Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Should we "stage'' photos? No

A reader recently complained that photography in our weekly Home section didn’t portray local houses to best advantage and that we should “stage’’ more photos.
Rochelle Reed, features editor of The Tribune, raised this concern in the May 25 issue. I think her response perfectly summarized our approach. Given that, I’ve included it verbatim below, in case any of our online readers hadn't read it:
“Staging is a term used when a home is accessorized in order to sell it. ‘Styling’ is the term that interior-decorating magazines and now television shows use when they temporarily supplement or completely replace a homeowner’s furnishings and accessories with more fashionable items.
“During the decade that I styled homes for decorating magazines, I straightened shelves, hid televisions, replaced dead plants and frequently brought in entirely new furniture. After a time, I realized how unfair we were to readers, who imagined that other homeowners lived in perfect environs totally without clutter. So in Home, we show homes just as they are, often well-lived or … maintained in pristine formality.
“What you see is what really exists.’’

-- Sandy Duerr

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