360 Degree Virtual tour prices

A guide to 360 Degree virtual tour prices?

360 Degree Virtual tour prices will vary hugely depending on who you get to do the tours.  As a guide I’ve added my own pricing table below, but this is just a guide as 360 degree virtual tour prices vary from photographer to photographer.

360 Degree Virtual tour prices


When you are looking for 360 degree virtual tour prices there are many things to consider.  What format will the tours be delivered in?  I  always do my tours in html5 with a flash backup.  Many photographers still produce tours purely in flash, as these tours will not work with ipads or iphones it means many people will not be able to see the tours.

What will your tours look like?

Before discussing 360 degree virtual tour prices consider what your tours will look like.  This can depend on what camera and lens the photographer is using.  Do you require your tours to just produce a simple view around the centre of the room? or do you want the tours do view the whole of the ceiling and floor.  Depending on what you want your viewer to view could determine your 360 degree virtual tour prices.

Example of a complete virtual tour

As mentioned above when looking at 360 degree virtual tour prices consider what the final tour will look like.  Below is a sample of a complete tour, this goes over the top so you can see the entire ceiling, it also goes underneath so you can see the whole of the floor.  There is more work involved in doing this type of tour, so you should expect to pay a little more for this type of tour compared to a standard tour.

Tour Sample: http://bit.ly/1p3ee1f

Always consider what you want the tour to look like, and what format you want the tour in before considering the price.


Virtual Tour Equipment

What Virtual tour equipment is needed?

Virtual tour equipment consists of a number of things.  Apart from the Camera and which camera you use is a matter of personal choice.  There are a few pieces of equipment that you cannot do without.

The basics


A good strong tripod, this is essential.  Don’t try saving money on this as this will not only be supporting the camera, but also other pieces of essential equipment.


A Panohead is next to the camera the single most important piece of equipment you will require.  Where virtual tour equipment is concerned this is the most important thing you will need to purchase.  A Panohead allows you to photograph around the nodal point of your lens, allowing you to get a series of images that can be stitched together seamlessly.  There are lots of options for different makes of Panoheads but they will all require setting up before use.  There are many articles online that will show you how to do this so I will not explain here, but each camera/lens combination will need to be setup before use.


The Camera is a personal decision and chose what suits you best, but I would generally recommend a full frame camera.


You can use pretty much any lens for creating your tour, but most people will be using a fisheye lens, where virtual tour equipment is concerned this is a lovely lens, my preferred choice is a sigma 15mm fisheye.  This lens is not too expensive and produces great results.


You could argue that software does not come under the heading of virtual tour equipment, but the fact is you cannot produce the tours without software, and for 360 virtual tours you will really need two pieces of software.  You will need one piece of software to stitch the images together, and another to produce the tours.  There are many combination on the market and again this is really down to personal choice.



Where Can I Buy Regional Highway Codes

Regional Highway Codes

Did you know there are regional highway codes?

This was quite a surprise to me, but it seems that different regions of the UK have different versions of the highway code.

For instance on a recent trip to Weymouth here are a few things that became obvious.  did you know that the rules of the motorway are different on the M5 to the M4?   If you don’t believe me then answer these simple questions.

Question: On a three lane motorway how many vehicles can you get side by side?

Answer: if you answered three then you would be right if you were driving on the M4, but on the M5 you can get a petrol tanker, a Van and two cars side by side.

Question: When entering the motorway what is the proper procedure?

Answer: I always thought it was give way to traffic already on the motorway, and when you can enter the motorway safely enter the motorway then stay on the inside lane until you get used to the motorway speed.
Again it seems that’s not the case on the M5, the proper procedure is, ignore the traffic already on the motorway, just enter the motorway regardless of any traffic already on the motorway.  Then when you get onto the motorway you have approximately 0.5 seconds to get from the inside lane to the outside lane, again ignoring any traffic that will have to brake hard to avoid you.

Question: What are the chevrons for on the motorway?

Answer: I thought it was leave two chevrons between you and the car in front, wrong.  Get as many cars as possible between each chevron.

Moving off the motorway into Dorset

It seems local highway codes are not just for the motorways.  For instance in Dorset did you know that it is not considered good driving to stop at red traffic lights?  I must admit I made that mistake, when approaching a red traffic light on a very busy junction, not realising the local rules I stopped, causing the car behind me to switch lanes and speed through the Red light, at least 5 seconds later a van also overtook me to go through the red light.  At this point I should apologise to the one car that did stop behind me, I’m really sorry for interrupting your journey, had I known the local highway code I would of course ignored the red light.

What are your experiences of local highway codes?


Why use 360 Virtual tours

Should I use 360 Virtual tours?

360 virtual tours allow a potential client to not just view your premises, but also to interact with the animation as below.

Rather than just sitting down and watching a video, virtual tours allows you to pan right, left, up or down to view the premises at your leisure.  You can even zoom in to specific area’s to get a closer look.

