Google Trusted Photographer – What Does It Mean?

Have you ever played with the Google maps concept? You can search out any address and with a few clicks have a street view of the surrounding area.

This works out really well when you’re unfamiliar with an area, and wish to have an idea of where you are going before you get there.

We used it the first time we went to Italy, and it was very helpful getting an idea of where our apartment was before we ever stepped off the plane. We “recognized” landmarks immediately, and found our location much quicker than we would have without it – something especially helpful when you take the train and walk there yourself without being able to speak Italian!

Now that Google has photographed almost everywhere street view, they are turning to other locations – inside the buildings themselves.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to “see” a restaurant in the city you’re hosting a retreat without having to visit in person? Or to be able to look inside a store to see if they truly have the products you want to look at?

Yes, there are all kinds of reasons to have the inside of your location photographed and placed in Google Maps’ que.

Google Trusted Photographer

But in order for that to happen, you need to have photographs – the right kind of photographs.

No snapping a few images with your iPhone. If businesses want to take advantage of this technology, they need to have the right kind of photographs to present the virtual tour – which means they need the right kind of photographer.

In order to be a Google Trusted Photographer, you have to meet certain qualifications.

You have to be ready to run a high volume photography business – they say you’ll be working 30+ hours per week as a part of the program.

And you have to have business skills behind you – are you ready for door to door or tele-sales in order to reach out to your customers?

Your goal as a Google Trusted Photographer will be to connect with local businesses and educate them on the power of being included in Google Maps Business Profiles. Once you have a new customer, you will spend around two hours capturing the images needed to make the Google virtual tour possible. Then you will work behind the scenes to publish your work into the Google Maps platform.Google Trusted Photographer

That’s it.

You do have to apply for the position, but once accepted they provide all the training.

Right now Trusted Photographers are working with businesses in U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, the UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. And of course a lot more to come.

Sound interesting? Apply now. It may be just the boost your business needs in this new economy.

How To Compete With Stock Images

This post is Day 18 of 30 Ways In 30 Days To Redesign Your Life With Photography. This series seeks to provide you with practical steps to get you from wherever you are today, to exactly where you want to be – this year! If your goal has always been to take your photography to a whole new level, hang on and start enjoying a new lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.

“I love to photograph food, products – things for commercial use. I would love to sell my work to companies for hanging on their walls of for them to include in company magazines, brochures, etc. But I’m finding more companies are turning to micro stock, and I’m having trouble getting my foot in the door. Is commercial photography still a viable business? Or should I shoot micro stock myself?” John

Great question.

I’m currently reading a book I Live In The Future & Here’s How It Works by Nick Bilton. I’m only about half way through it, but something Nick wrote in the first chapter has stuck with me, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it the past few days.

In it he speaks of the unraveling of Playboy Enterprises Inc. (I know, Playboy? You have to read the book to see how it fits in to a technology book.) Anyway, between 2004 and 2007, Playboy’s revenue was between $330 million and $340 million, and the company was turning a small profit or just breaking even. But in 2009, revenue slid to $240 million – a 30 percent plunge. The company’s stock slid from $25 to $5 a share. And its outlook isn’t encouraging. [Read more…]

One Great Idea – Meet Mick Buston

If you have a blog, you know the routine. Create a new post, approve and answer questions in your comments, add new features. A while back as I read through my comments, I came across one that really captured my attention to a post I had created, Are You An Artist Or Just Another Photographer? So being the Internet surfer I am, I clicked over to his site and started following the trail. And again, I was enthralled in what I saw. So…

I would like to introduce you to Mick Buston.

Even though Mick is fairly new to photography, its his journey that captured my attention. He didn’t want to become a traditional photographer, jumping at the portrait and wedding markets. He didn’t want to do what thousands of other photographers are doing – and struggling to some extent. So he set out on a new path. Rather than telling you about his journey, let me show you instead.

As you can see from his photographs, he’s a great storyteller. And his goal is to  “Create  photo story books based on my own creations, my visions, my interpretations. Kind of like a visual writer.” I love that concept – a visual writer.

