B&A Warehouse - Birmingham AL Google Virtual Tour by

I’m very excited and proud to show off the 360º virtual walk through tour and commercial photography I created of B&A Warehouse in downtown Birmingham, Alabama!

I’ve been to several events at B&A and I’ve known Susan Mason, the owner, from my days as a wedding photographer. I knew what an amazing space it was and I wanted to show it off in my portfolio. B&A is in an amazing location. They are right across the street from Railroad Park and right next to Regions Field. They are really in the heart of Birmingham’s downtown revitalization. I felt that they could really benefit from the Google tour, especially as a sales aid. Often people are planning events from afar. Weddings, rehearsal dinners, parties, corporate events, etc. come with different needs. It can be hard to know if a venue is going to be a good fit or not. By having the 360º tour, event venues can help people save time. They can avoid going to places that will never be a good fit or allow them to secure the needed space without physically going in first.

However, I did have a bit of a challenge convincing Susan! They had already had a 360º tour done by a competitor and they weren’t getting the results they expected. I can definitely understand this but there are some major differences between that product and the Google one!

As compared to the competition here are some advantages Google offers:

  • It’s on Google. Instead of being limited to the tour providers website, the Google tour comes up everywhere your business appears on Google. Google Maps, Google StreetView, Google Local, and Google search results.
  • You can embed it live directly on your website and Facebook pages. The other tour is a link to the provider’s website. When potential customers view the tour they actually leave the businesses website. With the Google tour it can be embedded seamlessly!
  • It’s mobile friendly. The other tours are Adobe Flash based. This means that they’re incompatible with most mobile phones and tablets. The Google tour not only works on those devices it also recognizes and optimizes the tour for the best user experience.
  • There’s a n SEO (search engine optimization) benefit. I verify the businesses information to Google and the tour is embedded right on the Google + Local or Google My Business Page for the business. This helps with the search result rankings.
  • Much higher quality. The Google tour looks great at full screen on a 27” monitor or a smart phone screen. Other tours are much smaller and pixilated by comparison.
  • Commercial still images are included. Along with the 360º virtual tour, up to ten conventional commercial still photos are created. The business has the rights to the images, allowing them to be used in print materials as well as digital media.
  • One time cost. Other tour options have a monthly or annual cost. They must be renewed or they go away. Once created, the Google tour never expires.
  • Money back guarantee. If you don’t like it, you get your money back. It’s as simple as that!

Once we were able to fully demonstrate the differences and how it looked Susan and her team could see the value. I’m so glad too because this is one unique and amazing venue!

Take a look at the still images and virtual tour below. You can learn more about B&A Warehouse on their website.

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Agoge Fitness Systems - Birmingham AL Google Business View by

My good friend Greg Boggs of Vehicle Media works out at Agoge Fitness Systems in Birmingham, Alabama. We've worked on a few projects together and he mentioned to Dave, the owner that what I do with the Google Maps Business View virtual tours could be a really big help for his gym. Agoge is a little unusual. It's in the same building and behind another fitness facility. There's no outside signage. If you didn't know it was there you'd never have any idea. This obviously poses some challenges. Even when people do know about you it could be hard for them to find. The Google 360º tour and photos are perfect for this. Now, everywhere Agoge comes up on Google potential members can see not only the surrounding area (like street view), but inside as well!

I knew that if Greg was friends with Dave that he must be a good guy. However, I didn't know just how awesome he was until his phone rang! I was setting up when all of a sudden I heard the Dr Who theme song! For those of you who aren't familiar (see what I did there), Dr Who is a Sci Fi series that's been running on BBC since the late 60's. Fans of the show are a small subset of the Sci Fi geek community. I happen to be one of them. I even went as the shows main character (The Doctor) for Halloween. I knew then that Dave and I were kindred spirits and I enjoyed talking Dr Who with him as much as photographing his business!

