide hampers.


    •    Clean and declutter any work desks.

    •    Remove personalised items, add minimum artwork (optional).

    •    Remove notes, papers, and loose sheets.

    •    Hide any computer cables and chargers if possible.


Bathrooms are a real selling point, and a little effort can give great results.

    •    Close toilet lids. This is such a small detail, but it makes a huge difference.

    •    Minimise countertop items.

    •    Remove bath and shower items.

    •    Store toilet brushes, plungers, and wastebaskets.

    •    Place clean matching towels and indoor plants to brighten up the image.


    •    Ensure cleanliness.

    •    Get rid of any dirt settled below and remove debris floating on top.

    •    Remove the cover, floating chlorine dispenser, pool sweep, and pool toys.

    •    Straighten lounge chairs, hide cleaning tools, and set up your patio umbrella if you have one.

    •    Turn on pool light(s), spa bubbles, and waterfalls.

Please also note:


Commonly, we do not take photos of inside closets and unfinished areas including garages or storage sheds unless requested otherwise.

Therefore, feel free to use these areas to keep items out of sight.

One Hour Before the Real Estate Photo/Video Shoot

·    Move all vehicles from the garage, driveway, or street in front of your house unless otherwise agreed.

  •    Turn off TV sets, computers, and dust screens.

·    Open curtains, shades, and blinds.

·     Turn on ALL the interior lights (including those inbuilt in furniture)

·     Turn OFF all indoor and outdoor ceiling fans.

     •     Light all candles and fireplaces (if applicable).

·     Turn on ALL fairy lights and ensure all other decorations are in order.

     •    Turn on pool lights, spa bubbles, and waterfalls.

Marketing has an astounding impact on buyers’, renters’ or Airbnb guests’ opinion of your property, and its price point. Therefore, professional photography and videography is a crucial component of the highly competitive real estate market. High quality, and scenic photos and videos provide an attractive real estate listing and sell and/or rent the property fast.

Your professional real estate photographer and videographer in Cairns, Port Douglas and the Atherton Tablelands are the artists with the skill set and attention to detail that make your house look fabulous through the camera lens.

Feel free to bookmark this list. If you are planning a real estate photo shoot for your property, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here or call on 0405 096 554. At Shamrock Space Studio we are always happy to discuss your needs in further detail.


bottom of page