Frequently Asked Questions
What will the Trusted Photographer do that I can’t do myself?
- Trusted Photographers are trained to take high quality photos of building interiors, accommodating for common challenges such as low lighting and tight spaces
- The photographers are also certified to take pictures using fisheye lenses and rotating camera turrets (mounted on tripods) that, once uploaded to Google’s processing pipelines by photographers, will be transformed into 360-degree panoramic imagery and a walk through of your business
- Once photographers upload the pictures from their cameras, Google’s processing pipelines use sophisticated image stitching, HDR, image matching and other technologies to produce these panoramic walkthroughs.
- Most virtual tour companies are dated and do not utilize the technology in Google Business Photos
- Google Business Photos is like Google Street View for the INSIDE of your business. Customer’s feel as if they are walking through your store
- Only Google Business Photos are displayed on Google Maps and Google Searches.
- Google Trusted Photographers are trained and certified to meet Google’s high standards – quality is guaranteed.
- You are welcome to clean and tidy things up prior to the photography session, but remember that the aim of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
- Absolutely. Signing up for Google+ Local is free and easy. Click this link to sign up.
- You are welcome to contact us if you are having any difficulties.
- Starting your Google Business Photos is easy. Simply contact us and we will provide you with information and answer your questions. We will set a shoot date and photograph your business.
- We recommend that you give your place of business a quick clean-up on the shoot date to allow customers to see you at your best
- Photo shoots take about 1 hour for small businesses, and no more than 2 hours for large businesses.
- We upload the images from your photo shoot to Google for processing.
- After roughly two weeks your virtual tour becomes available on Google’s pages.
- This is a ONE time paid service
- There are no hidden or recurring fees
The Sign Up Process
- HOW CAN BUSINESS PHOTOS HELP MY BUSINESS?
When potential customers search for your business by name on Google, they will see the images displayed directly on the search results page. These panoramic images will also be published on Google+ Local pages, Google Maps and other Google properties and give customers a better sense of the layout, decor and beauty of your business interior. Using easy-to-use html snippets or Maps APIs, you can also link to these images from your own business website, attracting potential customers who visit your website too.
- WHY ARE BUSINESSES BEING PHOTOGRAPHED AND HOW CAN I SEE THE PICTURES?
Google Trusted Photographers are taking high-quality still photographs that will be stitched into 360-degree views using panoramic camera technology. These Trusted Photographers are independent contractors who have been trained and certified by Google to produce high quality panoramic images. As a business owner, you can also upload your own photographs to Google by signing into Google+ Local. You’ll be able to see the photos and 360-degree panoramic imagery directly on Google search results and on your Google+ Local page.
- WHAT WILL THE TRUSTED PHOTOGRAPHER DO THAT I CAN’T DO MYSELF?
Trusted Photographers are trained to take high quality photos of building interiors, accommodating for common challenges such as low lighting and tight spaces. The photographers are also certified to take pictures using fisheye lenses and rotating camera turrets (mounted on tripods) that, once uploaded to Google’s processing pipelines by photographers, will be transformed into 360-degree panoramic imagery and a walk through of your business. Once photographers upload the pictures from their cameras, Google’s processing pipelines use sophisticated image stitching, HDR, image matching and other technologies to produce these panoramic walkthroughs.
- WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A TRUSTED PHOTOGRAPHER AND GOOGLE?
Trusted Photographers are independent contractors/businesses that are not employed by Google, agents of Google or affiliated with Google in any way. Google has certified them because they meet Google’s standards of quality for taking the feature pictures and panoramic pictures, uploading them, moderating them and eventually publishing them on Google properties.
- WHAT IS THE COST TO GET MY BUSINESS PHOTOGRAPHED?
Because Trusted Photographers are not employees or affiliated with Google, they decide how much to charge for their services. We expect the Trusted Photographers to offer their services at a fair market value, and you may negotiate with them to come to an acceptable price for the service. Prior to any photo shoot, the Trusted photographers will present the Service Agreement, specifying their services, for your acceptance. The agreement also spells out (among other things) that, in return for your payment to the Trusted Photographer, you will own the images that have been taken.
The Photo Shoot
- HOW CAN I COORDINATE A PHOTO SHOOT?
First, click on the "Get a tour" tab on this web site. Register your information. We'll be notified and will contact you shortly.
- HOW LONG WILL THE PHOTO SHOOT TAKE?
In most cases, a photo shoot will take about an hour, but this varies depending on the size of your business.
- WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO PREPARE MY BUSINESS AHEAD OF THE PHOTO SHOOT?
You are welcome to clean and tidy things up prior to the photography session, but remember that the aim of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
- WHICH AREAS OF MY BUSINESSES WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHED?
Photo shoots will include the main customer-facing areas of your business. You can work with the photographer to determine what areas of your businesses you would like to highlight, or even exclude from the shoot. Once again, the goal of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
- WILL THE PHOTO SHOOT DISRUPT MY BUSINESS OPERATIONS?
We know you’re running a business, and that’s why we designed photo shoots to be as non-disruptive as possible. Trusted Photographers will work around your schedule to ensure that photos are taken at a convenient time for you and your business. Photo shoots do not require any sort of special equipment, lighting, or setup, so you are free to stay open. Although photo shoots are non-disruptive and should not interfere with your normal business operations, it’s a good idea to let your customers know photography is in process and to avoid being in view of the camera, whenever possible.
- WILL PEOPLE BE INCLUDED IN THE PHOTO SHOOT?
