Jewelry Store

Diamonds Direct - Birmingham AL Commercial Photography by Tommy Daspit

Birmingham Alabama Interiors Photography

There’s an interesting, and as of yet, unexplained phenomenon of the Google Maps Business View program. Any business, that wants people to come to it, can benefit from a Google tour. Restaurants, bars, cafes, clinics, dress shops, dentists, doctors, hospitals, car dealerships, daycare centers, attorneys, event venus, and you get the idea. I work with a wide variety of businesses to help them stand out on Google. The mystery is why there will be streaks of one particular type of business. I might do 3 or 4 restaurants in a row and turn around and it’s 3 or 4 dentists the next month. It’s not like I’m going out and specifically targeting those types of business. All of a sudden I’ll be getting inquires from nothing but lawyers and nothing else. Here lately it’s been Jewelry stores. A couple of weeks ago it was Bromberg’s and this week Diamonds Direct.

I’m not sure if they’re keeping close tabs on the competition and they want to make sure they don’t fall behind or if it’s the universe bringing them all in line at the same time. Whatever the root cause I won’t question it! The truth is that the business world, especially the retail environment, is very competitive. The landscape of what appeals to potential customers is constantly changing. Once upon a time a business without a yellow pages ad was soon headed for the liquidation sale. Then it was websites (I can’t understand businesses that don’t have at least this), next came social media (no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn? Good luck!). 

Today it’s the mobile device. Consumers aren’t waiting to get home to then fire up the computer to find what they’re looking for. We are using our phones and tablets on the go to research where to go and what to buy. The business that understands this, and maximizes their presence in the online mobile environment will have a competitive edge on their competition. Here’s some interesting statistics that bear this out:

17 Billion - Number of unique searches in the United States each month.

66 - Percentage of those searches done on Google.

85 - Percentage of consumers searching online for local businesses.

500 - Percentage growth in mobile phone searches on Google in the past 2 years.

200 Million - Number of searches each month on mobile Google Maps.

By 2016 mobile searches will exceed those on desktop/laptop computers. 

Soon, if not already, your businesses presence in Google local/mobile search results will be as critical as the yellow pages of old. Google local is becoming the new go to directory for people looking for businesses in their area. The virtual tour that I create goes a long way in making that presence as good as possible. When consumers see a thumbnail image that says “see inside” they click it. They are intrigued and take that virtual tour. If they like what they see they may never hit the “back” button. Even if they do, if your business has they virtual tour and the next one doesn’t, which one are they more likely to view favorably?  The equation is pretty simple. Google Virtual tour + your business = more customers.

Back to Diamonds direct… I didn’t know that they had locations in North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, and Texas. They contacted me about getting the Google tour done for Birmingham because they’d already had it done for the other locations. They already knew what a great marketing tool it was and wanted to make sure all of their stores had it. I think that in of itself is a good testament to the value of the program.

This was the first time I’d been inside and I was very impressed! Of course you hear their radio commercials a lot but I really didn't have any concept of what it looked like. Diamonds Direct is one of the largest jewelry stores I’ve ever seen. The selection and amenities were impressive. Even more impressive was the quality of the staff working there. Everyone was exceedingly friendly, well organized, and had great attention to detail. It truly is a pleasure working with people like this in creating photography of the business. I can see why they’ve been so successful with people like this working there!

So check out the still photos and virtual tour that I created. You can learn more about Diamonds Direct in Birmingham on their website!

click and drag to pan, click arrows to move to next panorama

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Learn more about the Google Maps Business View Program here. Have a business that could benefit from a Google tour or high quality commercial photography? Contact me today to see how I can help you stand out from your competition.

Bromberg's & Co at The Summit - Birmingham AL Commercial Photography by Tommy Daspit

I returned near sunset to create this "blue hour" image. It's actually a composite of 11 s eparate   exposures. Overall it took about two hours (in the  freezing  cold) to get this one shot. I really like the blurred people inside. This helps show that the business is vibrant and not just a building. 

I returned near sunset to create this "blue hour" image. It's actually a composite of 11 separate  exposures. Overall it took about two hours (in the freezing cold) to get this one shot. I really like the blurred people inside. This helps show that the business is vibrant and not just a building. 

Last week I had the great fun and challenge of creating a Google Maps Business View 360º virtual tour of Bromberg & Co at the Summit here in Birmingham. 

I say it was a challenge for a couple of reasons. First, there’s glass and mirrors EVERYWHERE. This makes it fun making sure that the camera and myself are positioned so we don’t appear in any of the photos. This is where the wireless triggering of my camera with an iPad is so valuable. There are many times where I’m hiding around a corner. Very often this is the only way to keep me out of the image. Then there are my lights. For the conventional still images there are multiple light sources involved. Making sure reflections from the lights don’t come up in the mirrors and glass takes a lot of geometry (thought I was done with that in High School), understanding how light interacts with various surfaces, and a lot of trial and error.

Second, we wanted to create a “blue hour” exterior of the store (check out this post to learn more). I love doing these. There is simply no better way to make a building look beautiful and really capture the viewers attention than with a blue hour image. These are actually multiple photos taken at different times (just before and after sunset), and with multiple strobe exposures. They take patience, time, and skill to pull off. One blue hour photo can take two hours to complete. That’s just the in camera part. Once back at the office it’s time to composite all those photos. Using photoshop, and a graphics tablet, it can take several hours at the computer to get it all right. The results can be truly spectacular and I think worth the effort!

I’m also very excited because these photos and virtual tour are going into the new website being created for Bromberg’s by Vehicle Media. I’ve worked with Vehicle Media on several projects before Just this last week they won an ADDY for our joint project for the Sonnet House! I know that they will do an amazing job incorporating the tour and photos into the site design.

Take a look at the virtual tour and photos below. To learn more about Bromberg & Co check out their Google + Local page.

click and drag to pan, click arrows to move to next panorama

click on thumbnail to view larger image

Learn more about the Google Maps Business View Program here. Have a business that could benefit from a Google tour or high quality commercial photography? Contact me today to see how I can help you stand out from your competition.