In full view: knox360 provides full view photography for businesses’ Google exposure
Local photographers Jonathan and Lisa Price of knox360 have been certified to provide panoramic views of businesses, including this screen capture of Yummy Cakes & More in downtown Morristown that can be seen on Google Maps and Google Local+ pages.
Partners in business (and love) Jonathan and Lisa Price of Jefferson City are moving in small circles these days – and that’s a good thing for local businesses.
In January 2012, Google launched a photos program to be visible on Google Maps and Google Local+ pages that offers a 360-degree interactive panorama, both inside and outside of a retail business, community organization or manufacturer.
The married couple, who have 14 years of combined experience in the photography field, thought it would be a good venture.
“They started in select cities the summer of last year and were recruiting professional media companies and/or photographers,” Jonathan said. “Our website was up on the rankings and they liked it. Lisa and I both went through a certification process and trained through Google to provide commercial tours.”
After both earning the title of Google Trusted Photographer, Jonathan and Lisa began working under the name knox360, providing the panoramas to customers in Knoxville and beyond.
A typical photo session is not a significant investment of time for their small business customers that have included Yummy Cakes & More and The Pink Pig Pottery Studio in downtown Morristown, according to Jonathan.
“The set-up process from start to finish is about an hour,” he said. It is not intrusive. Before the shoot we meet with the owner and decide with him or her how we can best showcase their business and how will it best work for them.”
For a larger location, like the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the process may take a couple of hours, if the customer would like to showcase several areas that may include a conference or multi-use community room. Still shots are also included in the package.
“They get 10 to 30 professional still images that are licensed to them and are also published through their Google business page,” Jonathan said.
Although Google uses marketing videos and publishes blogs nationally to bring attention to the business photos program, it does not reach out with a specific marketing program for its certified photographers and photography studios.
“As far as locally, we’re pretty much an independent company working with Google,” Jonathan said. “We’re concentrating on small, medium and large businesses and are dialoging now with a few chains. It’s a new and neat way to allow customers to interact with businesses.
“The real benefit with the Google virtual tours is that, well, they’re on Google,” he said. “People who are looking for place to eat, a place to shop or attractions can see what they’re all about before making a trip. A couple from out west coming in for a mountain vacation can look on Google and find attractions in the area.”
According to Jonathan, the entrepreneurs are also thinking outside the virtual box.
“We’re going to shoot a couple of pediatric dentistry offices,” he said. “For parents of young children especially, the unexpected can be a challenge. The tour takes all of that away. Its great for the customer to see what the experience will be like.”
As far as including patrons in the tours, “It’s really whatever the business owner would prefer,” Jonathan said. “If people are included, their faces are blurred out – just like Google street views does. That’s the same privacy option that we provide. It may be nice to show some life at a café or a restaurant, people eating and talking. Its beneficial for people who are specifically searching on a smart phone or tablet, say, searching for coffee. the tour is available right on their phone.”
Jonathan added, “This is a great tool for any kind of business. A Chamber of Commerce or a manufacturing plant that wants to showcase its facility for potential customers or investors. The tours can also imbed in the company’s website.
For more information, visit knox360.com, call 865-245-2333 or email email@example.com.
-By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer