Congratulations on your decision to go with Google Street View virtual tour for your business. Never underestimate the value of preparation, and never leave it up to your 360 virtual tour photographer! The camera will pick up EVERYTHING! So a little preparation before our arrival could go a long way. When our photographer is busy cleaning up areas that should have been cleaned before our arrival, or hiding stuffed trash bins, it takes away our focus. For an optimal virtual tour experience, please see the following recommendations below.
Preparation for Shoot:
Walk through your own business: A great way to get an objective view of your business is to walk through it as though you were a first-time customer. What aspects of your store grab your attention? Pay attention to these areas so you can highlight them during your business photo shoot.
Start With the Parking Lot
Our virtual tours always start outside. So evaluate the outside of your business from the eye of a customer. Do you have a trashcan that needs emptying or a cigarette ashtray full of cigarette butts? Is there debris on the ground or on the doormat that could use a good sweeping up? Any half-peeled or sun-faded stickers on the glass that you want to remove? Also:
- Clear up your parking area free from cars: Have your staff park elsewhere and not directly in front of your business. We understand you can’t control where clients park but just do the best you could. It will be the first area we shoot so it really won’t take up too much time. Once we move past the entrance, the parking lot is yours again!
- Wipe down windows or your glass door that face the parking lot if you feel it has a lot of streaks or hand prints. Also, please don’t wait for our arrival to start cleaning. Arrive ahead of time or do it the night before. Our photographers are on schedules and these kinds of things could create a late situation for the next shoot of the day.
Inside Preparation Tips
Once inside, there are all sorts of small details which can make or break your tour. Remember, the camera eye picks up everything and so will your prospects. If you have a cleaning company who comes to clean your office/store space regularly, it’s a good idea to have them come the day before our shoot. That- or have us come the day after their routine cleaning. If you do not have a cleaning company but are in need of one and are in the Atlanta area, we highly recommend “Lisa’s Natural Home Cleaning.”
- Put away any papers on surfaces
- Empty garbages that are visible
- Tidy up any cables
- Loose items should be put away, declutter
- Check outdoors (front door, patio, etc) so that it looks presentable
- Add decorations to look nice if needed
- Replace any burnt out light bulbs
- Clean any reflective surfaces
Customers or No Customers?
The age old question. We like to say that it just all depends on the industry. Some businesses can really shine when the place is completely empty and immaculate. Other businesses, when full of customers, can give the impression of a thriving business and may actually encourage a viewer to stop by. A busy place of business can give off the impression that your business is doing something right. Again, other businesses just look great when it’s completely empty. It’s really your call but you can talk to your photographer to get their opinion as they have most likely shot dozens of virtual tours of your very industry.
If you do decide to keep customers in your virtual tours, worry not. Their faces will be blurred out to keep their anonymity safe.
Staff or No Staff in the Virtual Tour?
It just really depends on your industry. If your work environment has your staff sitting in place, such as the front desk or register, then keeping them there is recommended. If your work environment consists of your staff running around like chickens with their heads cut off, then it’s not a good idea to have them included in the virtual tour. In these cases, we will ask that the staff work around us, meaning when we are in one room, they will be hanging out in another room. When we enter that room, they can go back to the room we just shot, etc… All staff members faces will also be blurred out so tell them not to worry!
Point of Interest Photos will be taken (please get these items ready)
- Business Card
- Any other items that represent your company
- Hours of operation
- Sculptures or paintings
What About Staff Photography?
If you would like to take advantage of our photographer’s visit and need some bio shots of you an/or your staff, then this could be arranged. Just let us know ahead of time so that our photographers can come prepared with the right camera lenses and also so that we could discuss with you payment options. If this is the case, make sure your staff and/or employees report to work on time, uniformed or dressed to impress. This all depends on what industry you’re in. See more about our photography services.
- Be ready to prepare 3 food dishes to add to the Point Of Interest photos
- Restaurant tables usually should be set