I recently spotted a BusinessWeek online article featuring oyster.com, the hotel booking site that runs a feature purporting to show how hotels “cheat” in the publicity images of their facilities.
Sure, there are some real fakes in there – the photoshopping is sometimes obvious and I’ve no time for hotels that promise a fantastic view from every room then give you one overlooking a scrapyard. But an awful lot of the so-called “fakes” are nothing of the sort – they are simply good shots taken by a professional photographer.
The “reality” photos taken by guests are sometimes are little different to the pro shots, but simply not of a standard that could be used in a publicity shot.
What do these people expect – that the hotel will take deliberately poor shots? Very many, if not most, of the official hotel shots are NOT misleading and they are not fakes. They are taken to show the hotel in its best light – they aren’t going to take a picture of the gardens on a drab winter’s day, or a picture of the pool when some leaves have blown into it, for instance. To expect the actuality to be picture perfect is naive – it doesn’t mean the hotel is a “picture cheat”.