The TourBuilder Blog: Virtual Tours, Photography and Google Street View

TourBuilder Photographer Shooting for Street View in Africa

We are excited to present an interview with TourBuilder user Chris du Plessis. Through his project, Photos of Africa, Chris has been generating worldwide awareness of African wildlife, hidden treasures, and local businesses. Chris became the first South African Street View trusted photographer to help hard-to-find enterprises to reach their potential customers online. Chris works closely with local companies to increase their exposure in search results. He also works with Google to ensure those businesses have more ways to improve 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: I started in the early days here in South Africa. I was the first Street View trusted photographer in the country. Even then, I was well aware of this program’s great potential and what I could offer my clients by participating in it. To showcase the premises of a business online was just amazing, but verifying clients’ companies on Maps at the time was a challenge. Often, lodges are located in the bush and don’t have an address, making it impossible to request a Google My Business verification postcard. Thankfully, Google has considered this, and we now have the Trusted Verifier app, which allows us to verify businesses in person. All in all, my clients are pleased with Google’s services and would love to see Google develop 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 for its people and 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 many 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 excellent. I’ve lived in German for the past five years but often travel back to SouthAfrican.


Q: Taking 360 photos in the African wilderness must be pretty 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 even flying it on a drone over the Zambezi River. There’s so much the rest of the world is missing out on, and showing 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. Standing next to these enormous animals, weighing 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 TourBuilder 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 TourBuilder for his clients, allowing them to view their tour analytics anytime. TourBuilder allows photographers like Chris to help their clients increase and monitor their online exposure and save time.

Chris du Plessis Photos of Africa with Elephant

Thank you to Chris du Plessis, owner of Photos of Africa, for choosing TourBuilder 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 TourBuilder users and their stories.

About The Tourbuilder Blog

The latest news on Google Street View, virtual tours and photography, along with tip and insights from expert photograpers in the virtual tour industry.

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