Monday, March 14, 2016

Meeting the Camera, Staging. . .


Want to know what that expression is all about in this photo my sometimes-patient husband took as we headed off to see Madama Butterfly a week ago? Find out next post when I reveal not only what I'm wearing underneath this little gem of a coat I inherited from my mom, but also the number of shots it takes to get one good What I Wore photo. . . I'll share the good, the bad, and the downright ridiculous as I talk about the meeting of insecure (that'd be me, posing for a post) and, well, let's say inexperienced rather than incompetent (he's damn slow, and he never remembers to get the shoes in the post).
For now, I'm trying to get ready for a different encounter with the camera: our house will be photographed tomorrow or Wednesday (weather-dependent) for the real estate listing, and I'm frantically trying to get it ready. There's so much more we could do staging-wise, but life's been so busy... Once that's done, though, there's a conversation I want to have about house and home and visuality and comfort and living and memory and stuff and why Marie Kondo has it right but also has it very wrong. . .You know, just a few little thoughts. . .
And I'm going to post soon on my pathway to grey hair, in response to Lisa's suggestion that a curly-head speak up on the topic. In case your need to hear from someone with greying curls is more urgent, Duchesse covered the topic here, as she mentioned in a comment on Sue's post considering whether or not to jump in the grey pool.
But for now, I have a stack of papers I need to hide in the oven (Just kidding, my staging techniques are a degree more sophisticated than that, but all tips welcome. Or simply reassurance that all will be well and no one will notice the faults that I can't unsee. You don't even have to be sincere...) I hope your week has begun well. Happy Monday!


50 comments:

  1. Good luck with the staging. My theory (for what it's worth) is that so long as you clean the floor and the windows they impart an indefinable shine to the rest of the view. That's what I do when guests catch me short anyway - sure your plan is more considered!

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    1. Thanks for the advice. My plan is definitely not more considered -- depends on clearing out/hiding as much as I possibly can and then, yes, floors and windows -- clean...

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  2. Lovely coat. Catching up on a few of your posts. All change for you. Glad consultant visit brought some reassurance. It's a difficult place for you all but hoping all goes well. Good luck with the staging. The photographers are generally good at choosing best angles(in their interest too) and it's interesting to see what they do. So much stuff. Love the idea of kindling but in practice.. I'll be interested to read what you think . All the best Mary

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    1. Thanks Mary. And yes, I'm really hoping the photographer does some of that work for me.

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  3. Kindling of course should read kondoing! Mary

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    1. Thought that's what you meant. . . have to say I'm not even sure in theory. But more on that later...

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  4. Love the coat and appreciate how difficult it is to find a picture that you feel is flattering. I hate being photographed!

    Decluttering and owning only what you love is a good idea, but not if the unwanted/unloved stuff ends up in a landfill. I've read horror stories about what happens to used clothing and used housewares if not disposed of carefully. I am also not sure I can follow Kondo's concept of loving everything -- some chairs are just necessary places to sit and that seems fine. So many rules and advice and so little time....
    Lynn

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    1. I dislike it as well, although sometimes dream of having a photographer who could really capture what I do like about myself.
      You make a really good point about decluttering -- it's become so easy (and desirable, apparently) to clear out, to go "minimalist," -- except that somehow as a society we don't seem to be consuming less -- quite the opposite. And like you, I find some (much?) of what she recommends precious...

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  5. Good luck with the 'staging'.
    I can remember one young mother of four talking about endlessly rushing with clothes driers full of wet clothes out to her car to hide them when prospective house buyers came ... she kept on forgetting to rescue them so the whole family wore damp underwear till the house sold .

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    1. Ha! yes, I can imagine doing something like this when my four were young and we sold a house or two... Now, I'd have to hide the wet clothes in the wheelbarrow as the car's a bike ride and then a boat ride away. . . ;-)

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  6. You look great-happy woman with beautiful hair and lovely coat!
    Fresh flowers would be fine for photos, nice cushions,and fresh vanilla and cinnamon bouquet ( or real, if you're gonna bake cakes for visiting people!!)
    Dottoressa

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    1. Thanks! I once had bread baking during a viewing of a house we were selling -- and the realtor thought that had a big influence on the buyers. I'd like to hope I wouldn't be so easily influenced myself... ;-)

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  7. That is a fabulous coat, and looks like it fits you beautifully. I don't have any wisdom to offer re: staging. A few times a year when we're having company, we scramble to at least get the living areas cleared out and tidy, but boy would I love to get rid of some more stuff!!

