Travel photographs: which reality would you rather see?

I got a good chuckle out of a story on Business Insider yesterday, “Here’s Why You Should Never Trust the Photos Hotels Post Online.” The accompanying slide show offers shots of a dozen hotels side by side, so you can see what’s marketing hype and what is severe reality. In a way, it’s shocking, but cynics out there are likely to concede that they aren’t surprised by the stark contrast in the photos.

So, this creates a real problem for travel bloggers. We go out with the goal of producing solid content, and that includes making it visually appealing. On the other hand, not all of us (me, specifically) are terribly handy with a camera. The result is a tough choice: do I go with the beautiful and give a property the chance to put its best foot forward, or do I expose them to the horrible risk associated with my caffeine- and nicotine-induced shakes? I guess a third option is to mix in both and identify clearly who’s responsible for what, but that could look awkward, too.

I’m genuinely curious: what do you think? Do you value the aesthetically pleasing, knowing that it’s designed to be exactly that? Or, do you prefer the harsh truth, even if that truth is colored by a gap in photographic skills? Leave a comment below to let us know. Thanks!

[photo by e53 via Flickr]