Photoshop Your Way to a Nicer Climate!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Valley Realty

My listings all get the benefit of having a great virtual tour company come in and take professional photos. My clients spend hours cleaning and de-cluttering their homes. They make sure that every chair is in place and every speck of dust is wiped clean. They organize an outing for all their pets and children for the day – just so we can get some really great promotional shots of their properties. Only then, it starts to rain. Not only does it rain, it usually POURS.


I live in a rainforest. No really, I do. The sun is sporadic, snow happens sometimes, but rain is an absolute given. On the upside – everything is usually really green around here!


British Columbia is known for it’s damp climate, but when that sun decides to come out it can be one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL places to live in the world.


So why wouldn’t we want that gorgeous sun to be in every outdoor listing photo that we take?


Is it wrong to change the sky from this:

To this:

Is it considered false advertising?

Photoshop is sometimes my only tool for making the dreary winter rain go away. (It’s also great if your clients have a lawn that’s spotty or currently being reseeded!)


I would think that because we DO get sun that I’m not really going “out of bounds” with this type of image modification.


But I could see this:

To This:


Being an issue.



So what do you think? Where do you draw the line?


Comments (14)

Matt Stigliano
Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME - San Antonio, TX

Jennifer - I think that retouching photos is a no-no.  Even though I see your point (that you do have sun sometimes), you want to provde a true picture of the home.  I don't know what I would do if I lived somewhere where there wasn't much sun.  I'm more against painting the grass green or fixing broken items with Photoshop.  That I don't agree with at all.

Jan 12, 2009 06:22 AM
Sandy McAlpine
Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC

that is amazing! i am personally not so good at using the photoshop yet, but I am learning it slowly. Some things i tried with pictures took my so long that I got frustrated! any tips?

Jan 12, 2009 06:41 AM
Jennifer Lal
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Abbotsford, BC

Matt - I see your point. The above photos are exaggerations of what I would usually do. For the most part I just try to brighten up the photo so that it doesn't look so gloomy. I usually like to "brighten up" the original photo and then go back on a sunny day to take a replacement. Is it wrong to take a photo on a sunny day if the climate is usually cloudy? I guess that we could probably debate this fact for a while - but I totally get what you are saying.


Sandy - just keep at it! Slowly but surely you'll get the hang of it. I googled photoshop tutorials and got a great amount of help when I was just learning :)

Jan 12, 2009 06:54 AM
Katie Van Nes
Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley, & Fraser Valley - Abbotsford, BC
Local Real Estate eXpert | eXp Realty

Hi Jen, I live in the same city as you and the post-photoshop photo you posted above is picture perfect. We definitely have beautiful days like this, it just wasn't that way the day you shot the house! So what's the diff... I love it.

I did the same with clients who put their house on the market, just as our hottest summer spell hit, and burnt their grass. See below...  They did view the house on several seperate occasions, and by the time possession took place the grass was coming back, however they were from out of town, and I think spending a great deal of time on the virtual tour & comparing between my listing and one other in the area. Do you think the photo helped, hindered or didn't make a difference? I think it helped. Thanks for the great post.


Waterton Pre PhotoshopWaterton Post Photoshop

Jan 12, 2009 03:45 PM
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Jennifer - I just saw Liz Moras' post about you, and I wanted to stop by with a hearty "welcome".  Based on this post, I like you already!

Jan 22, 2009 12:49 PM
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Jennifer - followed Liz's post here. Now igloo on a beach is about the only way I could handle an igloo :). ~Rita

Jan 22, 2009 01:01 PM
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Lone Tree, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate

Forgot to mention. I love your blog header. Very classy and stylish. Rita

Jan 22, 2009 01:02 PM
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Thats terrific Jen....I didn't know you hired a virtual tour company - but such good points - very cool! :-) And I love your header too! :-)

Jan 22, 2009 02:16 PM
Kent Simpson
Realty One Group Mountain Desert - Tucson, AZ
Real Estate Is About People

Welcome to the 'Rain, Jen.  Liz gave you a nice introduction.  I'm thinking that the guy in the igloo got tired of dodging polar bears & swapped for a styrofoam one...that way he gets to use the same furniture since it fits already.

Jan 22, 2009 03:25 PM
Kristal Perrone
Hunt Real Estate- Columbus Division - Rochester, NY
Associate Broker

Hi Jen,

Welcome to Active Rain.  This is a great place, and it looks like you'll be contributing great stuff too. 

Jan 23, 2009 10:55 AM
Sidney Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula Kutchuk - Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Realty Works Temecula

Those are great examples.....I think the bottom one could be considered false advertising because of the Palm Trees.   Potential buyers will wonder where they went.   Very creative feature though and definately has some value on a cloudy day....Welcome to A.R.   Liz wrote a blog about you and all of your talents!

Jan 24, 2009 03:23 AM
Jennifer Lal
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Abbotsford, BC

Katie - That's a great photoshop job you did! I wouldn't have been able to tell that you edited the photo if I had not seen the original.

Jason - Thanks for the warm welcome!

Rita - I agree! And thanks for the wonderful compliment about my header :)

Liz - Yep, I usually use West Coast Virtual Tours - very good price and great people to work with. Thanks for the great intro!

Kent - Hilarious! He doesn't need to buy new "beach" furniture.

Kristal - Thanks!

Jane - Can you imagine showing up at a listing that had advertised using the "beach" picture only to find out you're in the Arctic? Oh my goodness! LOL

Jan 25, 2009 03:48 AM
Dawn Isenhower
Sibcy Cline Realtors - Milford, OH

According to my area MLS, there is nothing wrong with lightening, brightening, cropping, etc. In fact, if there is a sign in the photo at all, they want it removed. I do not think that your enhancement of the sky changes the house at all. It is possible to have a blue sky on any given day. I agree with you. If you changed the color of the house from hot pink to white, then there would be a problem.

Feb 05, 2009 12:14 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

We invite you back to ActiveRain!

    Much has changed since your last visit to ActiveRain.  I encourage you to take another look at the website. 

    Surf some blogs, leave some comments.  Better yet, post a Blog.

    Best to you!

Dec 26, 2015 12:54 PM