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Needs Improvement

Carl Munson, of the Good Morning Portugal! podcast/YouTube channel, recently came up with the idea of collecting examples of bad real estate photos. I heard that and ran with it. Blurry squares are masked agency watermarks; this is one case where you don't want to give credit. Of course, all of the photos were found on idealista, but it's hardly their fault.

In fact, idealista offers a short YouTube video about how to improve real estate photos. It's in Portuguese, but it's clearly advice about staging. Admittedly, it would be very time consuming and perhaps completely futile to try to stage some of these properties.

This bit I wrote for another blog post seems more fitting here:

It's funny how often the photos used to sell property in Portugal are abysmal in either their execution, their subject matter, or both. Pics are often blurry, poorly exposed, or crooked, sometimes all together in the same shot. Aspects of the house or land are captured that should have been released. Bursting garbage bags, dirty laundry, dirt, mold, trash, debris - you name it. Exactly the kinds of things you wouldn't want to post when selling a place. Granted, these kinds of photos are almost exclusively found on listings for extremely cheap and ruinous properties. A disinterested cousin got convinced to finally drive out to the old place (where is it again, haven't been there since I was a kid) and take some pics, but on the way the car blew a tire, coffee was spilled, it started to rain, and they'll be damned if they are going to get any more dirty. You can almost smell the perfunctoriness and simmering impatience. "Well for fuck's sake. Where did all this shit come from? If Maria wants better pics she can bloody well drive all the way out here and clean all this crap up herself because I'm not doing it!" Kind of thing.

Or, possibly, the lowliest and newest member of the real estate agency gets given a list of all the hard-to-get-to properties with instructions to photograph as many as possible in a day. But there was a really good restaurant on the way to the third listing, and it was time for lunch anyway, and an hour turned into two, and then there just wasn't time to take good shots...

Who knows? The good news is that some agencies have some really, and I mean really, good photographers in their employ. Photographers like that can't help but take good pictures, it's like an ethical thing. And sometimes, when given the opportunity, those photographers like to flex their creative muscles. Get a little arty.

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