Cleaning Homes Before Shoot?

Cleaning Homes Before Shoot?

Had to smile today when encountering this Wall Street Journal article, Real-Estate Agents Clean House. The journalist asks a couple real estate agents about their experiences.

I smile, because I’ve seen these situations. In 7 years’ shooting commercially, there have been instances–fortunately rare–where a property simply wasn’t ready. In most cases, even when advising against the shoot, the client asked the shoot be done anyway. The pics are for marketing in most cases, their choice, their money… Even so, its no more fun for the photographer to deal with than it is for anyone else…paid or not.

Does Torben Photography clean homes, such as the examples cited? No. But…I’m ready to ‘help’ in many cases.

Some examples include rolling up throw rugs or bath mats, putting them out of sight, then replacing them. Why? Because you want to improve the perception of square footage. Kitchen sink soap bottles, paper towel stands, dish rags, sure. Those can be temporarily tucked under a counter or laid flat in the sink. Window blinds tweaked a bit.

Maybe in a future shoot I’ll take some example pics. Probably make for a fun post.

I have played babysitter. One of my all-time favorite shoots… the husband had already relocated for his new job. His wife stayed beyond with their daughter, to prep the house for sale. When I showed up, both real estate agent and owner were scrambling to clean. Their daughter, was a hoot, full of energy and having a blast.

I could have left. She wasn’t ready. Instead what I ended up doing was following her through the house, room-by-room. And when I caught her, I did the exteriors before coming back in.

She was very worried her daughter would be a problem for me but I assured her it wouldn’t. Actually, for whatever reason, we hit it off and had a great time. Even put a few of the pics I took of her, in the picture set to be given to the owners.


Rarely is it an issue. However there are times… One of my favorite was a commercial shoot. Turned out my shoot was scheduled on trash day. A light industrial building, it had a row of entrances down one side, each with a rather noticeable trash bag. Even Photoshop has it’s limits :).

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