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    1. She had good taste, my mom, but she must have bought this too big, because I can't understand how it fits me -- she was so tiny, her last years especially.
      I hear you about wanting to get rid of stuff. I've only been retired 8 months, so just beginning to take a stab at it -- should really have waited longer before listing. While I was working, there just never seemed to be time to deal with the accumulation of STUFF! Moving is finally the incentive I need to get organised...

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  8. That is an elegant photo! I hate having my photo taken and I usually look as though I am suffering. I would love to declutter more but I have sentimental attachments. I'm sure that the lovely views will sell the house to the right people.

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    1. Aw, you're sweet to say that -- I don't think I ever feel elegant.
      I think you're right -- in the end, it's the location that will sell this house, and the right buyer is out there somewhere. . . I hope they'll be as happy here as we've been.

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  9. You look fabulous and I love that you are letting your hair grow in grey...having curly hair helps this process.
    Good luck with the staging...your home has such spectacular views and a location that will appeal to many. I'd be smitten with the outdoor space and the vast expanse of ocean beyond. I predict that your home will sell fast!

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    1. Thanks, L. See my response to Mme., above . . . I cross my fingers you're right about a speedy sale (and just hope that I'm ready to leave that quickly if it happens).

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  10. To jump ahead to the curly grey post, my curls departed as the hair got grey-er to the point that now I really don't HAVE curly hair, just grey. Too bad, I didn't want the curls in my teens and now decades later they have obliged by vanishing.

    Good luck with the staging, agree totally with the clean windows advice, especially with your views!

    ceci

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    1. I've heard of this happening, and I must say I'd be rather nonplussed! So far, there are grey curls, and since I'm rather used to putting up with my curls by now, I hope that continues.
      Lots of elbow grease expended on windows today . . . this last weekend's storm threw up all kinds of saltspray, and I'm crossing my fingers there's no more of that for a while...

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  11. Oh my goodness, but I don't envy you the staging and the endless tidying. We have sold a lot of houses and I have learned the value of the area under the bed, of the oven, the dishwasher and an empty dresser drawer in every room. A laundry basket by the front door, to be filled with anything and everything that needs to be removed in a hurry - just take it to the car or put it in a shed whenever you go out. Good luck with this.
    As for Marie Kondo - I can't relate. At all.

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    1. Good points for the upcoming period of having prospective buyers through, and I will get those spots ready -- luckily, because of island logistics, we'll always have a minimum of two hours' notice. . .
      We'll have to have a Kondo chinwag . . . I sense you can be entertaining on this topic . . . ;-)

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  12. Your home has so much going for it - buyers will be taken by the view more than anything. I always polished the taps in the bathrooms and kitchen. It gives the impression of immaculate, even when the fridge hasn't been cleaned and there's laundry hiding in the closet.

    I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on Kondo - I find the concept of talking to my things rather odd.
    The black coat is very elegant looking, and I sympathize with you about the photographer!

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    1. Good pointers from someone who I know has some recent experience with house selling...
      Thanks re the coat -- my mother had great taste for the classics. And Kondo? some of it I liked; some of it I thought . . . well, you'll see...

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  13. Selling your house is like having new friends round to dinner , but more so . No need for perfection but we don't want them to think we are slobs . Our mess is treasured possessions but other people's mess is rubbish .
    Really like your hair now , it's growing into a lovely shape & you must be very pleased with it
    Wendy in York

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    1. Yes, it feels like being on display, for me, but in an odd way because we're expected to remove the most distracting evidence of self, life, family -- no photographs, for example. Which means, in my office, a wall with many odd bare spots!
      Thanks re the hair. It's getting there!

