We shared how the team at Content Marketing World sent photos from the camera to attendees phones in real time during the conference. Now, we’re taking you behind the scenes with Michelle Loufman, the photographer who powered it all.
Michelle is a Cleveland-based documentary and lifestyle photographer with a strong marketing and communications background, so she knows the power of moving an image to social media at lightning speed.
Here’s Michelle’s take on how she executed this real-time photo workflow, and her tips for other photographers who want to bring this invaluable service to their next event:
In a world where Amazon’s next-day delivery doesn’t feel fast enough, the demand for speed of service is ever-increasing. As a photographer, I’m constantly improving workflows and speed of service to create value for my clients.
Recently, I was hired by the PhotoShelter for Brands team to take headshots of Content Marketing World (CMW) attendees with one catch: As a trade show giveaway, attendees would access their headshots in real time. No tethering. No editing.
An intelligent workflow was as important as getting a beautiful headshot straight out of camera. Working in a small booth space, I had a simple lighting setup to flatter a range of subjects and used a gray backdrop to pop the subjects while helping me control color balance in-camera.
- Canon 5D Mark IV
- Canon 85mm 1.8 lens
- Alien Bees B800 light with 35” octabox
- Pocket Wizard remote triggers
- Westcott 6-in-1 reflector
- Savage Universal backdrop (gray)
- Comfortable stool
- Aperture: f/6.3
- Shutter: 1/125
- ISO: 320
- Work smarter, not harder. First, ensure your camera has FTP transfer capabilities. My goal was to deliver images from my camera directly to an FTP server via a Wifi connection without an intermediary device such as a mobile phone, tablet or computer. I used a Canon 5D Mark IV and this video, which outlines helpful step-by-step tips.
2. Set up a DAM for easy collaboration. The team set me up as a contributor on their PhotoShelter account, so I could log in once and send photos straight to PhotoShelter with one click of a button on the camera for the rest of the week. I found that having an easy login and password was super helpful for a fast-moving job like this.
3. Find a strong wi-fi signal (or bring your own!) We used a mobile hotspot to make sure we had a lightning fast wifi connection throughout the event. If ever the wifi signal lagged, I would give my images a star rating and upload later when I had a breather.
4. Deliver and distribute your best work in real-time. As soon as the images hit PhotoShelter, they were sent out automatically to attendees’ phones, thanks to an integration between PhotoShelter and the social distribution tool, Greenfly.
CMW attendees, eager to share their headshots, were blown away by the speed of access. My ability to shoot and deliver images – which also included event coverage – to an extremely connected audience increased social sharing and awareness exponentially in real time. The applications for this workflow are endless – from news and sports to fundraising events.
As photographers, our job is more than creating images: It’s to solve problems for our clients. Think about how your workflows can position you to create value and be a hero for your clients.
When they look good, you look good.
Try out this workflow at your team’s next event!
Michelle Loufman is a documentary and lifestyle photographer based in Cleveland Ohio. She combines her background in communications and love of photography to create storytelling images that evoke emotion and motivate action.