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Business Photos FAQ

1. Why is Google photographing businesses? How can I see the pictures?

Photos of businesses taken by Google photographers will appear in a business' Place Page to help users who are looking for more information about a business. Business owners can also upload their own photographs to Google by logging in to Google Places. You'll be able to see the photos on your Place Page.

2. What kind of photos is Google taking?

We're taking panoramic photos, which initially will appear on your business Place Page as single shots, and over time may be stitched together into a panoramic view.

3. In which parts of the world are business photo shoots available?

Google's photographers are currently scheduling photo shoots with business owners in select cities in the US, Australia, and Japan. See the full list here. We will expand the program as quickly as possible, so businesses outside of these areas can also apply for a photo shoot. Additionally, business owners around the world can upload their own photographs to their Place Page by logging in to Google Places (www.google.com/places).

4. How are business photos collected?

Business photos are being gathered by a team of Google photographers with permission from the businesses involved.

5. What are the benefits of requesting a photo shoot of my business?

Just as you can't judge a book by its cover, you can't always judge a business by its exterior. Interior photographs are a great way to show potential customers what your business is really like. By enhancing your Place Page, business photos will help your business stand out above the competition and get discovered on Google. Millions of users will be able to visit your establishment from the comfort of their own homes, or preview it to help them decide on a visit. Best of all, it's free!

6. What type of business is Google currently interested in photographing?

We're kicking off by photographing interiors of the types of businesses that we know are searched for most regularly. The types of businesses we're currently interested in are restaurants, hotels, retail shops, and other storefront businesses. We're always open to new ideas, so please let us know if you have a great idea for a kind of business that our users would love to see. We're currently not photographing legal, medical, or chain establishments.

7. Can a business anywhere in the world apply for a photo shoot?

Yes! It's great to see interest from around the world, and your requests will help us decide where to send our photographers next. Google's photographers are currently scheduling photo shoots with business owners in the US, Australia, and Japan (see question #3 for specific cities). We will keep all requests on file for future opportunities. Additionally, business owners around the world can upload their own photographs to their Place Page by logging in to Google Places (www.google.com/places).

8. Who from my business can give permission to Google to take photos?

You can only apply for a business photo shoot if you have the proper authority to allow Google's photographer access to the business premises to collect photographs, and to allow Google to use those photographs in its products and services. For example, you might be the owner of the business, or a director or manager with sufficient authority to make those commitments on behalf of the business. Please note that by submitting your application for a business photo shoot you are confirming with Google that you have the authority to make that commitment.

9. Who owns the photos taken by Google's photographers?

Google owns all the photos that we collect as part of a business photo shoot. However, we'll always give you the option to ask us to remove images from our products and services, and you can always upload your own photos through Google Places (www.google.com/places).

10. How can I apply for a Google photo shoot of my business?

To apply for an official Google photo shoot of your business, call fill out the online Business Photo Shoots application. If we are unable to schedule an official photo shoot of your business immediately, you can always update your Google business listing through Google Places (www.google.com/places).

11. Does applying for a photo shoot oblige the participation of my business or guarantee a shoto shoot?

No. If you are selected, we will contact you with more details and for a final confirmation before photographing your business.

12. How will I know if my business has been selected by Google?

If your business is selected for a photo shoot, we'll include you in a list of businesses for our photographers and you'll have a conversation with us by phone to confirm all the details. Due to the high volume of requests, you will hear from us only if we are able to include your business. Thanks for understanding!

13. How does Google collect photos without disrupting business operations?

Business photos are captured by a photographer using a high quality digital camera and tripod. No props or special lighting are required, so normal business activity can carry on during the photo shoot. If your business is selected, our photographers will work with your schedule to ensure that photos are not taken at a time that will disrupt your business.

14. What does Google have in place to ensure privacy and legal compliance?

Business photos capture nothing different to what a customer would see by visiting the business in real life. We'll run the photos through our state-of-the-art blurring technology to blur out faces of people who appear in the photos. Remember, only people with the authority to make agreements on behalf of the business can submit an application for photography, and by submitting the application you're confirming to Google that you have that authority.

15. Do I need to tell my employees and customers about this photo shoot?

As the business owner, it's your responsibility to let people know that the photo shoot is taking place. The photographer will help by putting up a sign at the time of the photo shoot to alert customers, but we strongly recommend that you tell your employees and others beforehand if possible.

16. What will Google's photographers do that I can't do myself?

Google's photographers are specially trained to take great photos of building interiors, dealing with some of the challenges such as low lighting and tight spaces. The photographers are also trained to take panoramic pictures using fisheye and wide angle lenses that should translate into great looking pictures of your business.

17. I'd like Google's photographers to take indoor pictures of my business every few of months, because I keep rearranging my interiors. Is this possible?

Demand for this project is very high, and we're working to help as many businesses as possible. However, if your business has undergone a major change (especially if the premises undergo a change of use, or a major refurbishment) then please let us know and we'll try to accommodate you. As the business owner, you can always upload your own up-to-date photographs to Google through Google Places (www.google.com/places).

18. How long will the photo shoot take?

In most cases, a business photo shoot will take less than an hour, but this will depend on the size of your business.

19. Will someone from my business have to escort or help Google's photographer?

This is up to you - you may want to allocate someone to show the photographer around, especially if they will be photographing in areas that require special access (e.g. hotel conference rooms etc).

20. Will I be able to arrange things so that they look neat and clean?

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.

21. Will I be able to restrict where the photographers take pictures?

Your business photos should show what visitors, clients, and guests can expect to find if they visit your business on a normal day, so ideally our photographers will have access to the main areas that your customers use. However, you are free to tell the Google photographer on the day of the photo shoot if there are areas you would rather we didn't photograph.

22. Will I be able to select the photos used by Google?

Google will use a representative sample of photos from different locations within your business, including a picture of your business from the outside. However, if you're not happy with them, you can upload different photos of your own through Google Places (www.google.com/places).

23. Will people be included in business photos taken by Google photographers?

Business photos taken by Google photographers are no different to what a customer would see when visiting the business in real life. Normal business activity can carry on during the photo shoot, so some customers and employees may appear in the photos. We'll run the photos through our state-of-the-art blurring technology to blur out faces of people who appear in the photos. In addition, our photographer will do their best to ensure that customers and employees are given the opportunity to move out of the shot if they do not want to be photographed. As the business owner, it's your responsibility to let people know that the photo shoot is taking place. The photographer will help by putting up a sign at the time of the photo shoot to alert customers, but we strongly recommend that you tell your employees and others beforehand if possible.

24. Will Google be using the business photos in other applications besides Place Pages?

Google is committed to continually innovating, and we're always looking for new ways to make business information more useful and accessible to our users. In doing so, we may create new applications that use the business photos we take at your premises. Your consent to allow Google's photographers to take business photos will also be used for these applications.

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