What Is A Google Trusted Photographer

February 2020


Most people know Google as a search engine. But this Internet company has evolved its services to cater to a broader audience. Aside from offering online search results, this Mountain View, California-based firm now has products like a mobile operating system, online cloud storage, and a marketing platform for businesses.

Now, Google reaches out to photography enthusiasts to improve search results by providing the search engine company with high-quality photos.

The Google Trusted Photographer

A Google Trusted Photographer is an amateur or professional photographer certified by Google to create virtual tours of various locations. Photographers can take high-quality photos of landmarks, streets, businesses, and other establishments for Internet users to view in different apps and sites like Google Maps and Google Street View.

It seems that everyone with a decent camera can join the ranks of being a Google-certified photographer. But you need to fulfill the requirements before you can become a photographer with this title.

Requirements to Become a Google Trusted Photographer

Completing and passing the necessary qualifications is the first step to becoming a Google Trusted Photographer. These requirements are:

  • A 360-Degree Camera

Unfortunately, you can’t use your high-end mirrorless, DSLR, or smartphone camera to submit photos as a Google-certified photographer. Also, rotating your camera to produce 360-degree images won’t act as qualified photos. If you’re passionate about becoming a Google Trusted Photographer, then the first piece of equipment you need to own is a dedicated 360-degree camera.

  • Image Requirements

Google places strict requirements for posted images on its Street View app. You need to abide by these image qualifications if you want a good shot at becoming a certified photographer. Some of the conditions you need to follow are:

  • Image resolution of 14 megapixels (5,300 x 2,650 px) or more
  • 2:1 image aspect ratio
  • No stitching errors
  • No gaps near the horizon of the image
  • No clipping in the shadows or highlights
  • No motion blur
  • No distracting filters or effects

Also, each stitched image needs to have one-meter spacing for indoor shots and three meters for outdoor photos. Moreover, the photos need to coincide with the geographic location. So, you can’t post an image of a tall waterfall and link it to the geographical location of a busy commercial area.  

  • Upload a Lot of Pictures

Now that you have your 360-degree camera, it’s time to take about 50 pictures and upload it to the Google Street View app. You can still upload photos even if you’re not yet a certified photographer. But it might take awhile before you can upload 50 or more images in this app. You should start now if you want to hasten your application to become a Google Trusted Photographer.

  • Wait

The next step is to be patient and wait after uploading 50 or more images in the Google Street View app. Google will send you a message telling you that you've become a trusted photographer of the search engine. As a bonus, you'll also get “The Street View Trusted Badge,” which allows you special features for being a trusted contributor.

Once you become a Google Trusted Photographer, you can add that title to your portfolio. Aim to target real-estate companies that try to advertise their offered properties to their target audiences. You can still post 360-degree images on Google’s Street View app and get paid from the Internet company. However, don’t be afraid to expand your horizons to maximize your return on investment (ROI).

The Benefits of Becoming a Google Trusted Photographer

Various benefits are in store when you’re a proud holder of the Google Trusted Photographer badge. These advantages include:

  • A Digital Badge

You and everyone else who views your photo in the Google Maps and Google Street View apps will see a white checkmark surrounded by a thick, green border next to your name. This digital badge will help distinguish your images and profile on these apps.

  • Exposure

Google will also feature your work and profile in the company’s “For Hire” index. Here, your name can pop up when a person is searching for a reliable photographer in their area. This index can be a better way of posting your portfolio in Google as opposed to contacting potential customers one-by-one through traditional marketing techniques.

  • The Auto-Connect Feature

Stitching together different images to form 360-degree photos using photo-editing software can take a lot of effort and several hours of compositing. Thankfully, you can use the Google Street View auto-connect feature to connect closely-spaced 360-degree photos easily.

  • Self-Promotion

As a Google Trusted Photographer, you should now have more credibility than amateur photographers looking for freelance gigs. Local businesses can hire you to take photos of their establishments. Otherwise, other photography enthusiasts might ask you for paid tips on how to become a better photographer.

Another benefit of becoming a Google Trusted Photographer is that the Internet company won’t take full rights to your posted images. But take note that you’re also not going to be the guaranteed owner of the photos. Instead, negotiation between the local business and the photographer will determine image ownership.

Planning the shoot is essential to avoid financial and legal pitfalls as a Google Trusted Photographer. Make sure to acquire ownership and copyright of your images before submitting the files to the Google Street View app in advance.

Things You Shouldn’t Do as a Google Trusted Photographer

There are things that you can and cannot do as a Google-certified photographer. Take note of the following mishaps that you shouldn’t do when you’re representing this search engine company as a photographer:

  • Don’t misrepresent or hide your certification when interacting with businesses
  • Don’t alter the logos or words from Google and its partnered apps and programs
  • Don’t use the badge in an abusive or misleading manner
  • Don’t use Google, its name, or its trademark for self-promotion other than the specified guidelines

Now that you know what a Google Trusted Photographer is and how to become one, you should use this certification to get more business for your brand. But take note that you can only use one Google Trusted Photographer account in one location. Nonetheless, this badge can help you gain more profit as a local photographer.

Who is Nadin Dunnigan - Wedding Photographer in Edinburgh

Hey, I am Nadin! (same as "Nadine" - just without the "e"). I am a wedding photographer in Edinburgh, Scotland, specialising in big family weddings in Edinburgh, Scotland, and internationally. I have photographed so many weddings, and it is my mission to help couples with planning their dream wedding. Any questions I come across repeatedly - either in person or online, I will pop in here and provide more insight.

I hope you will find them useful :)

Nadin Dunnigan Photographer