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Blog » How to Prepare for your Commercial Photo Shoot

So you’ve scheduled a photo shoot for your real estate property. You want to get the best images possible, in order to attract potential renters or buyers. But how can you make sure that the photo shoot will go as smoothly as possible? And how can you make the most out of the shoot? There are a few things you can do prior to the shoot to ensure your property is at its most photogenic. This guide will help you get the highest quality photographs possible. Preparation is an essential element for great imagery. Follow these simple steps to stand out from the ordinary. Not all of these items will be applicable to your site, but any help and foresight will make photo shoot day go smoothly.  

Prior to the Shoot

1. Have your lawn maintenance done no more than two days before, preferably the day before the photo shoot. 2. Remove dead plantings around your clubhouse and signage. 3. If nighttime photos are included in your photo package, please ensure that all exterior lighting at the front and rear areas of the clubhouse and/or pool are working and able to be illuminated before sunset or one hour before sunrise, depending upon when the photographer has decided to shoot twilight photos. This may mean relocating solar cell sites so that they may be triggered early or adjusting any timers. 4. Check all exterior light fixtures and replace burned out bulbs and locate switches. 5. Check out all clubhouse and model lamps/fixtures and replace burned out bulbs. 6. Replace or repair any damaged equipment/nets in the amenity areas. 7. Ensure that all pool furniture/umbrellas are in proper working order. 8. Alert residents to the possibility that the pool and other amenity areas will be closed for several hours the day of the photo shoot. Please also request residents to remove items such as towels and clothing from balconies and if possible to do a general straightening of their balcony or porch area. 9. To ensure your interior spaces look their best, make sure all of the lighting is in the same temperature rating. On the back of most light bulb boxes is a temperature rating in Kelvin (K). We recommend that all indoor lighting fixtures have a 5000K to 5500K bulb to represent a fairly close match to natural daylight. One of the easiest ways to manage this is to ask a lighting specialist at your local home improvement store. For highest quality, this means every light: kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, hallways, dining room, ceiling fans. If you choose to go with a warmer temperature (yellow: 2500K to 3500K), your photos may be a little less true than a natural look. The most common problem we find to disrupt the positive mood of a model apartment is improperly balanced lighting. It is a simple fix and perhaps the single most important thing you can do to establish a pleasing feel to any space in the mind of your customer.


Day Before the Shoot

1. Remove all temporary exterior signage or paraphernalia related to leasing information such as balloons, flyers, banners, etc. from the clubhouse and/or/monument signs. 2. Remove seasonal decorations from clubhouse, model and entrance. 3. Temporarily remove any inoperable pool furniture. Take time to stage the pool area such that all chairs, chaise lounges, tables, umbrellas, etc. are nicely arranged and consistent in appearance. 4. Vacuum and fill the pool. 5. Freshly rake volleyball courts and sand areas on the playground. 6. Deactivate sprinkler systems the day before the photo shoot to prevent pools of water or water stains from appearing in the photos. 7. Vacuum, dust and clean windows in the model, clubhouse and amenity areas. 8. Be sure all bedspreads and curtains are fairly wrinkle free. 9. Rope off exterior parking spaces in front of the clubhouse or place utility cones to prevent resident parking on the evening before the photo shoot. 10. Remind residents about amenity closings and removing items from balconies.  

Day of the Shoot

1. Blow off the clubhouse entrance walkway, common areas, and any amenities such as tennis and basketball courts in the morning. 2. Skim the pool for any floating debris. 3. Prepare a property map and key fob to grant access to all areas of the property. 4. If nighttime or twilight photos are a part of your package, arrangements will need to be made with the photographer to have interior lights left on and all blinds open in the clubhouse. This may involve sending someone back to turn things off at dark or leaving them on overnight for a dawn shoot. Firm arrangements can be discussed with the photographer upon arrival. 5. We will try to make this easy for you on the day of the shoot. Escorts are not necessary. Usually a quick meeting with the photographer upon arrival to discuss your property specifics and access to all the areas is all that will be needed. And that’s it! Follow these simple steps and your photo shoot will go smoothly, and the resulting photographs will be stunning! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.