Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
Real Estate photographers and malpractice
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Oct 9, 2019 21:38:32   #
chrisg-optical Loc: New York, NY
 
Vietnam Vet wrote:
So I have been house hunting. The first step is looking at photos of houses online. I saw a couple of houses that looked great and I drove an hour to see them. The reality is the houses suck. I know your job is to create interest in the property, but at what point do you call it photographic malpractice?


It's more of real estate malpractice than anything else - to misrepresent the condition of a property by "photoshopping" the uglies away in a major way. Now to be fair, the condition of the house may have changed from the time the agent posted the photos (hurricane, fire, etc), but the agent should update the listing asap. Each state's RE board has standards and laws regarding this - if in doubt check with them.

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Oct 9, 2019 21:58:57   #
fobbox
 
My wife and i have looked at photos on line of various houses for our last 3 moves. On each of them I have seen houses that the photographer did a great job taking pictures of the house highlights, while not having any pictures of issues. Example one house was missing siding on 3 sides of the house, but the only exterior picture, the angle was such that the one side of the house with siding was facing the camera, and the adjacent sides without siding were pretty much hidden from the angle, unless I looked carefully (which I did after visiting the property). The job is to get people to visit the house. I have also seen houses with poor pictures that were very nice. We have learned to use pictures in our evaluations, but also work with a realtor to help us select houses to see. Note that the realtor view of the listing includes information not on the websites, and can be helpful in deterring what to visit.

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Oct 9, 2019 22:20:17   #
Sam9987
 
Are you telling us that Photos lie?

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Oct 10, 2019 07:21:36   #
Linda From Maine Loc: Yakima, Washington State, home since 2002
 
Indiana wrote:
Linda: Your representation of Realtors is not exactly accurate...
It was accurate for me. I worked for a company in Bangor, Maine, for eight years. For part of that time I sold real estate and for part I remained licensed while working as an assistant to the company owner - which included a lot of interaction with our agents, including those from small companies we acquired as part of our growth.

My boss was much respected (had held Maine Assoc. of Realtors president title for a time) and everyone in my company was above reproach in their professional dealings; he would not have allowed differently. This continued when we affiliated with a Maine-based franchise.

I was familiar with occasional ethical or law infractions by agents from other area companies, but even those were minimal. Maybe smaller towns in less populated states, where most folks have known each other most of their lives, promotes more honest and ethical interactions.

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Oct 10, 2019 09:27:55   #
LarryFitz Loc: Beacon NY
 
Several year ago, my wife wanted to redo our Kitchen. So a wanted to taken some pictures of the present kitchen so we could talk with potential vendors and they could see what we had. I clean up the kitchen, moving thongs off the counter area. Then took pictures, avoiding areas of no interest. I did not touch up pictures at all. My wife was surprised on how nice the kitchen looked. Using the right camera angles will make rooms look better and bigger, even without photoshop fake items into or out of the pictures.

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Oct 10, 2019 09:39:40   #
dsmeltz Loc: Philadelphia
 
Architect1776 wrote:
The OP was complaining about furniture not being the exact same as that in the home. And silly stupid stuff like this.
There is no problem with staging as realtors do it all the time.
It is called decluttering making it less personal etc.


Vietnam Vet wrote:
You should obviously read the OPs post before commenting on it.


You are right. If Architect1776 had read your post and the rest to the thread he would have realized that you never made a single statement that supports the charge of "photographic malpractice". You were just shooting your mouth off maligning all RE Photographers without providing proof or even a thin description of what you were claiming was wrong.

If you had indeed complained about furniture being moved, that at least would have been something. But you did not even do that. You simply made the unsupported claim and ran away until you came back with your meaningless reply to Architect1776.

Here is all you said until that.

Vietnam Vet wrote:
So I have been house hunting. The first step is looking at photos of houses online. I saw a couple of houses that looked great and I drove an hour to see them. The reality is the houses suck. I know your job is to create interest in the property, but at what point do you call it photographic malpractice?

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Oct 10, 2019 09:46:11   #
Linda From Maine Loc: Yakima, Washington State, home since 2002
 
LarryFitz wrote:
...moving thongs off the counter area...
I try to keep my thongs out of photos too 😁

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Oct 10, 2019 09:48:32   #
Linda From Maine Loc: Yakima, Washington State, home since 2002
 
dsmeltz wrote:
...You (the OP) simply made the unsupported claim and ran away...
Meaningless rants get as much attention on UHH as fact-based requests for help. I've noticed, though, that this topic has produced less repetition than the "real" topics do, I guess because everyone is commenting based on their personal experiences and/or prejudices. Whatever, as long as it keeps UHH fiscally sound so we can enjoy the show for free!