Another geeky note, the name of the business comes from ancient Greek history. The Agoge was the training facility for Spartan warriors. It was the crucible that formed not only their bodies but their minds as well. This is the philosophy that Dave has adopted for his training. It's different from the normal cross fit or gym. You can tell from the people who are member that this is much more of a total experience than just a workout!

So if you are looking for something like that, want to work with an awesome Dr Who geek, and live in the Birmingham area, then you should give Dave a call! Learn more about Agoge on their website and take the virtual tour below!

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Rucker Place - Birmingham AL Wedding Venue, Google Virtual Tour by

My latest Google Maps Business View Virtual Tour is of the historic Rucker Place in Birmingham. I simply love places like this. I’ve always been a big fan of old homes and buildings. This past weekend Kelly and I went to Huntsville to do a shoot of a daycare (post coming soon). While there we drove through an amazing historic district of antebellum homes. We were in awe of how well they were kept up and how beautiful they are. We’ve made it a goal to own one of those homes!

Doing a tour and commercial photos of Rucker Place gave me a little taste of what those homes are like. Established in 1900, it’s one of Birmingham’s oldest and most historic wedding and event venues. On the national registry of historic places, Rucker Place is available for luncheons, rehearsal dinners, wedding, parties, corporate events, meetings, etc.

Check out the virtual tour and conventional commercial still images below. You can learn more about Rucker on their website and Google My Business Page.

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Susan Schein Automotive - Pelham AL Google Business Photos Virtual Tour by

Susan Schein Automotive in Pelham (just outside of Birmingham, Alabama) is a rarity amongst independent pre-owned car dealerships. As a former new car dealership, it’s quite a bit bigger than your average buy here, pay here operation. It’s also quite a bit nicer too. You can tell the moment you walk on the lot that this operation is a cut above its competition.

Unlike most other used car dealers, Susan Schein boasts a full service and parts department. As a NAPA service center they have parts and expertise to work on all makes and models. This allows them to fully inspect and service all of the cars they sell, both before and after the sale. So unlike other pre-owned dealers, they have a vested interest in keeping you happy. They want you to continue to service the car you purchased from them, with them.

For this reason I was quite excited to be able to create a Google 360º tour for them. As an independent and family owned local operation they need all the help they can get in marketing. They don’t have the full resources of a large international corporation sending them business. They must earn all that they accomplish. This is one of the things I love about the Google Maps Business View program. It does so much to level the playing field for the small, independent, and local business.

I’m proud to show off the conventional commercial still photography and 360º virtual tour I created of the dealership. Check them out below and go here to learn more about the dealership!

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Sundown Window Tint & Design - Google 360º Virtual Tour by

You may be thinking a window tinting business is a place to get your vehicle’s windows tinted. And you would be correct in that assumption. But Sundown Window Tint & Design is not just your average, run-of-the-mill window tinting operation. Nay, Nay. When I arrived at their business to get my car’s windows tinted (by the way, great job there), I was amazed at what all else I learned they could do. If you want your company’s logo tastefully printed on the side of your car, Sunbelt can do that. Or if you want to promote your business by transforming your entire vehicle into a rolling billboard, Sundown is the place to go. If you have a retro VW van that you wish to be recreated into an exact copy of Scooby-Doo’s Mystery Machine, then Sundown can hook you up. Even if you want to change the entire exterior color of your vehicle - say you’ve got a plain Jane gray SUV, Sundown can transform that bad boy into flaming, atomic orange SUV if you so desire, and I swear it will look as good if not better than if it had arrived from the factory that way. But not only does Sundown offer these amazing creations, custom created by their resident graphic designers, their store is a cheery, brightly colored place to do business with. I was excited to have the opportunity to create their Google Virtual Tour photos so I could showcase to the world just how awesome this place is. So go by and take advantage of their free 30 minute consultation, and tell them I led you there via Google’s virtual tour.

Now, to decide if I want to take my wife up on her suggestion that I should have my blue Honda Fit transformed into the Doctor Who TARDIS. Um, I don’t know. What do YOU think?

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