It’s a question every professional photographer is asking: how can we beat the smart phones to social media?
When your organization hosts an important event, chances are it’s all hands on deck. Your staff photographer is shooting high quality images on a professional camera. Meanwhile, your social media manager is snapping photos on an iPhone, eager to get the message out as quickly as possible. But wouldn’t you prefer to send those high quality images out to your fans in the moment, instead of the iPhone photos? High quality photography will catch the eye of your fans as they scroll through their feeds, and help your organization’s coverage stand out among photos posted by event-goers in the crowd.
Here’s the good news: you can beat the smart phones. And a community college in Illinois is showing us how it’s done.
“It’s Instagram, not Inaweekagram.”
The marketing and communications team from Moraine Valley Community College has mastered the art of posting high resolution photos to social media in real time by using a combination of a DSLR camera, a cellular hotspot and a visual asset management system.
Glenn Carpenter, Moraine Valley’s Photographer and Imaging Specialist talks us through how it all started:
How to Deliver Photos in Real Time
Delivering photos in real time is now part of Glenn’s daily workflow. As soon as he takes a photo with his DSLR, it is automatically sent via FTP to his PhotoShelter account, where his team can access it and share it immediately. Now, photos of events are up on social media, as well as the main carousel on the school’s homepage, while the events are still happening. Want to know their secret? This week at the NCMPR National Conference, Glenn and his team demonstrated the process step by step.
First, Glenn shot a photo of his team with his Nikon D4…
Automatically, the photo was transferred by FTP to his PhotoShelter library via this WT5a Wireless transmitter in his pocket:
Immediately, Mike Loveday, the social media manager at Moraine Valley, downloaded the photo from PhotoShelter and posted it to Twitter…
— Moraine Valley (@morainevalley) March 15, 2016
And all of this happened in a matter of seconds!
To show off a little more, Glenn walked down the hall to snap more photos of another presentation, and Mike continued to post the new photos as they rolled into the library.
Meanwhile, all of us in the audience followed the action in wonder…
— Bill Gaither (@BillGaither) March 15, 2016
They took this photo, sent it from the camera to Libris using a wireless hotspot and tweeted in seconds! Amazing! https://t.co/RCM5MxYzG3
— Libris (@getlibris) March 15, 2016
Bonus: Matt Grotto, Moraine Valley’s videographer, documented the process on his phone and immediately posted a video to Instagram.
Immediacy is key for community colleges (and, increasingly, every other type of organization, as well). By posting photos while events are happening, the Moraine Valley team is able to engage students online, and encourage them to come join in while they still have a chance.
A photo posted by Moraine Valley CC (@morainevalley) on
The Moraine Valley team has managed to overcome a common disconnect between high quality photos and social media. They’ve created a recipe for success, combining the access of the administration, the high quality photos of a professional photographer (with a professional camera), a familiar tone and the speed of a student posting to social media. Their photos stand out in news feeds and give their followers something new (a major feat in a world where we are constantly bombarded with visual content). And most importantly, they get to control the message.
Speeding up your image delivery process with visual asset management can have a big impact on your communications. It can delight your followers and revolutionize your public relations. Moraine Valley saw a huge uptick in followers and engagement after implementing their “photo-video-social” trifecta, proving that combining speed and high quality content pays off.
Cover photo by Ben Munson, courtesy of NCMPR. Check out more photos from the conference.