Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions we get from clients.
- How much does this cost?
- Who can authorize the Photo Shoot?
- Can I do this myself?
- When are my photos published?
- How long does a photo shoot take?
- Do I have to do anything special prior to the photos shoot?
- Are there any additional costs?
- Does it cost anything to host the tour and photos?
- What businesses can have a virtual tour done?
- Are you a Google employee?
- Can I verify that you are a Google Trusted Photographer?
- What areas do you cover?
- What other services do you provide?
- Do we have to do the photo shoot before or after hours?
- Can I have my business re shot in the future?
- What is included in your package?
- Where does my virtual tour appear?
- Do I own the photos?
- What about privacy?
- Can I embed the virtual tour into my business website?
- Can I use the Point of Interest photos on my website, social media site or advertising?
- Does the virtual tour work on mobile devices?
- Can I edit my Google Local+ Page?
- It looks my my business does not have a Local+ Page. Can I create one?
- Where can I get more information on Google Local+ Pages
- Can I add my own photos?
- How does this benefit my business?
- I don’t have a business website, can I still benefit?
- It looks like you don’t have an example of my type of business. Is there somewhere else I can see example tours?
- Sounds Great! How do I get started?
- I still have questions that I cannot find an answer for. Who do I contact?
How much does this cost?
Who can authorize the Photo Shoot?
In order to authorize the photo you have to have permission to make legal authorizations for the business. We advise to check with your landlord or lease holder to ensure you can authorise imagery of the exterior of the building as well. In some locations photography may not be allowed of common spaces (strip malls, shopping centres etc). We can still shoot the business however the tour would only start at your front door.
Can I do this myself?
Well in short the answer is no. As a Google Trusted Photographer we have strict restrictions on the equipment that is used to create the Tours and we go through a training and certification program. We have the proper equipment and have gone through the training process to complete the tours for you.
When are my photos published?
We make every attempt to create and upload the panorama photos as soon as possible. While there may be some delays, typically the photos and tour are live within 7 days of the shoot. We can keep the business owner up to date through every step of the process if required. However the final imagery will not be able to be seen until the tour goes live.
How long does a photo shoot take?
It depends on the size of the business. We don’t want to be an obstruction to your clients or business so we try to complete the process as quickly as possible. For most businesses the shoot can be completed in an hour to an hour and a half.
Do I have to do anything special prior to the photos shoot?
No. You may want to do some cleaning, move some items that you don’t want photographed and think of some of the items you would like photographed for the POI shots. We capture your business the same way we want the customers to see it. No bright lights, no flashes etc.
Are there any additional costs?
The price we quote will be the price that you pay! Even if we have to return to re-shoot some items or panoramas for the original shoot. If you want additional photos done or other services then there may be an additional fee. If your décor or stock changes in the future, we would be happy to return and re-shoot the business. Frequently returning clients will be offered discounts in the future.
Does it cost anything to host the tour and photos?
No. The 360° virtual tour and the POI photos are all hosted on Google’s servers at no cost to you.
What businesses can have a virtual tour done?
If a business deals with clients directly and is something that existing and prospective clients would search for then it would be a likely candidate to have a tour done. There are some current restrictions imposed by Google, however, which are that no Legal or Government Offices can be done at this time. In addition, businesses that violate the terms of service for the Google Business Photos (Nudity, drugs and drug paraphernalia, etc) are ineligible.
This is an ideal opportunity for restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, car dealerships, Spa’s, Hair Salons and any independent small business owner to showcase their businesses.
Are you a Google employee?
No, I am an independent contractor that is a small business person like most of our clients. We have been trained and tested by Google as Trusted Photographers and act as a liaison between the business owner and Google.
Can I verify that you are a Google Trusted Photographer?
Yes. Please follow the link to http://maps.google.ca/help/maps/businessphotos/get-started.html. You will see us listed under Calgary. Alternatively you can click on the Google Trusted Photographer Badge to access the same site.
What areas do you cover?
We are pleased to do tours in the Calgary and Surrounding areas. These include North to Didsbury, West to Banff, East to Gliechen and South to High River. We can photograph businesses outside these areas and from time to time will schedule several days to shoot in these areas. We will also make some time available when we travel into certain areas of the US if there are no GTPs in the area. Keep an eye out on our Blog for these announcements.
What other services do you provide?
We provide a complete portfolio of photographic services. From prints for purchase, rent or consignment sale to event photography for you or your clients. Please see some of the other features we provide here. These services are provided by Stephen Kennedy Photography.
We have been recently granted Tourdash Reseller status so we can help create Google Business Photo Tours with more interactivity for your clients.
