Beginners Guide

10 Examples Of Unethical Editing In Real Estate Photography

10 Examples Of Unethical Editing In Real Estate Photography

Technology has advanced to a point where we can edit photos in a way that allows anything in your imagination to be put into, or taken out of, a photo. You can quickly imagine how this can become very unethical in the world of real estate photography.

In this article I’ll share 10 examples of unethical editing in real estate photography and share a quick explanation of what can make editing unethical.

Table of Contents

What Is Unethical Editing?

To put it simply, editing that alters the fundamental aspects of a property, like its structure, or hides significant problems, can quickly cross into unethical territory.

You can think about it as lying to potential buyers, and it can be a legally punishable offense. For a more in-depth read on the ethics of photo editing give our article A Quick Guide to the Ethics of Photo Editing in Real Estate a read.

Examples of Unethical Editing in Real Estate Photography

  1. Removing Permanent Outdoor Features: Editing out permanent fixtures or features in the outdoor environment, such as utility poles, fire hydrants, or neighboring buildings, can give a false impression of seclusion or the property’s surroundings.

  2. Altering Landscapes: Digitally adding landscaping elements such as trees, gardens, or lawns that do not exist can significantly mislead buyers regarding the property’s outdoor appeal and maintenance level.

  3. Fabricating Window Views: Replacing the actual view from windows with oceanfront or cityscape views not only misrepresents the property’s location but also falsely elevates its potential value and desirability.

  4. Masking Property Flaws: Using editing tools to cover up issues such as cracks in walls, water damage, mold, or other signs of neglect is deceptive, hiding potential costs and problems from buyers.

  5. Changing Paint Colors or Materials: Digitally altering the color of walls, types of flooring, or exterior materials misleads viewers about the property’s aesthetics and may imply renovations that haven’t been made.

  6. Modifying Room Sizes or Shapes: Stretching images to make rooms appear larger or altering the shape of rooms to appear more spacious or well-lit goes beyond ethical enhancement, giving a false impression of the property’s size and layout.

  7. Adding Furnishings or Features Not Included: Inserting luxury furnishings, high-end appliances, or features like fireplaces and pools that are not part of the sale can significantly skew a buyer’s expectations.

  8. Erasing Signs of Aging or Wear: While minor touch-ups can be acceptable, erasing significant signs of wear, aging, or structural issues presents the property in an unrealistic manner, potentially hiding necessary repairs or replacements.

  9. Artificially Enhancing Property Boundaries: Editing images to make the property appear to have more land or a better position than it actually does can lead to misunderstandings about property lines and legal disputes.

  10. Enhancing Aged Roof Condition: Brightening or altering the color of roofing materials to make an old or damaged roof appear new or in better condition than it is can lead to misconceptions about maintenance needs.

Additional Resources

If you’re just getting started in real estate photography, check out our Beginners Guide. It’s full of helpful articles and tips that will guide you in the right direction as you begin your real estate photography journey.

You can check out our Gear section as well to see reviews and recommendations on the latest real estate photography gear.

If you’re more interested in other resources that can help your real estate photography business, check out our Business Resources page.

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About author
Matthew Digati is a professional Real Estate and Architectural Photographer. Matthew has worked as a Real Estate and Architectural Photographer since 2015 and has photographed properties and projects all over the United States.
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