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  14. Great picture of you Frances .... you suit the style of the coat and how lovely that it was your mums. I drive my family crazy when taking photos as I click, click, click....taking lots means there's usually one great one and I can delete the rest! Trying to get hubby to do the same when he takes any of me. Otherwise I tend to have my eyes closed or look distracted from trying to hold a "pose" for ages :)
    Good Luck with the staging. I've tried over the years to use the "imagine we're selling the house" principle to de cluttering and reorganising! In theory it should work but in practice ...not so good. All I seemed to achieve was worrying the children (even as adults!) that this time I might be serious and we were going to move!!
    Hope your weeks going well ...
    Rosie

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    1. Oh, so many with my eyes closed and/or goofy expression!
      Ha! I think of your poor children, worrying that the house was being sold from under their feet ;-)
      But I'll admit that I've thought through the years that moving is the only way to really declutter -- and turns out I'm right (no satisfaction, in this instance)

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  15. Ah staging ... fun with a husband and 11y old to manage alongside, but my realtor made it easier. Good luck!

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    1. Yes, our realtor is really good as well. My problem is sorting through so much stuff left by having raised 4 kids . . . and we have enough bedding and cutlery and dishes to accommodate them when they visit. I'll take that offer of luck, thanks!

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  16. Enjoyed that post. Also tottered along and added my views re grey hair. Nice to find some more blogs to follow.

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  17. Can’t wait to read about all the topics you mentioned...

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    1. I'm looking forward to writing about them ;-)

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  18. I love the coat on you...even more special that it is your mother's. And love your hair. You would laugh if I told you how much I have spent on perms to get my straight Asian hair to curl. Now it's graying while cut into a short, spiky do.
    I am looking forward to your future post on Kondo-ing. The book is on my reading wait list at the local library. Best of luck on your real estate dealings!
    Charlene H.

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    1. Thanks Charlene -- so many find Kondo's book transformative. I'm not in that number, but I'll be curious to know what you find when you read it.
      I bet your hair is great -- I'm imagining a high-contrast black-grey, spiky style! Very chic!

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  19. Not sure staging has reached the UK yet. I hope not.
    Can't speak on the greying curls. Am grey, but with very straight, very thick hair. I keep getting my hairdresser to thin it out otherwise I'm like a 'sheep in a drift' as we say in Scotland.
    C
    Kondo-ing just seems too fad-like for me. I'm not really the disciple kind.

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    1. Ward off the staging trend as long as you can. The expectations are tiresome, really -- I mean, homes are where people live lives, right? We're embracing the opportunity to get organised and to get the jump on preparing for the eventual move, but some of the advice is being firmly ignored.
      You Scots have so many great expressions -- writers, all of you, from an oral tradition . . . And yes, you'll see from reading through the comments above that I'm not signing on to be Kondo-ised anytime soon...

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  20. Beautiful photo of you. And good luck with the photography and the resulting showing of your house, as well as the decluttering and keeping clean. I've read Kondo, and there is something to her approach I like, but overall am not a minimalist. My own line is somewhere in the gray area of am I a slave to caring for things, or do they enhance my life? It is an ever evolving question.

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    1. Thanks Mardel. The photography went well, the listing's live, and now just the waiting and the maintaining the place with some order. I'm not a minimalist either, but perhaps I'm craving some of that right now with stuff going on. . . except at the same time craving the comfort of certain possessions. I guess I'm in the grey as well!

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    1. Thanks! She had good taste, my momma. . .

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  22. That coat is lovely! Just the idea of having to keep my house clean enough for staging and showing is overwhelming me. I wish you lot of luck with it!

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    1. Thanks, R! Is that in your future, the real estate doings? I know you'd like a move back south eventually . . .

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    2. Thanks, R! Is that in your future, the real estate doings? I know you'd like a move back south eventually . . .

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  23. Thanks for the link. The coat is cool and reminds me that its opposite, unconstructed clothing (of which there is so much now) has accustomed us to women looking like ambulatory rectangles. I love the shape this lends.

    Will be eager to read what you say about your hair. I would not go back, though did enjoy being a redhead.

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    1. You're welcome, and thank you! It's a very elegant coat, and I don't see myself as elegant generally, but am happy to borrow from my mom, bless her sweet shy spirit.

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  24. The coat suits you extremely well, it is very neat, classic, stylish. I have been known to chuck dirty pots in the oven as visitors walk up the path. The trick is to remember they are there before you switch the oven on next time...X

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    1. Ah yes, the dirty-pots-in-the-oven trick, rivalled only by my leave-the-vacuum-cleaner-by-the-front-door so it looks as if you were interrupted from cleaning, thus rendering the detritus less disturbing. . . ;-)

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