As we pioneer a new kind of DAM, dynamic asset management, we want to take you behind the scenes of our latest product innovations. Our new VP of Product, Monika Smyczek, recently joined us for our first Inside Look of 2021, where she outlined what’s new and what’s next for PhotoShelter for Brands – including PhotoShelter AI, integrations with WordPress and Hootsuite, and Workspaces for remote collaboration.
Meet VP of Product Monika Smyczek below and see her exciting vision for the year ahead.
All Your Questions Answered
Thank you to everyone who asked a question during our live Q&A! Check out some of our team’s answers below, and watch the video to see the full conversation.
This Q&A was edited for clarity and length.
How do you access the PhotoShelter WordPress integration?
Within WordPress, you can either access this integration from the page editor or from the backend of your account. There you’ll see a PhotoShelter tab that will let you pull in your content from PhotoShelter and upload it to the backend of your WordPress site.
If you are interested in enabling this, you can reach out to our team and they’ll get you set up.
When it comes to PhotoShelter AI, do you have to upload a portrait with a name for the FaceIQ to recognize a specific person?
That’s correct. In order to recognize faces, you need to train the system – provide a photo of this person and this person’s name in order for it to apply the tag. But once you do that, FaceIQ will also detect other faces that have not yet been named, pull those out and allow you to set those up as well.
Is PhotoShelter AI customizable?
It absolutely is. There are so many different ways that you can take it. Can it learn a particular brand’s products? Yes. BrandIQ will learn a brand’s logos.
We have also built some custom AI models for specific clients. Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation is a great example. They have a ton of custom needs for AI. They want to be able to recognize a certain type of fishing lure or a reel, or they want to recognize certain types of fishing gear. And so we built models around their workflow that work really well for them in terms of AI.
They have a really small team. They don’t have the bandwidth to tag all of their images themselves, and they really needed a way for PhotoShelter to be able to do it all automatically. And so for them, that’s been incredibly meaningful to be able to recognize these very specific products within their industry. And so we can do that for any type of brand. Whatever your needs are, whether it’s recognizing specific objects, specific logos or specific people, we can build something around your team’s needs.
What is embedded into video metadata or what kind of metadata will come along when you’re uploading into PhotoShelter?
That is a great question. We have a lot of different options. I believe it is standardized, the same way we would treat the standardized IPTC metadata. Right now we support virtually all video metadata on upload, and we’ll be working on letting you edit more fields later this year.
This person is a PhotoShelter customer and their biggest obstacle to collaborations is that they have multiple channels that may have different, often competing views, on how images should be sorted and tagged online. We’ve all been there. Any tips on creating some harmony within a team with several different viewpoints?
In our case, what we’ve seen a lot with our clients is that having a set metadata policy can be really helpful because that helps you meet the needs of every stakeholder on the team. You should have a list of tags that you use frequently, or at least an understanding of how you’re going to use metadata as an organization when different teams get to say, “This is something that’s important to me, please tag this.”
It’s important to all be on the same page because a photographer tags very differently from how a social media person or a PR person is going to search. The tags need to meet the needs of the whole team, not just the photographer.
What are some other ideas that might help deep collaboration that PhotoShelter is starting to think about for the future?
Workspaces is that first step toward creating a dedicated collaborative environment within PhotoShelter. Another thing is, how do we extend those collaborative capabilities into the other areas of the system that already exist?
I think another stride toward deep collaboration is our Integrated Accounts feature. This is for organizations that may have multiple PhotoShelter accounts being able to share with the different accounts under one umbrella PhotoShelter account. When we think about collaboration, for me, collaboration and integrations are very closely coupled. Being able to plug into the other tools and the other pieces of the workflow to which PhotoShelter is adjacent is huge in terms of collaboration.
“The way that I always think about it is however many tabs our users have open in order to get their job done, I want PhotoShelter to help you close some of those tabs and help you do more of that work inside our own platform.”
Right now, those are the kinds of opportunities that I see in the immediate future. This is my third month here and it’s something that I’m starting to dig into a lot and I’m really excited to learn more about what other tools are adjacent and what other jobs you’re trying to accomplish that we can help make easier.
Are there options for receiving and organizing photos from outside vendors?
Absolutely yes. PhotoShelter allows you to have an unlimited number of contributors to your library. So if you’re working with a freelance photographer or a freelance graphic designer, you can invite them to upload content to your library very easily.
If you are sourcing stock imagery, you can upload that straight into PhotoShelter as soon as you download it from those other sources. There are lots of different options… PhotoShelter is that central nervous system where you can keep everything in one place so you can find it easily no matter where you got it from.
What are some of the differences between PhotoShelter for Brands and Google Drive? What are the different file types that PhotoShelter can host and manage?
Google Drive is a great storage tool, but PhotoShelter does so much more than just storage. It’s really about all of those other benefits that you get in terms of keeping your team on the same page. It’s ideal for collaborating, for commenting, reviewing and approvals. It’s ideal for organizing your content, making sure it’s discoverable whether you just worked on it last week, or it’s something from 10 years ago. You want to have everything in one place in a way that you can find it in a second.
That’s all because you want to be able to take action on it. You want to be able to move this content out onto social media, onto your website, in seconds so that you can engage your audience.
PhotoShelter is a lot more dynamic in terms of how you can use it to engage your audience. And yes, you can store and organize any kind of file in there, and search for all them. All the benefits that you get from PhotoShelter you get for any type of file that you can store.
What kind of improvements are you guys working on for the Adobe CC Connector?
One thing that we are working on is expanding the connector to include Adobe Premiere. Under that theme of video support and expanding our video capabilities, we’re including Adobe Premiere as a new type of connector.
If I’m a PhotoShelter user, and I want to ask PhotoShelter or I want to develop an integration with our CMS or our project management system, what’s the best way for me to do that?
We definitely want to know what’s a priority for you in terms of integrations and help make your workflow easier. The best way to get in touch with us is to reach out to your client services team member who you communicate with regularly – your account manager, who is your regular point of contact.
If you don’t know who that person is, you can just email email@example.com and they will direct you to the right person and walk you through these things. That’s where you can share feedback, ask questions, get ideas for how to make your workflow faster.
We have a top ranked client services team. They are amazing and they are delightful to work with. So I know that they would be happy to hear from you and happy to walk you through any kind of challenges that you’re having and any kind of requests that you have. They’re always the best first place to go.