Congratulations on taking the next big step in leveraging immersive media for your business! The photographer has scheduled a photo-session, and will be photographing a virtual tour of your location in the next few days.

To ensure the best quality virtual tour, and to make the photo session as smoothly as possible, here are a 3 Top Things to Prepare Before a 360° Virtual Tour photo session.

1. Google My Business login – Have it ready.

If your business is already listed and verified on “Google My Business Listing”, it’s important to have your credentials handy to provide to your photographer.  The photographer will need you to provide manager or administrative access to them, in order to upload the 360° photographs into the location.

2. Location Staging (Entrance and Inside)

Like a regular photograph, a virtual tour is media that will be seen by customers on Google Maps, Google My Business, and any website or social media you embed it on.  It goes without saying, you will want to stage the location to be photo ready. Ensure the front entrance is tidied up (as virtual tour locations will start from the front.  From the interior staging here are a few things to consider:

  • Tabletops/Counters/Walls:  Keep Clear, De-Personalize, Hide/Clean Clutter
  • Interior Lighting (Keep them on at maximum lighting, and ensure the photographer knows where turn on/off).
  • Furniture:  Ensure they are properly staged, and placed in the location naturally
  • Turn off Moving Objects: Turn off televisions, Ceiling fans, and anything that moves.  Virtual tours are taken at long exposures and may often cause a blur/ghosting effect if it captures anything in movement.
  • Windows/Shades:  Keep blinds open but ensure photographer has ability to dim/close as needed.

3. Customers and Employees in Photos

Virtual tour photography requires pro-longed exposures.  When there are moving objects such as people or animals, it will result in a ghosting/blurred affect in the photo and doesn’t prove for a very good virtual tour.  Please consult with the photographer, and ensure the photography session is scheduled during before opening hours, or less busy hours.  Please ensure staff members are aware of the photography session to prevent them from photobombing the tour.
FYI:  If faces or people are in photographs, the Google Terms of Service require faces are blurred.