Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery


To make the most of your real estate photo session, follow these preparation tips. Applying the following will ensure the final images show your house at its best for potential buyers. 


General preparation in all areas: 

[  ]  Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)

[  ]  Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON

[  ]  Replace all burned out light bulbs

[  ]  Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)

[  ]  Turn all ceiling fans OFF

[  ]  Turn all TVs OFF

[  ]  Turn all computer screens OFF

[  ]  Open blinds/window treatments to let natural light in. 

[  ]  Remove and put away personalized items such as family photographs (replace with general landscape/art work)

[  ]  Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring (please, remove bath mat) 

[  ]  Place all shoes, clothes and jackets in closets and dressers. 

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Front Exterior

[  ]  Close garage doors

[  ]  Remove cars from driveway and front of home

[  ]  Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)

[  ]  Remove empty planters

[  ]  Remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames

[  ]  Remove visible water hoses

[  ]  Remove toys, sports balls and goals. 


Back Yard

[  ]  Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions

[  ]  Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded

[  ]  Clear out kid's toys, balls, frisbees, etc.

[  ]  Clean pool

[  ]  Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose

[  ]  Hide pool cleaning supplies

[  ]  Turn on pool fountains/water features

[  ]  Remove visible water hoses

[  ]  Remove trash cans

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery


[  ]  Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.

[  ]  Leave out max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker)

[  ]  Clear refrigerator front of magnets, papers, photos, etc.

[  ]  Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet

[  ]  Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher


Dining Room

[  ]  Clear table, dust and polish the table top

[  ]  Use decorative place setting if available

[  ]  Feature one centerpiece such as a bouquet of flowers

[  ]  Straighten all chairs and space them evenly

[  ]  Remove child seats/booster chairs

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Living Room/Family room

[  ]  Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.

[  ]  De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)

[  ]  Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed

[  ]  Fluff and arrange furniture pillows

[  ]  Remove kid's toys



[  ]  Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available

[  ]  Press bed linens and bed skirts

[  ]  Clear nightstands of all personal items

[  ]  Store away phone/tablet charging cables

[  ]  Remove all clutter from top of dressers

[  ]  Remove family photos, personalized names from walls

[  ]  Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery


[  ]  Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.

[  ]  Put toilet seats down

[  ]  Close closet doors

[  ]  Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs

[  ]  Remove dirty towels - leave out only new, unused towels

[  ]  Remove floor mats



We love them, but potential buyers might not, so keep evidence of any furry friends presence to a minimum. 

[  ]  Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet

[  ]  Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet

[  ]  Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair

[  ]  Contain pets in hidden crate or outside

[  ]  Clear back yard of pet waste/toys

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery





Image: Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Image: Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery


So you’ve decided it's time for new business photos. Perhaps you are undergoing a brand refresh? How about a new portrait for your website to show your potential clients what you and your business are about? Congratulations on making the decision; now what do you wear? 

The following are some pointers to help taking the guess work out of wardrobe questions prior to your photo session.  

There is no right or wrong, or ‘one size fits all’ kind of solution. The following are  suggestions and the only rule is: look professional while staying true to yourself. 

The following guidelines apply wether your definition of business attire is a suit and tie, or jeans and a T. 


Make sure you have the proper fit. Wearing a jacket that is too small will make you look uncomfortable, while one that is too big will make you look frumpy. Contrary to what most people think, baggy clothes don't hide the extra pounds, they make you look bigger than if you were wearing clothes that fit properly.


Iron, wash, and/ or dry clean your clothes prior to the session. Whether it’s a collared shirt, blouse, trousers, skirt (even a plain white T) - make sure they are looking crisp and are free of wrinkles. 


Preferably wear solid colours as not to draw attention away from your face. Prints tend to be distracting and loud, so if you want to wear prints, keep them small and uniform. Your final photos should show you, not your clothes.

Stay away from logos that are representative of companies other than your own, and avoid any slogans and graphics that might be offensive (unless the purpose of the photos is to provoke some kind of reaction).


Don’t show too much skin. This is not a modesty tip, this is a ‘drawing attention to your face’ tip. As a recommendation, wear sleeves that are elbow length and skirts / pants that are knee length minimum. Exposed arms and legs will draw attention away from your eyes and smile. 


Be aware that too much contrast between top and bottom (light top and dark bottom, and vice versa) will make the lighter parts look bigger. If that’s what you want, that’s great, but know that this is the effect light colour has on camera when seen against darker surrounding tones. As a guideline, keep top and bottom the same tone. All dark, or all light. 


Keep it minimalist and simple so we can see you. A watch, rings, earrings and glasses you normally wear are usually more than enough.  Unless you are modelling your own line of costume jewelry, keep it understated, but with a little spark.


A fresh haircut or trim will go a long way to look polished. This is however not the time to try a new edgy hair style the day of the photo session. Give yourself 1-2 weeks between your new haircut and photoshoot,  to give yourself some time to get used to it. 


Keep the colours scheme within the same range. Choose up to 3 colours for the team to work with and keep it within the same palette for a more cohesive look. For example: Tans / grey / whites, or black / white / + one colour, and so on. 

Make sure everyone dresses to the same level. That means, if your everyday dress code is suits and ties, everyone should stick to the dress of the day. If your office is more casual, dressing down is great, but the overall team needs to be cohesive. 

Whether you normally wear all black, or you love colour, or like to make a statement with your choice of clothing, don’t be afraid to show your personality. Stay true to yourself and your brand. For more tips and suggestions specific to your photo session, your photographer will be happy to help out to make sure your final photos are a true representation of your brand and your business.






Image: Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery

Image: Copyright 2017 Harbour City Imagery


Looking for a brand refresh? New visual content for your website, brochures, and advertisement? When looking for professional photography for your business marketing and branding, there are so many photographers to choose from. How do you choose the right one for your business? Don’t be overwhelmed! This checklist will help you through the process of choosing your professional photographer. Things to consider: 


Do you like what you see? Things to consider when looking at a portfolio are quality, consistency, variety, overall style and aesthetic.


Is the photographer a professional with experience? Look at their experience as a photographer, but past experiences are useful as well. When working with your business or organization, will the photographer understand the needs of your business, marketing, and branding for your business? 


What does the photographer specialize in? Different specializations include fashion, food, architecture, product, portraiture, etc…Don’t hire a wedding photographer to photograph an office interior. Make sure the photographer you hire has experience and specializes in the area you need them for.


Does your photographer have referrals? Word of mouth from other business owners and referrals from other photographers give you a pretty good indication of the competence of your photographer. Look at online reviews, Facebook, Linked-In, on their website. Has the photographer received praises? Complaints? How did they respond to complaints and feedback?


Will your professional photographer meet in person? A face-to-face meeting, prior to hiring, is essential to get a feel for their approach, style, and personality. Will they meet in person for an in-depth needs assessment? Does your photographer take the time to get to know you and your business? This in-person initial meeting will ensure the end result is tailored to your brand. 


Do they look at the site in person? If an off-site location is required, does the photographer provide location scouting?


Can your photographer think conceptually? Will he/she bring ideas forward? They should be able to take your vision and come up with ideas on how to achieve it. Look at their portfolio and ask questions about how they came up with the idea for the pose, lighting, location etc…  


Is your photographer willing and open to collaborate? As a business, you have a team of marketers, graphic designers, communications specialist who worked hard on your brand. The photographer should be able to take directions from your team and collaborate to ensure a cohesive package in line with your existing brand.


Does your photographer use a contract? Hiring a photographer for your business is no different than hiring any other type of contractor. Ensure your photographer has some kind of agreement in place. A simple contract will set expectations, clearly state scope of service, timing, pricing, delivery, etc, to ensure everyone is on the same page. This will eliminate potential misunderstandings and keep everyone happy.


Is the photographer insured to work on your premises? When a photographer conducts a photoshoot in your office or place of work, ask them about their liability coverage.




Whether you are a well-established corporation or a small start-up, your marketing images can tell so much about your company. It helps your potential clients determine who they will hire and buy from. 

Your company branding is an all-encompassing package and it needs to be cohesive and consistent. Photographs play an important part in your branding, so your images must be authentic and a true representation of your company. Here are the benefits of personalized imagery to your company :

1 - It communicates your business’ culture and personality: 

Photograph your people as they collaborate, interact, or take part in special events. Your audience wants to know about your thought process and how you do business. Show them what you are about so they can get an idea of who they will be hiring and buying from. What to show: your team at work; customer experience; office interiors; architecture; location shots; lunch room; staff lounge; community engagement.  

