Photography played a key role in the Boston Red Sox 2018 championship season – and it all started long before the post-season.
In our new on-demand webinar, The Strategy Behind the Boston Red Sox Championship Visual Storytelling, we asked Red Sox Manager of Photography Billie Weiss to share how this team laid the groundwork for an iconic season of stunning images.
Watch now to learn:
- How the Red Sox share photos in seconds on game day
- How they celebrated 2018 success through photography with Alex Cora’s Wall of Wins
- How the Red Sox are pushing the envelope with innovative photo projects like Projections and Top Shots, a sponsored video series that created a direct line between photography and revenue
All Your Questions Answered
Read through the Q&A below to see Billie’s answers to some of our questions from the audience, and watch the on-demand webinar to learn more from our live Q&A!
What do you use for wireless transmitting when you’re running a real-time photo workflow?
We use the Nikon WT-5 and WT-6 wireless transmitters, which hook directly onto the camera and allow for direct file transfer straight from the camera to the Libris incoming FTP.
You mentioned that the social media team is able to download from their phone, how are they able to do that?
We have been lucky to work as Beta testers for Libris for their new upcoming app! This allows our social and graphics team to pull the images directly down from their phones as they come in in real time. We are excited for the official release of the app!
Do you use Adobe Creative Cloud?
Yes, all of us in creative services use the Creative Cloud!
What was the logic behind creating a separate Medium site for Fenway Frames? Was this necessary due to the limitations of the MLB team sites?
It was necessary to use Medium as the platform for our blog, as that is a requirement we must meet under MLB. That being said, regardless of the platform, we feel that having a blog is a great way to display our most recent work, as well as begin to create a more robust online presence and archive for Red Sox Photography. It serves as a great reference and tool for us when we are pitching new ideas or meeting with new partners to discuss potential content ideas, both internal and external.
What were the challenges of getting citywide involvement for Projections?
There were various levels of approvals that needed to be acquired to do the project. The projection artist that we collaborated with was familiar with those rules and had the connections to be able to make it happen, so frankly we relied largely on him to get the necessary permissions ready. I wish I used more, but I wasn’t super involved in that part of the process!
You mentioned a high budget for the playoff hype Projections project – can you give a ballpark figure? 🙂
Ballpark was 30-40K.
How do you go about the offseason and posting? I work with a college basketball team so from now till fall of this year is a downtime posting-wise.
This is a good question, and always a tough one! You have to find creative ways to manufacture content in an otherwise dead zone. In our case, we try to catch up with players and their workouts/away from the field routines in the offseason months as much as we can. In your case, you could follow your basketball team in the weight room or in the gym in the offseason, or use the slow time to conduct interviews or creative video shoots with the players that they wouldn’t be able to devote the time to during the busy season. As a general rule, view the slow time as an opportunity, rather than a detriment.
Tell me about your most challenging photo shoot.
Actually this just happened recently for our upcoming Red Sox Magazine cover shoot with Xander Bogaerts. I won’t give too much away now, but the shoot involved making a design directly within the dirt on the field at Fenway Park. As a result, the shoot was largely dependent on a lot of other factors out of our control (weather, field availability, grounds crew, etc.) so it was a tough one. Although the final result looks pretty simple, it was a tricky one to pull off! You will see the final result soon.
What is your organizational structure from an external standpoint? How do you communicate and team up with your video and digital content staff?
Our photography staff falls within the Marketing department of the Boston Red Sox. Specifically within that department, we make up part of a specific subset of individuals called “Creative Services.” Creative Services consists of the photographers, graphic designers, and social media managers with oversight from a Creative Director. We serve as the creative wing of the marketing department, and service all departments within the Boston Red Sox company. We do have a fantastic video productions team, although they fall under a separate department from marketing. That being said, we are always collaborating with them on projects and content series throughout the year.
We have limited ourselves to cell phones. I think we can do better. Tips to get started with upgrade in this area?
Start with a basic digital SLR camera and work from there. A cell phone is a great tool, but still behind in my mind as far as getting really great, high quality images that will help tell your brands story. We have a fleet of cameras and lenses now, but there was a time at the Red Sox where it was just 2 or 3 cameras and a few basic lenses. You don’t need thousands of dollars in gear to do great storytelling. Just starting with one camera and going from there is the first step!
We are a healthcare organization so behind the scenes content (BTS) is tricky in patient care – any tips?
That’s tricky. If BTS isn’t an option, then how else can you tell the stories of those patients, healthcare providers, etc.? Testimonials? Progress videos during the treatment process? Interviews? Think of creative ways to still tell those stories, even if behind the scenes isn’t necessarily the best approach for this specific environment. Again, I’d say view use the assets, personalities, and resources you have as an opportunity, not a detriment!