These days a lot of people are claiming to be a professional virtual tour creator and 360 photographers. The fact is a lot goes into becoming a professional in the industry. Today we are going to give tips and advice on what to look for in 360 virtual tour photographers and people who create virtual tours.
What To Look For In 360 Virtual Tour Photographers (And Google Street View Photographer)
The Equipment and Image Quality
When it comes to the subject of what to look for in 360 virtual tour photographers, firstly you should check the quality of their images. These days many people hoping to ‘get rich quick’ will buy cheaper low end 360 hobby cameras. Anything that is 4k resolution is considered by 2020 standards low resolution/hobby quality. The equivalent would be like comparing a smartphone to a high-end professional camera (check out our blog about low vs high quality 360 photos).
No matter what they say, the truth is a professional 360 camera will produce cleaner shots with higher quality. Your photographer should be using a camera of at least 8k resolution 360 professional camera or a DSLR camera. At Simply 360, we only use professional commercial grade 360 cameras that range from 8k – 12k resolution.
Google Street View Certified
This applies more to Google Street View Photography, but it helps with 360 virtual tours. Google has strict standards to be certified as a 360 street view professional. If your 360 photographer isn’t even Google Street View Certified then I would wonder if the quality of their imagery is any good. Do they photograph properly, edit the images well and so on? A lot is taken into account to create a great looking 360 panoramic image. While the Google Badge is not compulsory, it is something that you should look for when looking for a professional 360 photographer. Simply 360 is Google Street View Certified.
Examples Of Work
In the industry, there is a common practice of start-up 360 photographers linking to tours which they do not create. Make sure and confirm the tours are created by them. A recent example we saw was a 360 photographer claim he did a virtual tour in the US and Paris while the country was in lockdown. These tours also linked to other people companies. Double-check and make sure they are able to produce what they show you.
On the flip side ask to see examples of work they have done. If they don’t have any examples, are you sure they have made a virtual tour before? Check and see if they have a portfolio of work. Here is the Simply 360 virtual tour portfolio covering many industries and examples over many years.
Does The 360 Tour Company Engage You To Better Understand Your Project
It does not matter if you are a school, retail business, event planner, art gallery and so on. If you speak to your 360 professional, are they asking you relevant questions around your project to better understand your needs? If the answer is no and they just give you a price and no more… run as fast and far as you can! Without knowing what you are trying to achieve, how can a custom tour be created that best suits your end goals?
At Simply 360 our team is lead by Dimitri Cassimatis, a 360 virtual tour professional with many years in the industry. Coupled with his background in marketing, he will speak to you and your team about the goals of the project to know not just what to shoot but also how to design it to best suit your needs and what to include in terms of increasing engagement with your audience.
These Are Just A Few Things Look For In 360 Virtual Tour Photographers
These are only a few simple points, but there are many more when looking for 360 virtual tour photographers. The key thing to take away is to make sure they are Google Certified with plenty of proven examples and are not a fly-by-night company. Whoever you choose, make sure that they can deliver what you are looking to have created. If you are interested in creating a 360 virtual tour contact us today by phone or via the form on this page.
Are you looking for a 360 virtual tour photographer? What have you found in your search? When it comes to Looking For In 360 Virtual Tour Photographers do you think we left anything out? Let us know in the comments below and join the discussion 🙂
Dimitri is the founder of Simply 360, which specialises in creating immersive, interactive and engaging 360 / VR virtual tours, AR integration and marketing consultancy. He has worked in the digital marketing industry for over 15 years and has a passion for creating virtual tours with a key focus in strategic implementation.