Mick also recognizes the fact that “Digital photography has many pluses but one negative is that too many images remain on a hard drive somewhere, lost, buried, forgotten, essentially abandoned.” Yep, I couldn’t agree more. And with many photographers simply handing over CD/DVD’s of the images, and people storing them that way without every printing things, we’re producing a generation that will eventually have no memories from the most important events in their lives. So Mick’s idea of becoming a “visual writer” is right on, and I feel in the future one he is going to do very well with.

So I sent over a variety of questions, to dig deeper into his photography goals.

Mick provided such great responses to my questions, I want to provide his answers in their entirety. I enjoyed reading through his progression to where he is today, and I know you’ll get  caught up in the story too.


My name is Mick Buston and I am a UK-based photographer predominantly working on self-assigned music and editorial photography projects.

LORI: What was the process for finding what you are truly passionate about?
MICK: I left school with pretty much no qualifications and went straight to work in the construction industry as a plasterer.  My father was a plasterer and so it was a natural progression for me to do this.  In total I spent around 14 years in construction, including  18 months working in Germany, before finally deciding to try something else.

I applied for a job as a sales administrator in ’96, more for interview practice than anything else, and to my surprise I got it.  This started in place another 14 year period of work with various employers in a series of sales, marketing and management roles.

In between this I also set up my own business marketing a product I designed to help people to stop smoking.  The reality of launching a new product into such a competitive market meant that I did not have sufficient funds to carry on so after 18 months I made the difficult decision in February 2009 to close the company.

[Read more…]

How To Take Better Food Photographs

What does our world revolve around? Food of course. We eat all the time. And while sometimes it may have to be through the drive-through, sometimes we have fun with it.

Like having a group of friends over for a gourmet meal, complete with wines from around the world.

In any case, food ends up being a natural subject matter in a variety of photographs. Foodie blogs are booming at the moment. Cooking magazines are everywhere. And have you ever seen those glorious food photos on the walls at your favorite quick casual restaurant? They make you hungry while waiting in line.

Want to start your own foodie blog, or sell your recipes and photographs to a cooking magazine? Or maybe work with companies to produce great food images for their products and advertising? Start out with better food photographs.

1. Think presentation, not eating

What do you want the final photograph to look like? Do you want a table scene blurred in the background? How about place settings? Are you focusing on the texture of the foods? Play around with the look of the final image, not the way it will taste when you finally eat it. You might have to stack things to get a better view, or combine items to make it more appealing. [Read more…]

Commercial Photography – How To Photograph A Domino’s Pizza

Ready to jump into the commercial photography business? While a simple commercial or ad can make things appear to be simple, it may take hours or even days of preparation to get exactly what you want on film.

What does it take to photograph a Domino’s Pizza… lots of time, effort and prepping. This video shows you just how difficult it can be getting the perfect shot to market the product.

Love Commercial Work? Why Not Product Photography

In the world of the Internet with microstock websites selling millions of photos every day, is there still a need for a commercial photographer to take high quality product images?

Now more than ever.

If a company has a product, especially a product with a lot of detail, in order to showcase it online, you need high quality photographs.

  • Determine the best way to display your products within the photographs. How will your clients be attracted to it? Consider lifestyle, use of mannequin versus model, backgrounds and layouts, etc.
  • Concentrate on the details. The more details a product has, the more images and the more close-ups you should have. Don’t let your customer imagine the possibilities – show them.
  • Ensure the product images accurately depict the product. Surprises upon getting the product doesn’t make happy customers; avoid surprises by showcasing as much as you can.

If you’ve ever looked through microstock sites, you know most images are general in nature. Their great for accenting blog posts, creating simple, generic brochures, and building online web tools. But to showcase details for specific products and placements, its time to turn to the professionals. Companies know this, and aren’t afraid to pay for a quality photographer that can capture exactly what they are looking for, and help them be more professional in their appearance.

Let’s look at a couple of examples from well-known sites that use product photography well.
[Read more…]