St Augustine, St Johns County Real Estate & Home Staging


Working with a magazine... What their editing process shows that we can learn from

Over a year ago I worked with a national magazine on an article on Home Staging.  The homeowner was one of those rare and great finds who would do anything we said and allow us to do anything we felt necessary.  When we entered the home for the first time - only 12 hrs before we were expected to stage the entire unit (3 bdrms, living room, dining room, kitchen), on less than a $300 budget (materials & outside labor) and in less than 8 hrs (including work time), the magazine staff was very anxious.  To them the home looked good as is and they felt they wouldn't be able to capture the changes on camera without cut lines to inform viewers of the changes.  I assured them that would not be the case.  We would make more than simple, subtle changes.

What was the most interesting part for me, was watching the photographer.  I would set furniture in place and then he would move it slightly to get the best shot (angles for the camera).  When he was done I would reposition it for the actual showings.   In the kitchen, I swear there were 4 different cuts of lemon on the counter and they spent over an hour photographing them.

About a week after the shoot I received these proofs.  I think you can see the changes were obvious.  What was interesting about them was the changes they noticed in the after photos.  Would we have taken the time to try the pillows in different ways just to appease our camera?  (btw, they chose #1)

I think we can actually learn quite a bit from thinking about what professional photographers do.  Sometimes it is about tweaking reality to conform to the shot, then fixing it for real life.  Below is one of the shots I recently took with this in mind.


Notice the TV in this shot.  Clearly this TV would normally be faced the other direction - towards the person in bed.  The fact of the matter is that the back of the TV was not a great shot.  I didn't want to completely remove it from the shot, but I also didn't want to take a photo of the black box with wires and cables.  Turning it toward the camera makes for a better photo. 

Just in case you were interested in the lemons from the story above... here are the final proofs.


 Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging

For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at, Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).


Comment balloon 9 commentsMelissa Marro • July 30 2008 09:50PM
Working with a magazine… What their editing process shows that we…
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