Staging Secrets Exposed

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This post has moved to my new site at Planq Studio. Please visit me there to find out how to make this fun project and get inspiration for loads of other projects too!

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49 Comments

  1. M… this post has rendered me speechless. Amazing. I am so glad I get to peek into your expose. What you have done here is magnificent! amazing sense of color, style and use of props. Best part is all your furniture is movable. One major hindrance for me is most of the furniture in my house is immovable, it has been attached to the wall.
    This post has given me some direction and a fair idea on how to style and stage. I think you should have an expose for all your styling challenges. 😉

  2. I love this, what a riveting read 🙂
    Thanks for sharing, I second the idea to do an expose on all your styling challenges.

  3. violetannie63

     /  November 13, 2013

    What a great post! Good to know all those sneaky tricks Real Estate photographers use when shooting houses or flats for advertisements (having just been through the process of looking for a house to rent and seeing the advertised “look” as opposed to what you get in reality…). Thanks for posting 🙂

  4. I am new to this whole blogging thing, so I am so thankful for posts like this! I don’t have a fancy camera, but I know I can use your tips for staging. I think the biggest tip for me is that you have to take LOTS of pictures to get the right one. Thank you!

  5. Dear M, what a fantastic post! Sitting in a car in this heavy traffic, your refreshing post just changed my stressed out day! Absolutely amazing styling and staging and resourcefulness (now that I can see the after and before pics!). I really wanted to take up the challenge of doing something with the staging tips that you shared but not today (I am on wheels and will be on wheels till night, so no time 😦 ) maybe I’ll try it out some other time.

  6. Very clever. I like the basket nightstand and the paper on the window.

  7. Thanks for such a detailed expose, M! I think the most important thing to take away from your post would be “move, move and keep moving stuff around till you get it right”. That’s something I really struggle with. Once I’ve gathered stuff and arranged them in a vignette, I forget to try out new things in the vignette or to move some of them out of the way, and try to shift MY position to get a better shot.
    I love how you made a torn piece of paper into art. Only you could’ve thought of that!
    Love how you transformed that space!

  8. I’m truly impressed!

  9. I’m so glad this post helped you understand the tricks of staging a bit more! If your furniture is not mobile, you will just have to get creative with masking certain things and play with camera angles as I have done. Surely, not all the chairs and side tables are bolted down? If my friend had a basic wood chair, I would have used that as the side table, so you see there are ways to give things added character while using what you have!… Haha, I cannot do an exposé for all the themes! Not all of them have been this involved so they would be really boring to read about. ~M.

  10. Thank you so much, Marlene! I really enjoyed sharing it with you! I would love to do an exposé for all the themes in this challenge, but I’m afraid they wouldn’t be as interesting to read about. This one in particular was quite involved, so thought it was worth the post! ~M.

  11. Thank you! Those photographers might actually be shooting the real thing, although quite dressed up and cleaned, of course. Furniture and architectural – even food – adverts are where these tricks really shine because they’re often needed for a quick photo opp and then taken down immediately. In any case, there is definitely the necessity to make something look better than it actually is for ads. ~M.

  12. So very true! I take several test shots to get the right exposure and angle before I even think of shooting for real! For this photo shoot alone, I must’ve had 100+, but only used 3 for posting in the challenge. You don’t need a fancy camera – you just need to know how to use it to get what you want and how to take the best photos! Best of luck to you!

  13. Do it soon while you are still inspired and the tips are fresh in your mind! You’ll be amazed what you come up with once you put words into action. Let me know when you’ve staged something!

  14. Thank you! You know how I just love the idea of using things in new ways!

  15. So very true! Things have to be shifted around, even if only just an inch because that can make ALL the difference in a camera’s eye! Even when I shoot in different angles, I may adjust the placement of my objects because one might be blocking another at the new angle. So always review your images as you shoot them, just to know what needs to be tweaked. When I shot this bedroom in the other angles (you remember those angles?), I had to shift the duvet up and down the bed according to how much of the white sheets I wanted to expose. Very subtle, but it’s the details that make an OK photograph fantastic! Good luck with your staging and photography! ~M.

