Should a photo make the lawn green when it isn't?

Home buyers will probably not agree, but some Realtors and photographers consider it acceptable practice to doctor a photo by making a lawn look green when it isn’t. A large photography company is even advertising a September special of 20% off on “Enhancing Your Listings’ Lawn with a Green Grass Upgrade!”

Is that deceptive advertising or simply good marketing?

The question isn’t as simple as it appears on the surface. What if a lawn service is coming the next day to re-sod the lawn? What if, as has happened this past summer in Chicago, a normally green lawn has brown patches due to lower-than-normal rainfall? What if a local municipality has temporarily banned lawn watering due to unexpected problems?

You can see differing viewpoints on the issue of doctoring photographs in the comments to a post at Photography for Real Estate, a site that’s popular with real estate photographers.

Your take?


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  • This is why we, as a society, are in such a mess. "It isn't dishonesty when you are dishonest, is it?" That's a question that should not even be asked. Unfortunately, we live in a society where lying for personal gain is a way of life. Sad, sad, sad...

  • How is changing the color of the lawn dishonest? The lawn changes colors many times during the year. Does that mean it is dishonest to take summer time pictures and then list in December when there is snow on the ground? They are not editing brick colors or shape of the home.

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