How 360° photography can help wedding venues
These days, it’s key to ensure that your wedding venue has all the tools possible to help get a marketing edge on the competition. We spoke to Nick Powell of Nick Powell Photography about how 360° photography can help marketing your wedding venue…
360° photography has been around for some time now, but over the past few years, it has seen a huge increase in popularity and success. This is because the world has become an extremely busy place. People are working harder and longer hours, and they want to be able to find the information they need to make a purchasing decision online as quickly and easily as possible.
Booking a wedding venue can be a very time-consuming part of organising the perfect wedding day. When my wife and I were looking for a venue back in 2013, we were so overwhelmed by the amount of choice out there that we were spending hours online looking for the perfect venue. One of the main issues we came across is that even though the photos of the venues were good, we weren’t really able to get a good feel of what the layout was like for any of them. As a result we had 10 venues on our list, all scattered around Sussex, that we didn’t have time to visit. So, we begrudgingly ended up whittling it down to three.
This is where 360° photography would have been a huge help to us! Had these venues incorporated a virtual tour of their venue, we would have been able to take a virtual walk around them. This would have given us an idea of size, where the tables could go, on-site accommodation for us and the guests, where the BBQ could have been set up and MUCH more!
FAQs for 360° photography
Some common questions clients ask me when booking a 360° virtual tour are:
- Do I show the venue set up for a wedding, or empty?
- What time of day is best to shoot?
- How much does it cost?
Today, I want to answer these to show you just how achievable a booking a 360° tour can be.
Do I show the venue set up for a wedding, or empty?
This question is quite a big one, but also one where there isn’t really a clear answer. I generally tend to recommend that the main 360° shots are done with the venue empty. This is so the clients can see the entire space at its full potential, but then it can be difficult to visualise the venue set up. There are two ways to get around this.
- Wait for a day when a wedding is taking place, and shoot in the morning before the wedding party arrives (and hopefully it is all set up and ready to go).
- Shoot the venue empty, and then incorporate a still photo album within the tour of different set-ups from previous weddings.
What time of the day or year is it best to shoot?
I generally try to avoid a sunny summer afternoon, as the light can be incredibly harsh. The general rule within photography is to try and shoot in or close to “The Golden Hour”. This is just after sunrise or before sunset. However, I find that between 10 and 11 am, or 4 and 5 pm is always a great time in summer because if the sun is too low then the shadows can be overly prominent. This is especially true for barn venues or places with a central courtyard.
Winter shoots can also be absolutely beautiful, and as many venues offer winter weddings, it is also important to show the venue at this time of year. These would normally be done at night-time with the lights on (as it gets dark early), and most of the wedding celebrations will be conducted at night.
How much does it cost?
This is the big question! Pricing for 360° tours varies greatly, and this comes down to a few different factors:
- What equipment is being used
- Experience of the photographer
- Time taken to edit the images and create the 360° tour
- Location of the venue and time of shoot
To get the best results, you should be looking to pay around £70 per 360° image, plus travel costs. This should include the photography visit, editing, creation of the tour, upload of the 360° images to Google, and hosting if required.
Equipment used for 360° photography
Equipment is one of the most important things you should check with a 360° photographer. At the cheaper end of the scale, many use what are called ‘one-shot’ cameras, which are a quick and easy way of shooting a virtual tour. However, this tends to result in poor quality and colour reproduction in most cases, and most are disappointed with the final results.
I personally use a full-frame, Sony A7iii camera, with a high-quality fisheye lens, and a professional 360° tripod head. This enables me to have full control over the stitching of the 360° images and the colour reproduction and also ensures that my clients receive a 360° tour of the highest quality.
The other main benefit of using 360° photography for your wedding venue, is that the images can also be uploaded to your Google My Business account, and this can attract thousands more people to your website page! This is a screenshot from my Google Street View account of the tour that I did for Fitzleroi Barn in April 2019… 5,400 views in just over 3 months!
So after all this… what does the final result look like? Take a look at the full tour that I did for Fitzleroi Barn in Sussex below.
For more information on 360° tours for your wedding venue, please contact Nick Powell on 07912 524637 or visit nickpowellphotography.com/virtualtours.