Panoskin Photographer Shooting for Street View in Africa
by Panoskin Team, on Jul 30, 2018 9:00:00 AM
We are very excited to present an interview with Panoskin user, Chris du Plessis. Chris has been generating worldwide awareness of African wildlife, hidden treasures, and local businesses through his project Photos of Africa. Chris became the first South African Street View trusted photographer to help hard to find businesses reach their potential customers online. Chris works closely with local businesses to increase their exposure in search results. He also works with Google to ensure those businesses have more ways to increase their exposure online. Here are a couple of questions from his interview which first appeared in the Google Street View trusted newsletter.
Q: Chris, you’re one of the earliest members of the Street View trusted program. Do you remember what first drew you to 360 photography?
A: Yes, I started in the early days here in South Africa. In fact, I was the first Street View trusted photographer in the country. Even back then, I was well aware of the great potential this program has and what I could offer my clients by participating in it. To be able to showcase the premises of a business online was just amazing but verifying clients’ businesses on Maps at the time was a challenge. Quite often lodges are located in the bush and don’t have an actual address, making it impossible to request a Google My Business verification postcard. Thankfully, Google has taken this into account and we now have the Trusted Verifier app which allows us to verify businesses in person. All in all, my clients are very happy with Google’s services and would love to see Google come up with more ideas to increase their exposure in search results.
Q: You’ve done many shoots in South Africa. Tell us a bit about your work in the country.
A: Yes, I grew up in Hoedspruit, in the northernmost province of South Africa. I love my home country both for its people and for its incredible wildlife. South Africa has also been great for me in terms of work because it offers so many opportunities for a Street View trusted photographer. There are still a great number of places to be added to Maps and seeing my clients happy as their businesses grow and attract more customers thanks to what I do is wonderful. For the past five years I’ve been living in Germany but I still travel back to South Africa often.
Q: Taking 360 photos in the African wilderness must be quite exciting. Do you have an interesting or funny story that you could share with the community?
A: Taking 360 photos in Africa is a real adventure. You can take your camera with you when you go reef diving, walking with elephants, bungee jumping, game driving or you can even fly it on a drone over the Zambezi river. There’s so much the rest of the world is missing out on and being able to show it to them is just amazing.
One of my most recent 360 shoots from a few days ago was on a walk with elephants I went on in Botswana. Just standing next to these enormous animals which can weight as much as 6 tons is incredibly humbling. I hope that people who get to see these photos will appreciate how much more there is to life than the concrete jungles we close ourselves in daily. Funny story you say? I can’t name a single one. There is always fun when you’re shooting in Africa.
Chris uses Panoskin to publish his Google Street View Tours because it is an intuitive platform that helps organize his virtual portfolio. Chris can also create users in Panoskin for his clients, allowing them to view their tour analytics at anytime. Panoskin allows photographers like Chris to help their clients increase and monitor their online exposure as well as save time doing it.
Thank you to Chris du Plessis, owner of Photos of Africa, for choosing Panoskin as his preferred platform for publishing stunning Google Tours of Africa. We are thrilled to be able to explore the continent through your work and be a part of your process.
Stay tuned, for future interviews with Panoskin users and their stories.