Recently Google announced the ability to create tours under the Google Maps Views Program. We can create tours under this program for businesses that wouldn’t normally qualify under the Google Business Photos Programs like Vacation Rental Properties, In home B and B’s etc.
We can also create custom interactive 360 virtual tours that can integrate photos, videos,,maps, brochures and audio.
Do we have to do the photo shoot before or after hours?
No. For some businesses it is advisable to try and do the shoots while there are no customers in the establishment however the Google technology allows us to blur out people’s faces, license plates and any private information that may be captured in the shoot. In addition if you see something after the fact that should have been blurred you can request that this be done directly by Google.
Can I have my business re shot in the future?
Yes. Businesses change over time whether it be the interior decor or the inventory. You can have your business tour redone as often as you like. We do offer a discount for repeat business.
What is included in your package?
You quoted photo shoot includes;
The shoot of the panoramas necessary to put together the tour including interior and exterior (some restrictions apply).
10 to 20 Point of Interest Photos.
Completion and publication of your tour and POI shots to the Google servers.
A DVD of the imagery done.
Documentation about the imagery and the Local+ page.
Basic instruction on using The Google Local + page.
Other services are also available for an additional cost. Please see here to view them.
Where does my virtual tour appear?
Once completed and published your 360° virtual tour will appear on your business Google Local+ page. This page is linked to web searches, Google Maps searches and Google Local+ searches. People searching for your business will be able to view the tour on most smartphones and tablets with the Google Maps app installed or via the browser on their device.
Do I own the photos?
Yes, after payment, you own all of the imagery provided. You can use these in any way you see fit. They can be posted on your website, on social media sites or used in print or on-line advertising.
What about privacy?
Ideally we suggest scheduling your shoot either before or after regular business hours to ensure we don’t photograph clients and/or staff in the tours. We realize that this is not always possible. If this is not the case we would like to try and schedule your business shoot for a time when you may have a slow period during the day.
If neither of the above is possible the technology behind Google Business Photos does allow us to blur out recognizable features of people in the establishment and of items that may be captured and are of a private nature. If you see something that should be blurred out after publication you can contact Google to have the item blurred or even have the tour taken down completely.
We do go out of our way to ensure that if customers are in the business we attempt to not capture them and that they are aware that a shoot is going on. We also posts signs on the door of the business advising that a shoot is in progress.
Can I embed the virtual tour into my business website?
Yes, the virtual tour can be embedded in your website. The tour can also be put on a tab on your business’ Facebook Page.
From the Google Business Photos Website FAQ
Yes, we encourage you to share the walk-through experience of your business with your customers. To embed the 360-degree panoramas on your website, simply find the HTML snippet from a good point of view of the panoramic imagery on Google Maps, click on the “Link” button , click “customize and preview embedded map,” and then copy and paste the HTML to embed in your website. If you’re looking for even more customizability with your images, check out the Google Maps API.
Can I use the Point of Interest photos on my website, social media site or advertising?
Yes, after payment has been made you own the photos and are free to use them any way you wish for your business.
Does the virtual tour work on mobile devices?
Yes, the virtual tour does work on most mobile devices with the Google Maps and Street View apps installed. We have tested this on IOS (Apple) and several Android devices and have been able to view the tour. On an older Windows Phone 7 device updated to the latest OS, a Local+ page can be brought up by visiting Google Maps in the browser but the Virtual tours and photos don’t appear. We have not had the opportunity to test it on a newer Windows 8 Phone or any Blackberry device yet and as soon as we know the results we will advise here.
Can I edit my Google Local+ Page?
Yes, if you have a gmail account you can access your Local+ Page. From there you can interact with users leaving reviews and also take advantage of Google Adwords and Google Offers for your business. We provide you with basic training in accessing the Local+ page and if you need additional help we can be of assistance.
It looks my my business does not have a Local+ Page. Can I create one?
Where can I get more information on Google Local+ Pages
Can I add my own photos?
Yes. Once your tour is published to your Local+ page and you have access to it via a gmail account, you can add additional photos to the page.
How does this benefit my business?
A virtual tour of your business helps your business stand out from others by giving potential customers the ability to see inside your business! It helps you build an on-line presence through your Local+ page which is shared through other Google properties and even your own website!
I don’t have a business website, can I still benefit?
Yes! Your 360° Virtual Tour is published to your Google Local+ Page which should already exist.
It looks like you don’t have an example of my type of business. Is there somewhere else I can see example tours?
Sounds Great! How do I get started?
Still have questions? Please contact us