As restaurants and retailers in the region decided to provide virtual tours to their website viewers, one Shaker Heights company got in on the action early.
One Red Door Photography is one of four companies in the Cleveland area certified by Google to take "See Inside" photos for listings on the massive search engine. Owners Dustin Lopez and Melissa Paderewski were the first in the region to contact and gain approval from Google for the program in February 2012. The virtual galleries are often embedded on the websites of businesses who use their decor or atmosphere as a selling point.
One Red Door has been hired by Yours Truly Restaurant and Red steakhouse in Beachwood to take the photos and leverage the Google technology for their sites. The company has also done it for supply stores and salons.
"We've always done a lot of food photography, and I've been an avid Google user forever, like since Gmail went into beta," Lopez said. "My background, before photography, was restaurants. So, when I heard about this whole thing where they're going into restaurants and salons, I said, 'that's totally for us.'"
Adding virtual tours to the business wasn't difficult for the duo. Since One Red Door already had several commercial clients, the owners started adding the tours to photo packages the corporate customers were already purchasing.
"It helped sell things because we said, 'we'll throw this in for free,'" Lopez said. "We worked out deals like that."
One Red Door moved into Shaker LaunchHouse about six months ago and does all of its photography on-site for clients. The company does photography and videography for events at LaunchHouse.
Earlier this week, One Red Door planned on providing the Google service to Brown-Forward Funeral & Cremation Service.
"It helps with a lot with search-engine optimization," Lopez said. "It adds a lot of relative content."