Please stop 🛑

There is nothing more off putting than the Photo editing on some of these sellers ads. As a buyer it is a huge red flag for someone who is dishonest. I would much rather buy a reptile that is more vibrant in person. I typically ask for a video of whatever animal I’m interested in before committing but I don’t know if others do that too. I’m just disappointed to see so many sellers photo shopping such beautiful animals. Not naming seller or posting pic. Reverse image search can be used to find out with pics.


I won’t argue that there are no people doing a bad photoshop job on their ads.

Then again sometimes my snakes are so vibrant, (that even though my photo editing is just point white balancing to a calibration card, fixing exposure curve to calibration card, and decreasing color saturation,) some people think they’re color enhanced. That is, until they get the snake in their hands. The most common response I get from my customers is “Wow I didn’t know they’d look so much better in person!”


That’s the way it should be. I was pleasantly surprised when I got one that was much prettier in person. Lighting is one thing but when they start adding tints and messing with saturation… it turns into a lie.


I have yet to list something for sale. I edit for the background only. Would you consider it to be a turn off (for my informational purposes)?

The original and the “edit”


Apparently the new iPhone 14 does all that fancy editing automatically. I know a couple people that upgraded to the 14 and then went back to their 12 or 13 because the pictures were so outlandishly modified. My S22 sort of does the same thing if I dont use a grey background and really dial in the lighting. I took a picture of my sun dragon in normal light in a neutral colored room and even with my skin tone and clothes accurately reflected he looked comically orange.

This is untouched, straight off the S22 in artificial lighting.

Same camera in natural sunlight, again no edits.

Neither of those accurately capture what he looks like in person. The lastest round of cameras do crazy stuff to pictures. Not saying there arent some people doing some funny business to their pictures but maybe cut people some slack, not everyone has time to figure that kind of stuff out. As you pointed out, its usually pretty obvious who the try-hards are.


My honest opinion is that the first picture is beautiful. As a buyer they look exactly the same just the black is darker. Now if that snake turned orange in the edit it would be a completely different story. This egregious Photoshop I saw did exactly that , the background was even orange.


I hate over edited photos, in any situations. I take photos as a hobby, and it just ruins it.

As for sells, yes i have walked away from even inquiring about a snake due the obvious over editing of a photo.


I personally like when I can see both indoor and outdoor lights like the pics you posted but I know mm charges more for a certain amount of pics you can put up. Showing the variation is much more appealing. I’ve had a seller try to send a video with a filter that you can see the glitchs when they move there hands over the snake. It just makes it harder for smaller breeders too. I feel like when they do this , I’m willing to shell out more to a larger more reputable breeder for a snake with the same genetics. It makes me paranoid :disappointed:


Ive taken to asking for pictures with a can of classic coke in view. Gives me an idea of size and the red and white of the can seem to stymie some of the color correction that people like to do. Sadly, it seems everyone drinks diet coke now :stuck_out_tongue:


OMG :flushed: I never thought that… Classic coke it is. Thank you… I forget to hit the reply

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I actually keep as my main assumption that photos that look oversaturated etc. are most likely just this. People who don’t know the details of digital photography taking pictures on phones. The automatic settings are tuned to make “appealing” pictures which usually means more contrast and saturation.

Similar thing with editing these autocorrected pictures, even trying to fix it back to “true to life.” All these displays are so different from each other you can edit it to look pretty normal on one screen and it’s like a psychedelic wonderland on another screen. It actually takes decent knowledge and foresight to set yourself up for success.

You need to know how to turn off any auto stuff on your phone/camera, shoot raw, get the color temperature setting on the camera at least close to the lighting temp. Ideally you manually set everything like ISO and speed on the camera so you can apply the same post process edit to a whole batch of photos using a calibration card. Then you need to know how to work all the calibration settings on pro photo editing software. It really takes a lot to get good photos that are an accurate representation. I understand a lot of it, and I still think it’s a challenge and know I have more I could learn.

Good idea to get a photo with something you know the color of


As someone who is into photography, I would list this as editing. I can clearly see the difference. The yellow stands out more and the black is way beyond a standard black with that texture. Once the texture is gone, it is over edited.
With that said, what one looks more like the actual snake? Brighter yellow (2), or more faded (1)?
This would determine what one would I would post.
But as the OP talked about, #2 would also turn me away as I know it is edited.
This is a very hard discussion/decision, as you want to get as close to original, but also not have it look edited.


In these 2 examples, I would guess the snake is actually in between the two. But this is a very good example of how the camera works with different lighting.
I would not post the first as it looks fake.
I would however edit both to try and get as closet to the original as possible and choose the best one from there. Keeping in mind that the hands must also look untouched.
I would never hold it, as it throws off the coloring and it is also a dead giveaway that it was Touched up. A solid background is always best, for a listing photo.


Using a reference is a good idea. And can show there is no editing.
But (you know I had to throw more in :))
But, it can also throw off the actual coloring of the snake, just like hands, different lighting, or something that the camera will pickup and try to adjust for.

The best way to do it is to
1, use the same camera every time.
2, same lighting even time.
3, use the same background every time.
4, if using a reference find something that most people can identify with that will also work with the camera and background, but still keep the animal as close to original as possible.
This would mean doing test shots with different items listed above and different animals or test items. This also giver the buyer an option to compare to other listing you have and how they look.


I had to laugh since you used a very clickbait title for a Photoshop thread. :laughing:

Big agree on it though.


I personally plan just to post the raw photos that take. I am striving to prioritize costume service and will provide as many pictures and videos that they need to show my animals in good way to them. The customer will always say that my animals come better looking then they did in the photo/videos.


I’m aways a huge fan of outdoors in natural light pictures, they seem to represent the natural colors really well


Ive definitely been turned off by purposely edited photos knowing that in no way does that snake look as its presented. I dont say anything, i just remember the seller and avoid other listings. Big difference IMO with editing to make the snake look as it does in real life to just deceiving a potential buyer. At some point ot will come back to the seller with word of mouth. This problem is rampant in reefing world. Lol


Agreed. I do the same as much as possible with the UK weather permitting.

Regarding obviously enhanced picture, just report them. If its obvious they will get a warning.

I always ask for a video and up to date picture. Thats another connected problem I made a discussion about. people posting bright baby pictures for a dull older animal.
Should photos on the market have dates?

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See if I can get the photos to upload correctly here. The snake is untouched but the background is changed - even so, the visual difference creates a varied perception of brightness and color. Since weather is incredibly variable here, I think I will decorate my photo box with a naturalistic background to use.