Originally published June 24, 2009. The link to Pinterest in the article replaces “MySpace” in the original. Other than that, everything is the same. It’s curious to see how much of what I predicted back then is pretty close to what you can do now. If you’re a professional photographer, ask yourself how this makes you feel. Frustrated? Encouraged? Inspired? Enraged? Have fun!
Once upon a time in the not too distant future, there’s a bright-eyed, inspired entrepreneur named Debra. Debra just loves photography. She decides it’s time for her to pursue her passion and take the plunge.
D (that’s what her friends call her) decides to go down to Costco to pick up that new 50 mp “smart” camera. The images are amazing and according to the box, it can go up to ISO 8000. “Wow!” She thinks. “I don’t know what ISO is, but if it can go all the way up to 8000, it must be good). D plunks down her card and pays for the camera. Only $799 + tax.
D’s been in business for three months now and it’s going great. Today she has a teen portrait shoot. She’s scouted the perfect location: the set of railroad tracks out by her house.
D and the teen (named Samantha) have a blast. For the first 30 minutes they just hang out at the local soda shoppe chatting away. Sam thinks D is so cool. Even though she’s kinda old (shes, like, 24 or something), she doesn’t seem like it. It’s like D’s one of her best friends. As they laugh and talk fashion and boys, D grabs candid shots here and there. They then head off to the tracks.
D’s getting a bunch of great shots. She’s already up to 1,216 with plenty of room to go on her card. She wants to do a cool shoot with the background blurred out, so she tells Sam to run down the tracks a few yards. D holds up the camera and takes aim. She looks on the back of the camera then presses the menu button. She navigates to the settings and hits the digital button marked “BBB” (stands for Blurry Background Button). There’s a little pic of a woman with a blurred background to visually indicate what this feature does).
D hits the BBB button and she hears the lens and camera motor adjust focal length and aperture to give her the blurry background. (It measures the distance between the camera and the subject and the subject and the background). It’s not quite blurry enough for her. So she double-clicks the BBB button to bring up the blurriness scale. It’s set to 10. She increases to 11. (One of the reasons she got this particular camera is because BBB buttons on most other cameras only go up to 10, but this one goes up to 11.)
After increasing her BBB setting, the camera instructs her to take five steps back. She does and the camera beeps when she’s at the appropriate distance. She looks in the view finder and it looks perfect. Snap!
After the 2 hour session, D tells Sam the photos will be uploaded online by tomorrow. Sam gives her a big hug goodbye and they go their separate ways.
When D gets home, she hooks the camera up to her iMac G10 and launches iPhoto. The large beautiful images quickly fill up her 36″ screen. The 1,565 RAW images download in 32.3 seconds flat. Once they’re all ingested, she begins putting together her collections. She enters a set of key words: fun; movement; close-ups; touching. She then enters the number 60. Using a set of advanced algorithms, iPhoto looks at collections D has created in the past, uses face recognition technology to study this new crop of images, and within a minute, it selects the top 60 photos which fits the key words she entered. She spends about 10 minutes going through those, tagging about 5 photos she really likes. She then hits the “Genius” button, and iPhoto goes through the process again, choosing a next set of 60 photos based on those five. “Perfect!” D exclaims.
She types up a short caption for some of her favorites, tagging the ones she wants to put on her online accounts. She then presses the publish button. Instantly those tagged photos are uploaded to Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, ThisMoment, and her blog. The photos are automatically universally tagged with Sam’s name so her online friends will see the photos in their respective favorite social network feeds. D then presses another button to upload all 60 images to her password-protected client review site. She presses the slideshow button and the Animoto powered slideshow maker (now part of iPhoto) creates an amazing slideshow which she also automatically uploads to her online accounts.
Sam’s mom is sent an email with a link to access the password-protected sites. She approves the images, makes her payment, and they are all instantly downloaded to her copy of iPhoto. (Cloud computing image from the Infreemation blog.
Sam’s mom absolutely LOVE the photos. D has done such a fabulous job capturing the spirit of her daughter. She goes through and separates the photos into collections labeled Fun, Serious, Sophisticated, and “Daddy”s Little Girl“. She sends the Fun collection wirelessly to all the digital 5x7s in the house. They are set to a rotation iteration of 36 hours (i.e. each photo in that set will rotate ever day and a half). She sends the Serious collection of images to the three 30×24 digital wall portrait mahogany frames with rotation iteration of 3 days. She sends the Sophisticated set to her iPhone (no one uses paper wallets anymore), her daughter’s 36×24 in her bedroom, and the 8×10 in the master bedroom. The “Daddy’s Little Girl” set is sent via internet to her husband’s digital 5×7 on the desk in his office.
A JOB WELL DONE
D has already gotten an email confirming 3 more bookings made online via her ShootQ account from friends of Sam’s who saw the photos online. Life is good. A total of about 4 hours work yields another $1000. Not bad.
Click here to read the follow-up commentary I wrote to all the comments back in June 2009.