How to Avoid Misleading Representations in Retouching Real Estate Photos

Retouching real estate photos is all about the sale. It creates a more alluring version of the same photo and makes it visually appealing for people looking to score a good deal on a property. As more people have coined it as Photoshopping real estate photos, or photos in general, we can’t help but associate it with a negative connotation of being manipulated or changed so far from its original form that it’s already deceiving. This has been true for many years now. Doubt is casted over photos and people ponder if they are accurate or not. In editing real estate photos, we know that the work done is genuine and truthful. Professionals know what to do in order to keep the integrity intact, but such a guarantee is still not enough for some members of the public to believe.

This process comes two-fold. The side of the editor retouching real estate photos, and the public who wants to make sure they are getting what they are willing to pay for. While it is a struggle to convince each other that there really is truthful representation in retouching real estate photos, we have to understand what’s at stake for both parties. Furthermore, it is important to understand what are the bounds of retouching real estate photos. These can help the public gain trust especially when there is transparency involved in all of this. The other side of the coin is the potential buyer, who is among the public. They need to help build your credibility by starting to trust you, and this process helps you sustain and grow your editing and selling business. Hence, it is a game of both sides contributing to the process of confidence and trust.

Is Retouching Acceptable in the First place?

Real estate photo editing services exist because there really is a demand for enhanced photos. But it isn’t automatically a qualifier that if something is being done, it is acceptable. Sometimes there is a deeper and more rooted reason to why something like real estate photos are done and they tread on the discipline of marketing which deals with behavior and psychology. On a high-level, these are some of the reasons why retouching has become a strong and acceptable practice.

1. The power of color

Color in editing real estate photos has played a part in drawing out emotions from people. It helps them to make decisions based on mood which most marketers have decoded and determined to be based mostly on warmer tones. Happiness and serotonin are what drives people to be happy and warmer colors have been known to be associated with such. Of course, these are known to work subtly and not in large quantities, otherwise we’d already have the secret recipe to lifelong happiness, right?

2. The refreshing feeling of pristineness

Retouching real estate photos is essential in cleaning up the photo. It makes it look lean and at the same time, stylish. Such a combination allows people to feel good about the property and visualize themselves living in it. This part of marketing allows potential buyers to envision their occupancy with a clean and new environment, carefully curated with an interior that’s meant to capture hearts and close that sale.

Why Credibility is Important

In the above reasons to justify the acceptability of retouching real estate photos, it is important to stick within bounds. Sure, creativity plays a role in this process, but there is a line that shouldn’t be crossed in order to maintain credibility and ethics. So why are these considered something fragile that must be held closely and carefully?

1. Credibility grows the network

Whether it is the editor or the real estate agent, credibility is what makes people trust you and know you do not exist to deceive. It is also the engine that drives word of mouth to work. People won’t recommend you to other people without their confidence that their pitch will fail them as well.

2. Credibility sets you apart

Competition is no doubt extremely fierce in the industry of editing real estate photos. Services have popped up here and there offering prices at levels you will surely go for. However, not all of them will be able to deliver what they have promised and being consistent and true to your word will help you hold on to the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build up, thereby helping people retain your name as a go-to choice.

What are the Ethics of Photo Manipulation?

Now what are the things you must remember in order to keep people coming back to your editing services for commercial real estate photography? These things aren’t rocket science and should be something you can easily incorporate to your day-to-day editing.

1. Do not manipulate structurally established objects

That tree, that lamp post, or that fence. Keep it there if there is no intention to change physically. Sometimes in our bid to present the property in its glory, we tend to remove obstructions but this isn’t the way to go. People could be disappointed when they personally make a visit and your photos could tell a different story in this case.

2. Avoid overdoing exposures and color

Adjusting the color and lighting are the essentials, going overboard is considered detrimental. For instance, making shadows too dark or oversaturating the sky to make it bluer than blue can raise questions over the integrity of the photo, or if it was even touched in the first place by a computer.

3. Leaving traces of work done is a big no-no

The reason why retouching real estate photos requires a keen eye is because of the nature of the work. Editing requires object removal and replacement of pixels. These alone are considered walking along on a dangerous tightrope if done in a sloppy manner. Therefore, making sure that the edits are seamless by double checking and making sure you use the right tools will avoid people casting doubt over your work.

Final Thoughts

Misleading representations come in these forms, and there are reasons why we want to make sure we don’t fall into that pit in retouching real estate photos. Credibility will always be at stake and it is up to you to hold that strongly. Therefore, being careful and mindful are good ways to start, and maintaining integrity should be a piece of cake from there.


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