Google Trusted Photographer

FAQs: Common questions and answers

Using the virtual tour on your own website and social media


Common questions about the service

Who are Google Trusted Photographers?

Google Trusted Photographers are independent contractors who have been trained and certified by Google to produce high-quality panoramic images. Trusted Photographers are independent businesses that are not employed by Google, agents of Google or affiliated with Google in any way. Google has certified us because we meet Google’s standards of quality for shooting both the ‘feature’ pictures and ‘panoramic’ pictures, uploading them, moderating them and eventually publishing them on Google properties.

What can a Trusted Photographer do that I can't do myself?

 

Trusted Photographers are trained and certified to shoot images using professional DSLR cameras with specialised lenses and Panoramic tripods. Once the images are uploaded to Google’s processing pipelines, we are qualified to transform the photos into 360° panoramic imagery and produce a walkthrough of your business using sophisticated image stitching, HDR, image matching and other software technologies.

I represent a regional, national or inter-national chain of businesses, can you cover all of my business locations?

Yes. We are currently authorised as a Google Trusted Photographer for Dorset. As long as you have at least one property in our area we are authorised to shoot your properties in other areas.

What types of business can participate? Are there any restrictions on what type of businesses can participate?

As the name suggests, ‘Google Maps Business View’ shoots are designed to promote businesses.

Google do not allow Trusted Photographers to shoot apartments, homes, medical clinics, rehabilitation centres, de-addiction centres, police/military stations, public schools, universities or rental locations – including holiday villas or houses, show houses, lawyer’s offices.

Also Google do not allow us to shoot castles, palaces, parks, national parks, churches and cathedrals, stadiums or museums for the Google Maps Business View project, as this imagery is supported in other Google Projects. (It’s a slightly grey area but we can shoot commercial art galleries plus stately homes, castles and similar which operate as a business – such as a wedding venue, conference centre or hotel etc.. rather than purely National Trust type properties).

If I apply for a quote, am I committed to participating?

No, there is no commitment to accept our quote or participate in the programme unless and until you decide to do so.

Is there any quality guarantee?

We strive to provide the best possible quality professional images of your business. If you are not entirely satisfied with our work we will provide a full money back guarantee.

How long will it take to arrange the shoot for my business after I’ve decided I want to go ahead?

Depending on prior bookings, we can often schedule a shoot within a day or 2. If needed, we will guarantee to do the shoot within 5 working days of our quote being accepted.

How long will the photo shoot take?

This varies depending on the size of your business. Typically a photo shoot will take about an hour for a micro or small businesses. Medium to large and extra-large business may take from 2 to 6 hours.

Can you shoot my business at night or outside of normal business hours?

Yes, of course. Many businesses such as restaurants and night clubs operate and look their best at night. Also it may not be convenient or appropriate for us to shoot during your normal opening hours. We can arrange appointments to shoot on evenings or weekends if needed for a £50 supplement.

What do I need to do to prepare my business for the photo shoot?

We want you’re business to look it’s best. You’re welcome to clean, tidy and make any ‘set-up’ prior to the photo shoot. However, the aim of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day so it’s best not to over-do the set-up.

Which areas of my business will be photographed?

Photo shoots will include the main customer-facing areas of your business. You can work with us to determine which areas of your business you would like to highlight, or even exclude from the shoot. Once again, the point 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 we aim to make photo shoots as non-disruptive as possible. 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 that photography is in process and to avoid being in view of the camera, whenever possible.

Will people be included in the photo shoot?

Google want to keep the focus of the photos on the inside of your business and to have as few people in the shots as possible. As the business owner, it’s your decision whether you wish to have customers or staff present during the photo-shoot. We can shoot your business out of hours to make it look it’s best and avoid any inconvenience to your customers, guests or clients or if you wish your premises to be empty.

If your business is open during the shoot, we will work around your schedule to ensure that photos are taken at a convenient time for you and your business. We may put up a sign and alert customers and employees who are about to be photographed. As the business owner, it is your responsibility to notify your employees and customers that the photo shoot is taking place.


Privacy and Legal info from Google

What measures are in place to ensure privacy and legal compliance?

Photo shoots will exclude any areas of your business that you do not want to be featured. In addition, we will always alert customers and employees before a photo is taken, to respect their privacy.

All panoramic imagery will be processed by Google’s state-of-the-art blurring technology to blur out the faces of any employees or customers who appear in the imagery. You may, at any time, request additional blurring or takedown of entire images via Google’s ‘Report a Problem’ link either at the bottom of the Pano image or on your Google+ Local page.

Who from my business can give legal permission for the photo shoot?

You must have the proper authority to grant a Trusted Photographer access to the business premises to take photographs and subsequently to 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 authority 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, for many locations, further integration with Google Maps will allow customers to find these images easily from the 360° Street View imagery of nearby roads.

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 complete. Prior to any photo shoot, the Trusted Photographers will present a Service Agreement, specifying their services, for your acceptance. The agreement also states (among other things) that, in return for your payment to the Trusted Photographer, you will own the images that have been taken. Bear in mind that, by signing the agreement provided by the Trusted Photographer you are also licensing the use of the photos to Google, who will publish the imagery.

Can I blur the images or take down all panoramas from my business listing?

Yes, if you see a major issue, you can ask Google to blur some areas in the panoramic images. You can also ask Google to take down all panoramas. Google are currently unable to take down individual panoramas. To request blurring or takedown, click the ‘Report a Problem’ link for the specific images where you see issues, and provide the requested information. Please note that the blurring/removal process may take several days.

Can we have our premises photographed at night?

Yes. Any area of the business can be photographed at night including external areas of the business. However, the panoramas connecting the main entrance to Google Street View must be shot during daylight to prevent a sudden ‘Day to Night’ transition between the virtual tour and Google Street View.

Can our business be shot in bad weather?

Interior shots can be shot in bad weather, however the external images connecting to Google Street View cannot.
We keep a very close eye on the weather and advise if the shoot will go ahead as planned 48hrs before the scheduled time and date.

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