A Virtual Tour and Life Lesson Learned

I had a life lesson day today if I’ve ever had one.

I was called by a B&B owner to shoot a new virtual tour and photos for their website and print. In particular, they needed a new still image for a B&B publication, which had a due date of 7 days from the the day they called. They currently have a virtual tour on their site, but for whatever reason they wanted a new one. Who am I to argue?

I arrived at their house within 2 days of their phone call. It was about a 45 minute drive. I spent quite a bit of time with them discussing what they wanted in the way of stills, pricing for the tours and they signed an order form that lists the prices. I spent 3 1/2 hours shooting 8 spins and took over 65 still images and they shadowed me the entire time.

I came highly recommended to them by a realty office I deal with, and they seemed quite impressed with the amount of time I was spending on the shoot. When I asked them if they had been to my website to preview my work they said they hadn’t. I don’t understand why people don’t take that time when shopping for a virtual tour provider. I plan on insisting people do this prior to shooting, because let’s be honest, there are bound to be a few out there who won’t like my style of photography.

They called me later that night to request that I come back for an evening shoot. They wanted some sunset shots, as well as romantic candle lit bubble bath pictures. I went back the next night and spent another hour and a half. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a shootable sunset but we did get some good bath tub shots. I promptly edited the good ones and sent them off in an email the next morning. By this time I had also created the virtual tour, complete with hotspots and still images and sent a link to that as well. I eagerly awaited their call…..I waited, and waited and waited. I called them two days later to make sure they got the emails. They said they were busy with family issues and hadn’t had a chance to look at them. Okay. The next morning I emailed the couple and sent my well wishes and asked them to let me know if any changes needed to be done to the tour and if they had selected the images they wanted from the tub shoot.

I got this reply: “None of the shots that you took were of use to us for our brochure as it was the sunset we were after. We chose one of our own that we had taken. As we discussed earlier, this time of year, outside pictures and tours are not the best time for appeal. As I said on the phone to you, we were looking to improve on our pictures and virtual tour we already have on our web site. We could not use many of the Amethyst Suite bedroom pictures as there were items out of place, such as uneven curtains, Kleenex boxes, etc. that do not do the room justice. Our existing virtual tour is on our web site and it is functional.”

So….where does that leave me? Out about 8 hours worth of income and one tour credit. Did I get them to pay up front? NO. Did I get a deposit? NO. Have I learned from this? YES!

Linda Sabiston
First Impression Virtual Tours and Photography
Gibsons Virtual Tour Company
Order a virtual tour — 604-886-2480