This time of year, I often end up replacing dull cloudy skies with ones with more bright and blue skies to dress up the all important curbside image.
There are several ways to do this but one important element of the technique is to have a file of stock skies. I have done this by finding an open field on a beautiful day with what I call “cotton ball” clouds and take images at all eight points of the compass. I have done this at different times of day and at different times of year. This way I can make the images most authentic. Considering this principle of altering or “dressing up” images, it is important to address using these techniques in a more formal manner. We all have seen images that have been extensively altered for one reason or another. Real estate images demand a much higher standard – CREDIBITY – which relates to not only my credibility but, more importantly, to my client brokers’ credibility. With this in mind I am posting here a recent statement that I posted on my Facebook.com pages:
This time of year I am often asked to “modify” or enhance images for listings. Here is a quote from one of the blogs that I follow. Photography for Real Estate http://photographyforrealestate.net/2014/12/03/how-should-real-estate-photographers-handle-modifying-property-photos/;
“Over the years, we’ve had a lot of heated discussions here on the PFRE blog about ethics of image modification in the context of real estate photography. I think the subject is important enough that I have a separate page dedicated to summarizing the consensus that has evolved out of these discussions over the years.
Here is a general outline of that consensus:
Real estate photographers typically work for the listing agent and in some cases will be asked to modify photographs of properties for sale.
Listing agents everywhere have a legal responsibility to not “materially misrepresent” a property. That’s a meaningful expression to lawyers since it keeps popping up every time this subject is talked about.
Modifying or removing temporary objects like garbage cans, cars, overcast skies etc is customary and generally not considered materially misrepresenting the property.
Removing permanent objects like power lines, telephone poles, neighboring homes etc. are customarily considered materially misrepresenting the property because they hide undesirable permanent property features.
Landscaping seems to be an area where not everyone agrees. Landscaping seems to be in between permanent and temporary. Many people believe that fixing defects in the grass or landscaping is OK whereas others believe it is not OK. When there is some question about if a feature is permanent or temporary it’s safest to treat it as a permanent feature.
In summary the photographer is working for the listing agent, not the potential buyer and representation of the property is the listing agent’s legal responsibility, not the photographers. However, prudence suggests that if the photographer is asked to modify photographs they believe materially misrepresents the property, they should document in writing the fact they are modifying the photograph at the agents request.”
My position on listing images for Real Estate can be summed up in one word – CREDIBILITY – my credibility, the broker’s credibility is paramount in the way we should approach our clients. I have no hesitation to replace a sky, “fertilize” the lawn, remove garbage cans, hoses, an occasional car or even remove some snow from a driveway as I illustrated in an image that I published here last winter.