How to use the tours:


There are a number of ways to use 360 virtual tours, the obvious is to use them on your website.  if the tours are going to be on your website long term then I would recommend having them embedded into the appropriate page, for this I use iframes, there are other ways of doing this but I find this a quick and easy way to embed the 360 virtual tours.


As here it is easy to embed the 360 virtual tours into your blogs, again for me this is just a case of using a simple iframe, the code for this is quite simple and all you really need to change is the path for the relevant tour.


I do a lot of networking, and I always show my virtual tours while doing my 60 seconds.  wherever I go I always have my trusty tablet with me, telling people what 360 virtual tours are is not as powerful as actually showing them.

Cost of 360 virtual tours:

Like all photography the cost of virtual tours will depend on what company you choice to use, but I find that people always expect the tours to be much more expensive than they actually are.  360 virtual tours are a cost effective way of marketing your premises and showing people what you have to offer.


Always check what format the tours are going to be in, remember flash will not work on iphones or ipads, while html5 will.

Copy-write What Copy-write?

LaCrosse event 2014

LaCrosse event 2014

Who’s images are they anyway?

We do event photography and one of the problems you always have is people stealing the images.  I don’t mean they physically steal the prints, no they photograph our photographs.

People don’t seem to realise that the images we take belong to us, they are our copy-write and it’s illegal to copy them.  If you designed a new vacuum cleaner and patented the design, how you you like it if I stole your idea and used it myself?  It’s theft and it’s illegal.

What people do

This weekend we photographed a sporting event, at the event we printed out contact sheets of all the images.  While I was busy dealing with other customers I noticed one gentleman and his daughter going through all the contact sheets and photographing all the images with his daughter in.  They are my work, my property it’s what pays my bills.  If I couldn’t pay my bills I would not have a business, if I didn’t have a business I would not be able to photograph peoples events, and people would not be able to benefit from all the images we take.  I’ve even had people photographing the computer screen showing the images.

Photography is a profession not just a hobby

For me photography is my living, yes it was a hobby for many years but it’s now how I make my living.  Respect the copy-write laws, if you like the images enough to steal them, then you should like them enough to buy them.  If you liked a new laptop in the shop would you steal it?  I’m hoping the answer to that is no, if it’s yes then this whole article is a complete waste of time for you.

Theft is illegal whether it’s stealing cars or copyrighted images.

Anyone can photograph a wedding?

My Wedding Photos were terrible

Have you ever been disappointed when you had your wedding photos back?

Photographing a wedding is not easy, despite what some people would have you believe, it takes years of practise, training and patience to get the photographs that a bride would be proud of.  So why do so many people trust photographers with no experience to photograph their wedding?

I have met so many brides that have got married in the past, who have paid a nominal amount for their wedding photographer and received few, or no photographs of their wedding.  Cheaper is not always better.

The amount of potential brides I’ve had ring me for a quote for their wedding, and all they are after is a price, they have no interest in what experience I have, how I will work on the day and worst of all don’t even ask to see samples of my work.

I refuse to quote for any wedding until the prospective bride has had a meeting with me, I show them my work, explain what they can expect from me on the day.  I listen to what they require, and build the wedding around them, and only then will I quote for their wedding.

Never buy just on price

Obviously price is important, but it should not be the only consideration.  Ask questions find out all you can about the photographer and their work.  If after that you would still like to use that photographer then discuss price, if you don’t thing you can work with that photographer then price is irrelevant, find someone else.

It’s better to take your time and find the right photographer for you, than hire the first one and regret it later.  Take your time find someone who’s work you like, and someone you are happy to spend your big day with.

Three stages of a sales call

Three stages of a sales phone call

Stage 1

If unlike me you have not problem making sales calls to potential clients, then this will probably be of no use to you, and probably no point in reading on.

Six months ago I joined a coaching company to help improve my business, at that stage there was no way I would ring a potential client, as stupid as this may sound I guess I was afraid of the phone.
If I had a choice, and I almost always did I would email a potential client rather than ring them.  As far as I was concerned if I emailed them and they didn’t reply, then I’d done all I could, if they didn’t reply then they are not interested in what I have to offer.  At least that what I kept telling myself.

We probably all know that unless we ring potential client, we are almost always not going to get the work, but there are many ways to justify not ringing, and I think I know them all.

With the help of the folks at Sales Academy 2012 http://www.salesacademy2012.co.uk I got through stage one.  This means that given the choice I would now ring clients rather than email them.  This was a big step forward for me and you might think that’s it job done?  Unfortunately not.  But from never ringing a potential client to ringing Joe Bloggs at Bloggs and co was a massive step forward for me.

Stage 2

Stage 2 in the process is researching and ringing a potential client where you have no idea who you need to speak to, I guess that’s what you would call true cold calling (which I don’t do).  Having mastered stage 1 stage 2 is simple right?  After all it’s still just picking up the phone and ringing the company simple?
Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple.  Ringing a company and asking for Joe Bloggs is one thing, ringing a company and explaining who you are, what you do and why you want to speak to someone is completely different from stage 1.

