On the face of it, I’m a pretty successful photographer — I have a number of clients here in Switzerland, including professional sports teams. My work is published, I put together custom, one-of-a-kind photo books, and people come to me to buy images for their homes and offices. But the truth is that I have a day job (I’m a Worldwide Channel Manager in the IT Industry), and photography is my hobby. A hobby that keeps me very busy.
It started to get serious when I bought myself a really nice camera for my 40th birthday. I was in love with photography as soon as I saw the pictures that Zeiss lens produced, and wanted to learn more about the craft. A year later, a neighbor suggested I enter a photo contest for a local foot race; my photo won first prize for ‘Ambience and Emotion’!
That was just the beginning. At one point I’d advanced to taking pictures of the local Junior soccer team, and someone (Scott Kelby, to be exact) suggested I propose shooting for the professional team. I requested a credential for one game, but was refused: the team owners said they’d rather I shoot the whole season. Fast-forward to today, and I don’t just shoot our soccer team, but also our pro hockey and rugby teams, as well as a local American football league.
All of this can make for some tricky scheduling. Recently I got a call to shoot a soccer match, but for no pay. I asked: What’s the game? The answer: Brazil/Italy (!) I couldn’t turn it down. But there was a challenge: my day job. The game was in Switzerland, and I had a breakfast meeting the next day in Paris. My solution: shoot the game until 10:30 PM, then drive to Paris in time for my 8 AM meeting. Crazy.
I have more than 67,000 photos in Mylio — I use it to organize my work, and to sync across different devices.
The organization is important not just because I have a lot of images to keep track of, but because I do so many different kinds of projects. There are the teams I shoot for. There are the people and small businesses — like medical practices or restaurants – that want images for their homes, offices, and marketing. Then there are the custom jewelry books I make, as well as my own personal family photos.
Besides syncing between my own desktop and mobile devices, I especially like that Mylio can unite the phones in our household in a single location.
My partner and I both take pictures on our phones when we travel, then sync them. Not only are we able to share the pictures; it’s also good to know that if one of us loses a phone, the photos are backed up on the other.
Mylio makes it easy. When I have 20 minutes on a bus, I’ll go through my images and organize them. Or I’ll put them on auto play and just watch them.
How I use Mylio:
I do all of my importing, editing and tagging with various programs, then move the images to a Synology drive. That’s when I open Mylio for the organization. I organize by day, year, month, and event. I tag people too. I have separate folders for different customers, and a portfolio for each kind of work. I use Mylio on my tablet to show my work all the time.
For sports, which are documented events, I need speed and volume — I may need to turn around 300 photos in 24 hours and upload them to an FTP. Small business and private clients, on the other hand, want more thematic images.
I’ll get a request for something serene with yellowish tints for a living room, or a picture of a poppy field, or a particular building or bridge. I know I have those things, and can find them pretty quickly on Mylio – a lot faster than looking through my hard drives.
The photo books I make for custom jewelry orders are the most involved. I work with the jeweler to tell the story of the entire process – from first drawings, to casts, to molds, to final product – mixed with images of personal significance to the client. For one book I shot flowers every evening for three weeks; another had pictures of belly dancing. Pieces run $50,000 – $60,000; that’s a big investment, and jewelry is very personal, so there’s a lot of emotion involved. When clients first look at the books, there are always tears.
We use Mylio at home, too. For our daughter’s 18th birthday we gathered all our family and friends, printed pictures from over the years, and presented them, along with personal letters people had written to her. She was over the moon. (And without Mylio, we’d have spent hours and hours going through boxes and files of photos).
Advice for other people and small businesses:
Backup! Backup twice, and three times. I learned this the hard way when my Red drive was corrupted, and I lost everything on it. Fortunately, there weren’t any photos on there – just music. But I have a partner, and a daughter, and I never want to be the one to say “Oops, I lost that event from our lives.”