Photoshoot preparation guide – commercial premises

Use this checklist as a general guide to prepare your business premises or location for photos. Note that this is not a staging or styling guide, but a guide to ensure the premises is presented in the best way for professional photography. 

It’s recommended to present the business or location for photos in the same way your clients, customers and visitors will find it during opening hours. Good news – if your premises is regularly maintained and ready for customers and visitors there shouldn’t be a lot to do here.





  • Remove rubbish from outdoor areas, check along footpaths and in garden beds.
  • Prune and remove dead tree branches.
  • Check signage is clean and in good order, especially entry signs.
  • Check outdoor lighting is in good working order and no obstructions.
  • Prune and weed garden beds, pots and planters – this doesn’t have to be perfect as long as generally tidy and big weeds are gone.
  • Clean messy parking areas, verandahs, patios and porches.
  • Make sure that outdoor furnishing such as umbrellas are clean and operable or remove them.
  • Clean windows (really dirty windows are visible in photos, but a few small marks is not a problem).
  • Remove old posters and flyers from windows / doors if they are no longer relevant or not needed to be in the photos.
  • Remove skip bins, transport trailers and other ‘behind the scenes’ vehicles or make sure they’re completely out of sight.


  • Declutter all counter tops, tables, desks and work bench tops – all paperwork, pens, bills, cords and cables, water bottles etc removed and placed inside cupboards or drawers. Some tools or other equipment specific to your work may be displayed if you would like these photographed.
  • Arrange products on display shelves and racks: grouping in like colours and shapes is a good tip here if possible.
  • If artwork or mirrors are on walls ensure all are hung straight.
  • Replace any faulty light globes in lights and lamps. Try to have the same tone light globes throughout – all warm or all cool. 
  • Remove clutter from underneath display cabinets – these spaces should be completely clear.
  • Tidy bookshelves – arrange books neatly. Remove some books if shelves are crowded.
  • Remove posters, flyers or other printed advertising that is no longer relevant or that you don’t want in the photos.
  • Ensure all blinds, shutters and curtains are operable as the photographer will need to open and close these to ‘play’ with the best light during the shoot.
  • Ensure all doors are clean and fully operable (keys available, locks & latches in good order) as the photographer may want these open to show off any views and let in the best light.
Your photographer will usually be happy to work alone, with some guidance on each area to be photographed. However if you require the photographer to be accompanied while on the premises (for safety/security) now is a good time to nominate someone to do this.




  • Mow lawns.
  • Sweep / blow leaves away from outdoor areas – paths, verandahs, patios, porches.
  • Pack away tools, sprinklers, and hoses neatly coiled.
  • All outdoor garbage bins moved out of sight.
  • Set up or tidy outdoor furniture: dust and remove cobwebs, arrange in a suitable location for the photo shoot, neatly arrange and fluff up cushions. Clean glass table tops.
  • Consider portable signage – do you want these in photos, or packed away.


  • All floor rugs and door mats neatly spread out and placed evenly in spaces.
  • Flower arrangements and potted plants should be considered if these will improve the space. The photographer may move these to suit the shots. 
This is also a great time to remind your employees about the photo shoot. Unless the photographer is taking ‘people shots’ then all spaces they are working in are ideally kept free from people or animals during the shoot as the photographer may be using really wide-angle lenses, long shutter speeds and multiple exposures – meaning that the camera may be ‘working’ for a few minutes on each photo while picking up a 180 degree view of the surrounds and any movement around that space will compromise the shot.



ON THE DAY OF THE SHOOT (prior to shoot start time):

Open all window dressings:

  • curtains evenly placed on each side
  • roller blinds equal height about 10cm from the top. Stagger sheers with block-outs to show both are available.
  • vertical / venetian /  horizontal blinds, shutters, louvers – all open to the same ‘flat open’ position.
  • Remember that the photographer will switch on / off lights as they are needed. For some rooms lights off will create better photos – if the room has plenty of natural light this may be preferred and will create photos with true colours and less ‘yellow’ or overly cool tones from white lights  or LEDs. 
  • Fireplaces / fire pits: a clean, neat and very small stack of firewood looks best inside wood storage areas. No need to light the fire in summer, very realistic flames can be edited into the shot to suit the style of fireplace.
  • Check that all areas the photographer needs to access for photos are unlocked / open or keys are readily available.
  • Pack away all cleaning supplies – cloths, sponges, spray bottles all out of sight.
  • All rubbish bins in any rooms packed away inside a cupboard or completely out of sight.
  • Restrain pets or take them away so they will not be in the photos.