We had the chance to speak with Laura Rogers, an IT specialist who is also an expert on Microsoft SharePoint. We could hear how how Laura used 360-degree photography and RICOH THETA in her work? Read more to find out!

Laura Rogers

Thanks for connecting with us! Can you share a bit more about yourself and your experiences?   

I have been in the IT industry for 23 years. I am a speaker, author, educator, and expert on SharePoint and Microsoft technologies. I work with organizations, helping them make the most of their SharePoint and Teams implementations and business processes, using no-code technologies such as Power Apps and Power Automate with SharePoint. I am the owner of IW Mentor, a SharePoint, Teams, Power Apps & Power Automate training company. I have been awarded as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for the past twelve years.

Wow, that is impressive experience! Are you able to provide more information on how you use 360-degree photography within your work? 

I use the RICOH THETA within Microsoft Sharepoint Spaces. When I started trying out SharePoint Spaces, I was reading Microsoft's documentation, and they recommended using a 360 degree camera for the best experience in this product. For the YouTube video I completed, I worked with a local interior designer, Julie Howard, to display how to use a RICOH THETA Z1 camera to create an image tour in SharePoint. Image tours were a fairly new feature, and I thought interior design would be the perfect industry, so I called her up to see if she wanted to help. The Z1 is a very intuitive product, and I love all of the options for video editing even after the pictures were taken.

          From left to right: Julie Howard and Laura Rogers

That’s great and we really enjoyed the YouTube video! How does Julie see 360-degree photography benefitting interior designers? 

Julie thinks that with the combination of virtual reality headsets and 360 photography, it opens up a lot of remote collaboration possibilities for interior designers. This option gives both the designer and collaborator/customer a more intimate and realistic way of visualizing a space and its possibilities.

Interior design space captured using the RICOH THETA Z1
View on SharePoint site

We agree and love seeing the RICOH THETA being used for remote collaboration! ! Can you both share more about using the RICOH THETA in your workflows? Do you have any tips or tricks? 

When all collaborators on a project, they are able to log into SharePoint and easily "jump into" a space virtually, whether or not they have a VR headset. This makes their design work more accessible, especially because of the unique ability to feel like you are in the space, which a two-dimensional photo does not provide. For interior design and SharePoint spaces 360 image tours, it's important to pay attention to the camera height and how it is going to look in the software. It usually appears lower than it is, so raise it up higher on the tripod. With SharePoint, all you need to do is upload your photos to your site's "site assets" library, and they will be readily available for inserting into the 360 image tour.

360 image of a kitchen captured using the THETA Z1
A feature on SharePoint site shows the before renovated kitchen

That is amazing advice! Can you share Any challenges experienced with 360 photography?

I found the main drawback of 360 photography is the way that it needs to be presented. It does have an odd visual effect when looking at a flat image of a 360 photo. There are definitely a lot of options available for editing these photos though, in order to make them look artistically interesting.

Space of SharePoint to create a virtual tour

Editing can make all the difference. Do you have anything else to add on your experience with THETA while creating your YouTube video and testing out the camera?

The crossover between 360 photography and VR is incredible. With the Oculus headset, I feel like I am actually in the room, and can easily click objects in the room that I am interested in examining further.

Thank you so much for the wonderful photos and YouTube video that you’ve captured with THETA! You can follow Laura on YouTube. For more details, please visit the product page on theta360.com.