This problems bigger than I thought.

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by neea, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    http://realestate.msn.com/selling/Article_bankrate.aspx?cp-documentid=4697254&GT1=9323

    Came across this article on msn.com.
    Home buyers are starting to get a little PO'ed about real estate agents editing pictures of properties.
    Examples are: removing power lines, making it look like the neighbours house is further away than it really is, removing trees or branches to clean up trees, removing garden hoses left on the lawn.

    When is it too much?

    As a photographer how would you feel if a client asked you to make the grass greener? Or clean up the porch a bit to hide the peeling paint?
     
  2. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    As long as it's not journalism ... I'd give the client what he asked for ... I'd also request the client put all unethical manipulations in writing. Joking about unethical ... but still, just to protect yourself from ... anything ... I'd have a form where the client can fill out any/all recommendation/changes and sign.
     
  3. The guy is a real estate appraiser, and he didn't notice the powerlines until after he bought? LOL.

    All is fair, if you ask me. The buyer goes and sees the actual property before buying, this isn't a used watch on eBay. I think it is fine, how much can you actually alter that you wouldn't be able to confirm when you first go see the actual property? This isn't a photography question, it's a marketing issue.
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    as for coulours, unless you have a full colour management including calibrating your camera and the printing device later, you never get the colour really right. also colours depend on season, and if you take a dull picture in the winter and the client wants it to look like on a sunny day, why not.

    and nothing against creative perspectives, wisely chosen focal lengths to make it look spacious ... why not.

    however, if you edit away things in this sort of descriptive/documentary photography, that is unethical in my eyes.
     
  5. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    yes, that's already too much, I would say

    on the other hand, I guess it doesn't really matter. I mean, would anyone consider buying a house just from a picture, without actually being there and seeing it? In this sense, the picture is not really important.

    But it definitely can be in other cases when you buy without before seeing what you buy, and in such cases the interesting question you raise becomes of a great significance
     
  6. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    it does matter, since you might have to drive some hundred miles to see the house.. which costs fuel, and what is worse, time ... and if that is in vain since the person advertising did hide something by manipulating the picture which i cannot live with so I would not buy it because of that, then i would get very angry and cut some of his body parts off ... ;)
     
  7. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Yes, it does matter ... but is it the photographer's call to make? The photog is just a hired gun performing manipulations for a client, that as of now, are not illegal ... I think the point of ethics is a matter between owner, agent (owner's representative) and buyer.

    Like Alex, I'd be very angry if a marketing tool significantly misrepresented the product. My immediate action would be never to use that agent/agency again. And if very angry a formal complaint to the government agency which regulates real estate agents and to corporate level managers who would hopefully see how misrepresentations would have a negative long term effect on the biz.
     
  8. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    Showing a house well lit in the evening or a summer shot for winter is fine.

    But showing the neighbour's house being further away or the garden more level is wrong. It's a pity you can't get these robbers under the Trade Descriptions Act.

    House near me has been tampered with in a similar way - the front garden slopes towards the house and is quite small. The estate agent image shows the grass as almost level and larger than it is. It makes potential buyers think the garden is more attractive than it is.
     
  9. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer TPF Noob!

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    Product sales is about making the product look as good as possible.

    This is no different than anything food photographers, fashion photographers, and many others have been doing for years.

    Caveat emptor, baby!

    If you're buying a house based off of the picture and not your own thorough investigation of the property, neighborhood, structure, etc., then not only will you likely get taken to the cleaners, but you deserve it.

    No law can protect a stupid person from themselves.
     
  10. darich

    darich TPF Noob!

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    I completely agree.

    However as 2 posters have already pointed out - travelling large distances under the illusion that you'll have no houses nearby only to find that next door is only a couple of metres away is wrong. It's advertising the house as having space around it when it's not true.

    You go into a supermarket and buy some meat - the picture shows a lovely steak on the front. No fat, lean tender and juicy. You get home and find that the meat is full of gristle, fat and dry. You wouldn't be happy and I have no doubt you'd return to the shop and demand a refund.

    Online shop selling anything at all. Shows picture of the best model ever made. It doesn't matter whether it's a car, boat, toy, TV or anything else. You place an order and expect to receive what you saw on the screen since it was advertising the product.
    You'd complain if you didn't receive the same boat, toy etc that was shown because you were misled.

    Exact same with estate agents (not photographers - i realise they're merely emplyed to shoot what they're told).

    All crooks.
     
  11. Kingpatzer

    Kingpatzer TPF Noob!

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    Exactly, it's not the photographer's job to keep the real estate agent ethical. It's our job to deliver the requested product.

    When a client says "I like this picture, can you tell me how much it'll cost to make the house yellow instead of blue, and remove the house on the left" Every photographer out there who likes to be able to feed their family says "3 hours at our standard rate, do you want to see proofs first or do you want to work out the usage rights now?"

    And if you're driving long distances to see a house that your real estate agent has checked out ahead of time for you, you need to get a new agent. If you're buying it on your own without an agent, now you know why not having an agent doesn't really save you anything. Welcome to the trade off between time and money.
     
  12. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    Sure it's not our job to keep real estate ethical but it is photographers/graphic artists making the changes.
    Where do you draw the line between getting a pay cheque and standing up for what you believe.
    If someone asked me to do this I'd simply tell them I felt it was false advertising (yes there are a few excepts. kids toy on the lawn etc. but completley altering it is wrong).
    If they didn't like my opinion then they can find some other money hungry person with no ethics. And I don't doubt they'd find one quickly.
    I like to sleep at night.

    It's also my opinion that the average person possibly believes it's all the photographers. Fashion photographers airbrushing 14 year old girls to look like cindy crawford. They don't realize that someone's standing over their shoulders telling them what it should look like.

    I'll stop ranting. Sorry I started this topic... I now see how frusterated it makes me.
     

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