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Oct 10, 2019 13:38:52   #
David Martin Loc: Cary, NC
 
So we have 80+ posts responding to a claim that provided zero supporting evidence.
Perhaps leaving the details to the imagination stimulates more thought.
Ironic though for a photography group, given that a single picture would have been worth 1000 words.

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Oct 10, 2019 14:56:53   #
Scruples Loc: Brooklyn, New York
 
Vietnam Vet wrote:
So I have been house hunting. The first step is looking at photos of houses online. I saw a couple of houses that looked great and I drove an hour to see them. The reality is the houses suck. I know your job is to create interest in the property, but at what point do you call it photographic malpractice?


First off, I think your inquiry is valid. As for other Hoggers be crude or ride in their reply, ignore their rants. After a while, a sentient photographer will treat you respectfully.

I tried to clarify what malpractice is but it is easy to define for doctors, lawyers and real estate agents. They have a license and that is defining your inquiry. A rare few photographers have licenses that they must protect.

As for a photograph being deceptive, they can be. Try photographing a Banana Split with vanilla ice cream under a hot light. It won't happen. You must use frozen banana and white mashed potatoes. Putting that aside, I try very hard to provide an accurate representation. I won't post process the heck out of an image to make it look better. Scroll upwards for a few tips that I provided.
And, I thank you again for your service.

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Oct 10, 2019 16:05:15   #
BebuLamar
 
I think the OP will sue me for malpractice. When I sold my house I gave the realtor some of the pictures I took of the house. There is manipulation whatsoever on the pictures but I compose them in a way that they look good. Those are the angle and areas which I like of my house.

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Oct 11, 2019 00:34:21   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
Bad news travels fast than good news- just ask any tabloid publisher! It does seem that negativity gets allot of ink on UHH and possibly attracts the most responses. Seems if you want lots of hits on your thread just being up crooked camera stores, scams, unethical members of any given profession, and anything about the doers of dastardly deeds.

I think there are bad operators in just about every kinda business, profession, trade or craft. Perhaps I am a lucky guy in that after 55 years in business, a lifetime as a consumer of all kinds of goods and services, I have come to the conclusion that most people are honest. How I conduct myself as a businessman, consumer, and all-around regular person is simple- you don't need a masters degree in business administration to understand that "A fool and his money are soon parted"...so I decided not to be a fool and do my homework, do the research and investigation before doing any kind of major purchases, and inversely, respecting other folks' intelligence and treating people fairly and honestly when they are buying my services and products.

Malpractice? Professional photographers are not doctors or lawyers. If we mess up, nobody dies or undeservedly goes to jail. There is no photographer's governing organization or college that has censuring or expulsion powers, however, we are subject to all consumer protection, criminal and civil laws. A few professional associations have a code of ethics but it is not legally enforceable. We are not licensed and credentials are nice but membership in the issuing associations is voluntary. "Malpractice" is not applicable. In most North America jurisdictions, real estate professionals are licensed and I assume that dishonest or fraudulent operates can eventually lose their license. Besides, however, laws and regulations aside, if any businessperson wants longevity in his marketplace, secure referrals and continues making a living, they have to operate honestly, ethically and render good service to every client.

I have done interior and exterior architectural photography for homebuilders, real-estate firms, interior decorators, designers, furniture manufacturers and retailers, renovation firms and landscapers. Never once was I asked to fake anything, coverup a defect or damage. I have never been asked to "airbrush" or "PhotoShop" anything to disguise a defect ore exaggerate the size of any premises.

Advertisers have the right to display their products at their best. There are laws governing food packaging that states that a photograh that appears on a food package CAN be an illustration of how the product can appear at its best, however, it has to be the real product. A frozen dinner, for example, hCAN shows a cooked and prepared plate but it has to be made form the actual frozen product, not a substitute made from a fresh product.

The images of fast food displayed in restaurants can be ideally styled as long as the ingredients are furnished in the correct quantities and portions. Obviously, the kids flipping burgers in the kitchen are not food stylists. Yes. there are a great number of tricks of the trade-in food stylizing for photograhy but much of it is just a matter of proper preparation and not the application of "cosmetics". We might undercook peas or poultry so it won't wrinkle excessively and restore the color to roasted chickens or turkeys with an editable blowing agent. No- we don't use paint, floor wax or shoe polish. Cutting certain foodstuffs with a hot or wet knife will make for cleaner cuts. We might even arrange noodles wit a tweezer. I can write a book!

