Removing Distractions from Your Virtual Tour

After spending most of today out on the lake, I went out to dinner with a baseball cap and no make up on.  Now, I am not one of those women who can pull off the all natural look so I spend a great deal of time most mornings putting on makeup in an effort to look natural.  The goal of everyday makeup is to put on enough that you look pretty but not so much that all people notice is the make up.  Have you ever seen a woman with too bright lipstick or way too much eyeliner?  If you were to try to describe her later you’d likely not be able to say what color her eyes were but you could sure describe that eyeliner.

Preparing for a virtual tour is much like putting on make-up.  The goal is to achieve a natural look without catching the eye of the viewer on a detail that isn’t what you want to show.  I believe the key to preparing for a 360 degree virtual tour is to stand in the middle of the room, turn in a circle and see what catches your eye.  Obviously you want to remove out and out clutter but there are other things that can cause a distraction when viewing a picture of a room.

Here are some things that are we find eye catching – and not in a good way.
  1. Trash Cans — One thing that we always try to move are trash cans.  Unless a trash can in a room is part of the decor, we move them out of the picture. 
  2. Mini blinds — The metal ones are are notorious for hanging crooked or getting bent and this grabs my attention.  With a little adjusting, we can usually either pull the blinds up or straighten out the slats so that it doesn’t show.
  3. Dust Ruffles/Bed Skirts — These things somehow get pulled out of place when the bed is made so I try to make sure that the bedspread is even and the bed skirt is straight. 
  4. Light Bulbs — The first thing I do when I go into a place to photograph is turn on all the lights and nine times out of ten, there’s at least one light bulb burned out somewhere in the house.  We don’t always have access to extra light bulbs so I am frequently moving hot light bulbs from one room to the next as we shoot.
  5. Lamp Shades — Speaking of turning on lights, lamp shades are another nemesis of mine.  Crooked lamp shades jump right out of the picture.  In addition to leveling them, I also try to remember to turn lamp shades so the seam is in the back. 
  6. Pictures and Mirrors — Art, like makeup, can really enhance a room but a crooked picture is like smeared lipstick in my mind.  Sometimes pictures are hung crooked but most of the time you can nudge it a little and get it straight.
  7. Papers and sticky notes — I have a terrible memory so I understand the need to tack reminders all over the house but when it comes to taking the pictures, this little reminders just look like clutter.  Take them down for the picture and then stick them right back up.
  8. Refrigerator Displays — We all like to tack things on our refrigerator door but when taking a picture in a kitchen, we clear off the front of the fridge. 
These are just a few of the things that we try to look for before starting to photograph but when I stand in the middle of the room and turn in a circle, there are often others that I see.  If you don’t pay attention to the little things, you may look back and realize they were the big things. 
(Final line of this blog was a paraphrase of a great quote by Richard Brault — “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” )

Vision Quest Virtual Tours specializes in 360º tours for healthcare, hospitality and education.  For more information, please visit our website at