Adam at Sales Academy explains this better, but it goes something like “the need to ring someone has to outweigh the fear of picking up the phone ringing them”
I think despite all the training from Adam and Amanda and despite the fact that deep down you know you have to ring potential clients if you want the work, there has to be a trigger to make you do it.  What the trigger was for me is unimportant as the trigger is probably different for everyone.  But last week the need outweighed the fear.

Over the last week I’ve phoned numerous companies, one company I’ve phoned six times, on the last call it became obvious that they are not interested in my services, so I stopped ringing.  Over the last week I’ve spoken to some really nice people who are genuinely interested in what I have to say, and yes I’ve spoken to a few that are not.

I’ve spoken to receptionists who have given me the names of people I need to speak to, I’ve emailed them details of what I do then rang them a few days later.  I arranged one meeting that turned into a £600 sale, emailed samples of my work to others that wanted more information and to see samples of my work, and arranged call backs for a few days time.  But in all these cases I know now the people I need to speak to in each business.

I probably should be ringing more companies, but at present my method is slow but I hope effective.  I spend time researching each company, looking at what they do, and how my work could benefit them.  So when I ring them I have answers to their questions before they ask them.

Stage 3

I’m still at stage 2, but with help from Adam and Amanda at Sales Academy 2012 hopefully I will soon get to this stage.  This is having a better sales technique when making the sales call, I’m not a great sales person and definitely not when on the phone.

So hopefully things will improve over time, but at least I’ve made a start.
Am I great on the phone? No
Do I like making these calls? No
Would I prefer not to make these calls? Yes
Will I ever like making these call? No

The point is I am making these calls, and no matter how much you hate the calls, or how much you think you will never be able make these calls eventually you will find your trigger, the point at which the need outweighs the fear.

If like me you hate using the phone for sales calls I hope this helps in some small way.

How to create a 360 Degree Image



Stage 1 to a 360 Degree image:

Stage 1 of the process is to get the image, or more precisely the images.  Depending on what equipment you are using the number of images required will vary.  If you are using a fisheye lens then you will only need 24 images to create the image.

Once you have your camera setup using a tripod and pano head, it’s simply a matter of taking a series of images, as mentioned using a fisheye lens means you only need 24 images to create your 360 degree image.  The pano head allows you to find and use the nodal point of the lens.

One thing to think of when you are taking a 360 degree image, is what you want the image to look like when it’s completed?  Where you start your image will have a major effect on what the image will look like when it’s compiled.

Stage 2 to a 360 Degree image:

Stage 2 is where you find out if you had your setup correct to start with.  If you failed to setup the pano head correctly then all the images will not align and you will not get your 360 degree image.

For all my images I take the images using RAW, this is not absolutely necessary but it ensures you get large good quality images.  So for me the first stage is to convert the images to TIFFS, after that I convert the images to jpegs and resize, I generally size all the images to 6 x 4.

Once all the images are sized I load them into my chosen software, for me this is PTGUI.  Provided you had all your setup correct you will get your 360 degree image.

In the image above I really like the effect of the wooden slats and the light shinning on the slats.



360 Virtual Tours

What are 360 Virtual tours

How to create a virtual tour:

How you create 360 virtual tours depends on what equipment you are using, in particular what lens you have.  All 360 virtual tours are made up from a series of images stitched together to create a starting image.  This image is then input into your chosen software to create the tour.

What equipment is needed for 360 virtual tours:

What camera you use is down to your own personal preferences, personally for all my virtual tours I use a canaon 5D MK11, it’s a full frame camera and is perfect for my needs.

My chosen lens for all my  virtual tours is a Sigma 15mm fisheye lens.  The reason for this is it allows me to capture a full 180 image in one shot.  Before using this lens I was using a standard 24mm to 105mm canon lens, although the results using this lens are good, to get a full 360 x 180 image requires me to take 72 images, using the fisheye lens I can create virtual tours in just 24 images.  This not only saves time but also cuts down on the possibility of mistakes.

Additional equipment for creating 360 virtual tours:

Two essential pieces of equipment for creating virtual tours are, a good quality tripod and a panohead attachment for your tripod.  The panohead allows you to use the nodal point of the lens so all the images are stitched together perfectly.

If you are using a fisheye lens and you’ve setup your equipment correctly you can take 24 images to gain all the images required for your virtual tour.  If you are using a standard lens and you want to create a full 360 x 180 virtual tour you will need 72 images.  you would effectively do three tours and stitch all the images together.  So you would do one standard rotation with the camera, then point the camera up 45 degrees and do another rotation, then point the camera down 45 degrees and do yet another rotation.  So you now have three complete rotations around the room.  You put this into your chosen software to create one complete 360 x 180 image.  The rest is down to your chosen software.

Software for creating Virtual tours:

There are lots of different softwares available for creating virtual tours, but the two I use are PTGUI for the initial stitching together of all the images.  Then I use Pano 2vr for creating the Virtual tours.

So what are 360 Virtual tours:

They are an interactive animation created using a series of static images stitched together into a single images to create an interactive Virtual tour.



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This commercial photography South Wales page is posted “By Mike Armstrong” from MA Consultancy Marketing Company