All this talk about an exaggerated perspective in real estate work? Any interior photographer worth his or her salt knows how to utilize a wide-angle focal length without grossly exaggerating the size of a given room. Some of the stuff I see published is badly distorted because the photographer did an incompetent job. Don't judge an entire photographic specialty by the worst operators.

A well-crafted photograph can entice folks to buy or at least create interest in any product, premises or service without misrepresentation.

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Oct 11, 2019 07:18:38   #
dsmeltz Loc: Philadelphia
 
Scruples wrote:
First off, I think your inquiry is valid. As for other Hoggers be crude or ride in their reply, ignore their rants. After a while, a sentient photographer will treat you respectfully.

I tried to clarify what malpractice is but it is easy to define for doctors, lawyers and real estate agents. They have a license and that is defining your inquiry. A rare few photographers have licenses that they must protect.

As for a photograph being deceptive, they can be. Try photographing a Banana Split with vanilla ice cream under a hot light. It won't happen. You must use frozen banana and white mashed potatoes. Putting that aside, I try very hard to provide an accurate representation. I won't post process the heck out of an image to make it look better. Scroll upwards for a few tips that I provided.
And, I thank you again for your service.
First off, I think your inquiry is valid. As for o... (show quote)


I would agree with the validity if the OP had actually said what the problem was. He did not. He just made a claim of malpractice without ever saying what led him to that belief. We do not know if the photo was of a different house or just that the house did not look as nice as the photos. He did not say, so we do not know. Without more to go on it is impossible to say that inquiry is valid because he has not really asked anything real.

To the OP. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE PHOTOS????? Just tell us.

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Oct 11, 2019 08:19:30   #
Scruples Loc: Brooklyn, New York
 
dsmeltz wrote:
I would agree with the validity if the OP had actually said what the problem was. He did not. He just made a claim of malpractice without ever saying what led him to that belief. We do not know if the photo was of a different house or just that the house did not look as nice as the photos. He did not say, so we do not know. Without more to go on it is impossible to say that inquiry is valid because he has not really asked anything real.

To the OP. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE PHOTOS????? Just tell us.
I would agree with the validity if the OP had act... (show quote)


I viewed the question in this post as a hypothetical question. This is often done by those who want to know more about a particular topic. Rather than say, "can I ask you a question?" Some posters often formulate an answer to a question they have. This is because they are not clear or if someone has a different opinion from theirs. For example, "how do potato pancakes taste if I added baking soda to the mix?" The answer might be if you want pancakes to rise you would add baking soda. But potato pancakes are not traditional and the answer is a definite NOOO!
The original poster (Vietnam Vet) should have asked a question as to how to best represent real estate properties in photographs? That would explain my previous response. That is why I recommended using a tilt-shift lens and not taking the photograph while standing on a tall ladder.
On a final note, I am a hobbyist and far from professional. I do have a limited experience with photographing architectural or real estate images. I had learned from another photographer who is more experienced and gently critiqued previous photographs I had taken. I do believe we learn more from critique than criticism. At least that is me. Sometimes we need to learn from our worst experiences. I won't rewire an electrical outlet without turning off the house current.

Please be conscientious that other Hoggers like myself are not as experienced as you. I would also like to point out, that the original poster deserves a great deal of respect as they served our country. Thank you, kind Sir.

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Oct 11, 2019 10:00:40   #
dsmeltz Loc: Philadelphia
 
Scruples wrote:
I viewed the question in this post as a hypothetical question. This is often done by those who want to know more about a particular topic. Rather than say, "can I ask you a question?" Some posters often formulate an answer to a question they have. This is because they are not clear or if someone has a different opinion from theirs. For example, "how do potato pancakes taste if I added baking soda to the mix?" The answer might be if you want pancakes to rise you would add baking soda. But potato pancakes are not traditional and the answer is a definite NOOO!
The original poster (Vietnam Vet) should have asked a question as to how to best represent real estate properties in photographs? That would explain my previous response. That is why I recommended using a tilt-shift lens and not taking the photograph while standing on a tall ladder.
On a final note, I am a hobbyist and far from professional. I do have a limited experience with photographing architectural or real estate images. I had learned from another photographer who is more experienced and gently critiqued previous photographs I had taken. I do believe we learn more from critique than criticism. At least that is me. Sometimes we need to learn from our worst experiences. I won't rewire an electrical outlet without turning off the house current.

Please be conscientious that other Hoggers like myself are not as experienced as you. I would also like to point out, that the original poster deserves a great deal of respect as they served our country. Thank you, kind Sir.
I viewed the question in this post as a hypothetic... (show quote)


"I saw a couple of houses that looked great and I drove an hour to see them. " This is not a hypothetical. It is claiming to be an actual experience but gives 0 details to support the claim.

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