2 - It brings out the human side of your business: 

Without people, you have no business! Tell the world about your collaborators, clients, employees, and colleagues. Even as a one-person business, there is a team of people right behind you, who contributes to your success. Show them off and tell their stories. What to show: Interactions with your collaborators and suppliers, your team in action in their work environment. Everyone is important, so don't forget to show all your staff. Without even the newest and most junior personnel, your business cannot operate. Team photos are great for that purpose. 

3 - It sets you apart from the competition: 

Personalized photos are original, unique to you, and set you apart from the competition. Get images tailored to your brand, your culture, and your people. Your clients will identify with you and feel more connected if you are honest, genuine, and show your true self.  What to show: How you make your product; your work environment; your latest technology;  top of the line equipment; your unique process. 

4 - It creates a cohesive and consistent message: 

Imagery for your business means it represents your brand in a unique way. It targets your audience and is consistent throughout your website, printed materials, advertising and social media. What to show: Images in the same style throughout; clear look and feel. Make sure the photographer collaborates with your marketing team, graphic designers, and web designers. This will ensure a consistent brand. 

5 - It helps build rapport and relationships: 

Especially true in Nova-Scotia, we do business with people we know, like and trust. When you are authentic and genuine, your personality shines through and your potential clients will trust you. People connect with brands they recognize themselves in and identify with. This comes back to bringing out the human side of your business. What to show: Your neighbourhood; community engagement; portraits in locations that represent you and your business.  

6 - It gives you your own bank of images: 

A professional photographer will create your own bank of images. You can refer to your library anytime, as you need images for annual reports, articles, staff photo and publications. allows for consistency and authenticity as opposed to using stock photos. What to show: Everything from the big picture to the small details; show product images, team photos, details, office environment, manufacturing plant, equipment, and more. Think of it as wedding photography, where the photographer captures the venue, cake, flowers, guests, and party. A good business photography package puts the emphasis on feel, atmosphere, and experience. 

Read about Why You Shouldn't Use Stock Photos For Your Marketing Material  






Yes, this is a stock photo. This image shows business people shaking hands, in a beautiful office, with gorgeous views. You have seen this somewhere, and it's a fantastic image. But should you use it in your company's marketing material ?  Photo by Rawpixel | Getty Images

Yes, this is a stock photo. This image shows business people shaking hands, in a beautiful office, with gorgeous views. You have seen this somewhere, and it's a fantastic image. But should you use it in your company's marketing material ?

Photo by Rawpixel | Getty Images


When it comes to visual content for your business marketing, are you the person who picks the first photo that comes up at the top of the search on stock photo websites? You are not the only one. 

Before I get into the reasons why not to use stock photos for your marketing, know that I am NOT anti-stock photos. In fact, a stock image was used here! I do believe there is a time and place for them. But please, please, please, do not use them to market your business! Here’s why: 

When it comes to marketing your business and your brand, it doesn’t make sense to use generic stock photos, especially on your website and printed materials. Why would you? 

Sure, stock photos are cheap and quick, but when it comes to marketing your team, products, services and workflow, you shouldn't cut corners. You tell your clients that they should hire you because you are different. Don’t show them generic photos of generic people, giving each other fake handshakes! All your competitors have them and those photos don’t exactly enhance a company's brand. 

Your audience can spot a stock photo a mile away and can see right through it. You are not fooling anyone when you show images of random beautiful corporate people. You know the ones, where they are meeting in a boardroom while having the time of their lives? Stock images may work in some instances, but they make your marketing look disingenuous. There are some risks in using stock photos to market your business. Here are 3 reasons why stock photos may not be the right choice for your brand :

1- Misrepresentation

Stock photos misrepresent your company, your team and your culture. For example, based on the stock photos you chose, new clients may get a different impression on the customer experience, which may not be in line with your true image. Or picture this: new talents interested in joining your team may find themselves disappointed because the office interiors are not like what you show on your website. 

2- Genericness

Generic content is repetitive, and will not set you apart from others or make you look any different. The same stock photos are used again and again by your competitors on their websites.  Isn’t the whole point to convince people to hire you because you ARE different? 

3- Inconsistency

Stock photos result in an inconsistent brand. When you use images taken from different sources, they will vary in style, colour and feel. This creates an inconsistent message throughout your marketing material and will confuse your audience.

These are a few reasons why you should stay away from stock photos for your marketing material. Using personalized and authentic images will go a long way to show your true self and promote your brand. Coming soon, a list of the benefits of personalized imagery for your business branding.

Thanks for stopping by !