Before the shoot

Hello and welcome to Scott Wycoff Real Estate Photography. I look forward to working with you to create beautiful photographs of your home/listing. To do this, it takes cooperation and teamwork to ensure, when the photos of your home go ‘live’, your home presence on-line is maximized and peaks not only interest but value as well.

I mentioned teamwork. By working together, the listing agent, homeowner, staging consultant and professional photographer, can create an amazing listing setting it apart from all others and bringing out the maximum potential from a home. I would love to help stage a home, but I lack the expertise to do so, luckily, there are staging companies that can help. In order to deliver the level of service my customers expect, I do not have the ability to clean or stage a property for you.

Homes in photographs should be at or above ‘open house’ standards. You would advise homeowners to clean or tidy up a home before an open house. Those same standards apply to the photography as well. In the past, open houses established the first impression interested parties received of a home’s interior they were potentially interested in. In today’s market, your first impression is made on-line, your curb appeal is made on-line, and we all know first impressions are everything.

Download a printable .pdf of these guidelines to use as a checklist here:  BEFORE-THE-SHOOT-CHECKLIST.pdf

Below are a few suggestions, based on the area of the home, you can do yourself which will improve the quality of your photographs:




·        Thoroughly clean whole house.

·        Replace all burned out light bulbs.

·        Make all beds.

·        Remove all rugs.  Whole room area rugs can be left in place.






·        Close all garage doors.

·        Remove all vehicles from the driveway.

·        Mow and tidy up landscaping.

·        Place trash cans in the garage or out of site.

·        Put away hoses or wind on hose reels.

·        Put away children’s toys that aren’t permanent.

·        Remove empty or dead planters.

·        Clean pool and put away pool supplies


·        Clear all countertops of knife blocks, baking supplies, coffee makers, wine or alcohol bottles.  Bigger items, such as countertop microwaves, may be left.

·        Clear refrigerators of papers and magnets and any items on top.

·        Hide all visible trash containers.

·        Put away any visible dishes (unless they are displayed in cabinets or clear cupboards).



Dining Room

·        Clear and polish table.

·        Set decorative place settings or center piece.

·        Straighten and evenly space chairs.

·        Remove any child booster chairs or high chairs.



Living Room

·        Remove any magazines, newspapers or books.

·        Remove or put away any toys.

·        Straighten or clean up fireplace.

·        Minimize family photos if possible.


·        Clear nightstands of personal items; leaving alarm clocks, lamps.  (CPAP machine?  Disconnect or hide hoses.  I use one, I feel your pain.)

·        Store or hide electronics and charging cords for phones, tablets, laptops.

·        Clear dressers of clutter.

·        Clear visible areas under the bed.

·        For small kids or nurseries, hide diaper genies or hampers.


·       Clear counter tops completely.  No soaps, toothbrushes, make-up, etc.

·       Toilet lids down.

·       Clean glass door showers, remove soaps and shampoo/personal items from showers.

·       Remove dirty towels and clothes.

·       Remove floor mats and rugs.


·       If the basement is finished, follow all the guidelines for living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens that are in the basement.

·       If the basement is roughed or unfinished, make sure the floor is swept.  Most unfinished spaces may not get photographed.

·       Utility rooms and mechanical rooms straightened and swept as well as possible.


·        Store or hide food and water bowls

·        Store or hide toys and beds

·        Contain pets in crates, cages or yards (if possible)

·        Remove pet waste and toys from yards.

  • Kitchens