Because we want to keep the focus of the photos on the inside of your business, we aim to have as few people in the shots as possible. During the shoot, photographers may put up a sign and alert customers and employees about to be photographed. As the business owner it would be your responsibility to notify your employees and customers that the photo shoot is taking place.
- WHAT MEASURES ARE IN PLACE TO ENSURE PRIVACY AND LEGAL COMPLIANCE?
Photo shoots will exclude any areas of your businesses which you would not like to feature. In addition, our photographers will always alert customers and employees before a photo is taken, to uphold their privacy. All panoramic imagery will be processed by our state-of-the-art blurring technology to blur out faces of any employees or customers who appear in the imagery. At any time you may request additional blurring or takedown of entire images through our Report a Problem link at either the bottom of the pano image, or within your Google+ Local page.
- WHO FROM MY BUSINESS CAN GIVE LEGAL PERMISSION FOR THE PHOTO SHOOT?
You must have the proper authority to allow a Trusted Photographer access to the business premises to collect photographs and to subsequently allow Google to use those photographs in its products and services. People with this authority include the owner of the business or a director or manager with the designation to make those commitments on behalf of the business. Please note that by agreeing to the terms and conditions and the Google Terms of Service, before your photo shoot, you are confirming that you have the authority to make that commitment.
- WILL GOOGLE BE USING THE IMAGERY IN OTHER APPLICATIONS BESIDES GOOGLE+ LOCAL PAGES?
Google may use these images in other products and services in new ways that will make your business information more useful and accessible to users. For example, further integration with Google Maps will allow customers to find these images easily from the 360-degree Street View imagery of nearby roads for many locations.
- DO I OWN THE PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY A TRUSTED PHOTOGRAPHER?
Yes, you will own the photos taken by Trusted Photographers once you have paid for this service and the shoot is completed. Keep in mind that by signing the agreement, provided by the Trusted Photographer, you will also license the use of the photos to Google who will publish the imagery.
- CAN I REVIEW THE PHOTOS AFTER THEY ARE TAKEN AND BEFORE THEY GO LIVE ON MY GOOGLE+ LOCAL PAGE?
Because of the technology takes individual unstitched and unreviewed images that need considerable processing after they are uploaded by the photographer, to produce the attractive ‘walk- through’ experience, you will not be able to review the images before they are uploaded to Google.
- CAN I BLUR THE IMAGES OR TAKE DOWN ALL PANORAMAS FROM BY BUSINESS LISTING?
Yes, if you see a major issue you can ask us to blur some areas in each of the panoramic images. You may also ask us to take down all panoramas. At this time we are unable to take down individual panoramas. To request blurring or takedown click on the “Report a Problem” link on the specific images where you see issues and provide the requested information. Please note that the blurring/removal process may take several days.
- COULD MY PHOTOS BE REMOVED FOR OTHER REASONS?
Yes, your photos might be removed if they are found to violate the Google photo policy. Although all business images undergo quality review before being uploaded, some photos may still be reported as inappropriate and later removed. The complete photo policy can be found here.
- IF I’M NOT THE BUSINESS OWNER, CAN I REQUEST THE REMOVAL OF A PHOTO?
Similar to our policy for Street View imagery, our “Report a Problem” tool enables users to request further blurring of images that feature the user in the 360-degree imagery. Users can also request the removal of images that display inappropriate content, and business owners can ask us to remove 360-degree images taken by Trusted Photographers through the “Report a problem” link or the “Report inappropriate photo” link for feature photos..
- CAN I EMBED THESE IMAGES ON MY BUSINESS WEBSITE?
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 customization with your images, check out the Google Maps API.
- CAN I HAVE A REPEAT PHOTO SHOOT?
Yes, you are welcome to engage with a Trusted Photographer and coordinate a repeat shoot as often as you’d like, but it is up to the individual Trusted Photographer to decide the cost. Many businesses who have recently renovated their interiors or that have seasonal decor will request a reshoot. Remember that you can always upload your own up-to-date photographs through Google+ Local as well.
- WHAT IS ADWORDS EXPRESS AND HOW CAN I GET A COUPON?
AdWords Express is Google’s easy to use online advertising solution, ideal for local businesses who want to advertise on Google and partner websites (including mobile devices) and attract more visitors to their website, or Google+ Page. Visit the AdWords Express website to learn more.
Eligibility requirements: In order to participate in this program and receive the AdWords Express coupon, you must be a business owner or an authorized representative of a business owner. Additionally, your business must be licensed to operate in your region. Your business, photo content and ad materials must also meet all AdWords policy requirements (see the AdWords Policy Center for more information).
If eligible, an AdWords Express Coupon will be distributed to you in an email from your Trusted Photographer once your photo shoot is complete and your images are uploaded to Google. To redeem your coupon, sign-up through the AdWords Express website where you will be able to enter a coupon code at the end of the sign-up process. For help with AdWords Express coupons, accounts, or general inquiries, please contact the AdWords Express helpline.
Terms and conditions apply to the use of the coupons. The offer is not available for existing AdWords Express or AdWords accounts. Limit 1 coupon per business; no additional coupons will be given for repeat shoots. Coupons are redeemable in the following Business Photos countries: United States, United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. This is a limited time offer; coupons expire December 12 2012. Google reserves the right not to issue coupons to select businesses. For the most up to date and detailed information please check the AdWords Express website and the AdWords Express terms and conditions.