  16. These are really great tips. I’ll def be using some of those! Staging has been a challenge but these help alot

  17. Thank you so much! ~M.

  18. I’m so glad I could help with sharing this! I use these tricks in my blogging photography also, not just for the photo challenge.

  19. Thank you for this inspiration. I need to start staging more. You show that it really isn’t as hard as one might think.

  20. Really enjoyed reading this post, opened my mind up to how to stage and think about balancing it all out. Some fantastic tips, thank you for sharing!

  21. Neat! I especially like the pizza stone “table”. Also, an additional idea for you: I have similar branches in my vase- and I spray painted them- they look so awesome and super high-end!

  22. That was such a fun day! You can use my house anytime! Great post!!!!! So well explained + really great, thorough tips! I also like all the graphics + type! You sure made my bedroom look so elegant!!! I can’t wait till all my boxes are cleared out!!!

  23. Simply awesome. Love the trick of white paper over the window to diffuse light and prevent awful glare.

  24. Wow, you did a lot of work, but it was well worth it, great tips – thanks! Esp the one about diffusing the light by covering the window. -Dawn @ We Call It Junkin.com

  25. Smoke and Mirrors! What a fun post to see what really goes on. Thanks for sharing at TTF!

  26. Thank you! I quite love staging. I’m always impressed at how one can use new objects in different ways to get the shot. You should try my quickie challenge and use these tips in action!

  27. Thank you! Glad you found it useful. Staging is so much fun once you realize you can do anything and learn to hide it from the camera. Hope you’ll do my quickie challenge and put these tips to use!

  28. It was such a joy to find that the pizza stone almost fit the “table” to a T! I actually don’t know what I would’ve used as a stable surface if we didn’t have that. Love painted branches, especially in a small cluster spray painted gold for a table centerpiece… mmm, elegant!

  29. Thanks so much for lending your “studio” to me! Haha! Your objects around the house really helped to pull the shoot together. I’ve already got my eye on a few other things for future photo shoots…. 😉

  30. Isn’t that a wonderful trick? Such a simple thing that makes a world of difference!

  31. Thank you so much, Dawn! It was definitely more involved than my previous photo shoots, but I absolutely loved the entire process!

  32. Thank you, Linda! Glad you enjoyed it!

  33. What excellent tips! LOVE it. So true…you can make anything look good on camera because you only have to show what you want others to see or believe is there. *BRAVO*!!

  34. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this. I always have trouble staging rooms for pictures on my blog. A scarf over a pillow? Genius! I hope you’ll link this amazing post over at Foodies and Crafties Soiree!

    http://mrandmrswinslett.blogspot.com/2013/11/foodies-and-crafties-soiree-2.html

  35. Exactly! That’s what I love about staging and styling!

  36. Have just linked up! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading this post. I hope you’ll use some of the tips for staging in your blog. 🙂

  37. Thanks for showing how you stage a room. It looks great! Linda
    http://www.craftsalamode.com/2013/11/how-to-take-pictures-of-christmas.html

  38. Thank you! Glad you liked the tips! ~M.

  39. That is GREAT advice. Thanks for sharing. I will defiantly be using some of your tricks.

  40. This is a really helpful post! I will be using some of these tricks in the future, and I learned so much! Thanks for sharing!

  41. Awesome! I hope they work out well for you!

  42. You’re very welcome! Glad to know my tricks will come in handy for you! ~M.

  43. Great tips & tricks! Sometimes small things can really do miracles:) I have a bedroom to re-furnish and re-decorate in a couple of months, so definitely will use some of your tips!
    Thanks for sharing at Foodies & Crafties Soirée!
    Gosia | Kiddie Foodies

  44. Thanks goodness for crafty folks like you- I just have no eye for this kind of thing. Thanks for joining us at the Foodies and Crafties Soiree!

  45. I would love to take up the challenge, but the challenge is finding the time! Might have a go this weekend, will let you know if I get a chance to do it as I really want to as you had some fantastic tips in this post! 🙂

  46. Yeah, sure thing! Don’t stress out about it. Practice when you can. 🙂

  47. I hope this post made you feel a bit more confident that you can do it too!

  48. Can’t wait to see it! Good luck with the revamp. ~M.

  49. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog
    before but after looking at some of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m certainly pleased I discovered it and I’ll
    be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

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