Unrealistic real estate photography is a treachery!

I’ve been writing about real estate photography for years highlighting quality photographers and techniques and shared tools for better Realtor photography for the DIY types.
After my last post on basic things to consider while photographing real estate photos now I have come up with a very common question and point of discussion of unethical real estate photography. After doing a couple of posts on this subject I decided to post this article here with my photography fraternity where I’ve summarized the attitude of commenters on the general subject of photoshopping listing photos.
A photograph is the first impression a potential buyer has of your house, influencing their decision to view it, or continue hunting through the list of potential properties. A will engage more potential buyers than showcase your home for best impact. If they experienced something unusual and distractive from what they had expected to be seen around their selected property, they would not going to be impressed rather they would convert their mind and never opt to your listed properties.
Therefore, a question arise is how far can retouching go before it becomes dishonest and a misrepresentation? The images in question (shown below) show VERY obviously fake PS grass, to the point where it is almost carpet-like and the window view with soothing gardens placed from somewhere else which the buyer would not find when look around physically. Another deceptive act of unethical photography used to be seen during twilight conversions where daytime skies are being replaced with beautiful red sunsets. To make the house looks attractive, they deceit the viewer’s by misleading them towards some artificial scenery. I’ve seen images of some local homes shown with beautiful red skies with the sun setting over the backyard. They look wonderful, but the sun actually never rises or sets in that direction. A prospective buyer may think they are going to enjoy gorgeous evenings sitting on their deck watching the sun go down over their pool, but in fact they will never see it happen because the sun never sets there. Adding clouds is one thing, but adding fake sunset skies? Though a bit of improvements are justifiable keeping in concern of the marketing perspective of real estate agents to pursue the clients towards their listed properties with sky replacements, and slight adjustments (missing light bulbs, hanging TV cables etc) but the former ones just looks way over the top to me.
Real Estate Photographers should not modify images of properties such that the images no longer truthfully and fairly represent that property. In particular permanent physical features of the property should not be modified. On the other hand real estate images are intended for marketing purposes and therefore present the property in the very best way possible. So image enhancements that do not materially change permanent physical characteristics of the house or surrounding environment are considered standard practice. The following is a list of what clarifying examples:
Standard Practice
  • Removing temporary objects like garbage cans, cars etc.
  • Changing image saturation, brightness, contrast or color balance
  • Fixing converging verticals, lens barrel distortion or color fringing
  • Removing refrigerator clutter i.e, the photos, post-it’s etc sellers typically have on refrigerators or removing furniture that is not part of the house.
  • Sky replacement or enhancement
  • Use of ultra-wide-angle lenses
Considered Modification of Permanent Physical Characteristics
  • Removing or modifying power lines, antennas or power poles
  • Modifying any part of the house or landscaping that would not naturally change within a few weeks

Here at ‘Pixpert’ we focus on delivering pure retouching services with realistic photos only. I believe that it is misleading and unrealistic to add in fake window view and sea beaches when there is none, it is unethical, but when done to reflect reality while matching the interior colors, slight weather adjustments, soothing sky view, clear unwanted objects, it is ethical. Keeping such high ethical standards and business values we are considered as one of the most trusting brand among worldwide real estate photography retouch services.

I would be happy to include you and your valuable suggestions in our forum and like to be enlightened with your presence too.
You can always connect with me if you like to discuss on your upcoming real estate photoshoot projects. I would be more than happy to assist you in providing with genuine and pure recommendations to transform your property sites with an outstanding outlook without involving any unrealistic effects.
Please wait for my next survey report.

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