The smoke and mirrors of commercial photography

Why occasionally it really is ok to ‘tweak’ a shot.

Regency Residential Bedroom Photo

If you’re a commercial property developer, you don’t wait until the last property’s built to show your potential audience what the finished article will look like. First, you go with the artist’s impression. Then, the moment you’ve got something physical to show, you call in a north west commercial photographer (er, someone like me) to shoot it.

So when I was asked by Manchester commercial development firm Regency Residential to shoot their latest development, it was still early in the site build. Whilst this apartment was pretty much finished, there was no running water or electricity yet, and the rest of the area was a building site, which is why I’m in my high-vis gear in this shot.

Luke in High-vis Jacket with Camera

Without electricity this was a shoot powered by trusty battery packs, with all the lighting gear carried up 3 flights of stairs because the lift wasn’t in action yet either.

Which brings me to the subject of this shoot. This is a show apartment and my images will be put to work on web and in print to show prospective buyers what they can look forward to.

Regency Residential Bedroom Photo

Now, Photoshop can be a wonderful thing for north-west commercial photographers, although it gets something of a bad press because of the way it is used to sculpt and ‘perfect’ (inverted commas very definitely intended) certain celebs.

But the problem isn’t the tool – it’s the choices made by the people using it. I am going to use Photoshop on some of these shots to remove the scaffolding.

Will the resulting image be an accurate reflection of what I saw on the day? No. Will it be an accurate reflection of what buyers see by the time they’re touring the show apartment? Yes, because the scaffolding will be down.

And on that carefully considered basis, I’ll be judiciously tweaking the shots to better reflect what the view out of the apartment will usually look like, because to do otherwise really wouldn’t be fair to either clients or customers.

Need commercial photography that shows your residential development at its best? Get in touch with me here. I’d love to help.

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