Real estate photography might seem straightforward, but the reality is it’s just as challenging as any other genre. After all, it’s about what you should keep in the image and what you should take out.
How far is too far though? That’s what a few would-be home buyers are asking in regards to the photo you see above.
What’s wrong with it, you ask? Technically speaking, nothing. But when compared to the view you actually see when standing in front of the house, what the above image shows appears to be the Photoshop job of the century. But, in reality, it’s nothing more than clever composition and camera placement.
As you can see from the Google Street View image below, there is a giant, not-so-visually-appealing water tower behind the house. A water tower that is not in the slightest bit present in the image shared on the home’s listing.
Ray White, the real estate agent currently selling the house claims the image was given to him by the owner of the home, taken for a previous realtor who attempted to sell the home. In a follow-up statement from the Ray White spokesperson, the agency said:
[It appears] from our own investigations that the photos have not been photoshopped and are instead simply taken from an angle from which the house obscures the water tank
This matters because Photoshopping the water tower out of the image could spell huge fines–AU$22,000 worth–for false advertising.
Not only is it illegal in New South Wales, it’s my understanding that this would be against the law throughout the country […] This kind of behaviour falls under the broad umbrella that is the Australian Consumer Law. That states that a product cannot be inappropriately misrepresented in advertising material.
Even if the image isn’t Photoshopped, White could still get in trouble, as Sanders claims it could still be considered a distortion of the public’s expectation of what the house looks like.
The image in question has since been removed from all online postings regarding the sale of the house, but it’s not clear whether or not any fines will be pursued or handed out.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Is this taking it too far, even if it isn’t post-production manipulation? Or is it simply a clever work-around to make the most of an opportunity?