So I take a lot of pictures of amateur athletes and I’ve been thinking lately about how I turn over the photos to the leagues they play for and how those leagues manage the photos. What I’ve come to realize is that none of the methods that I or the leagues have used so far are very good at the job.
Deliver on CD/DVD: While this works well for me it doesn’t really do anything for the person receiving the images. CDs and DVDs have a limited lifespan this is due to both the nature of the media and the simple fact that devices that can read them won’t be around for ever. They also don’t really offer the person who gets them an easy way to search for individual photos.
Upload the photos via FTP: This one is certainly easy to use but too often it will be set up to use a shared username and password for all of the photographers. A shared secret (like a password) isn’t a secret. What it means is that anyone could access the FTP site and then either download images that others have put there or simply fill the site with junk and make it unusable by anyone.
So I’ve been using my nerd brain to find a good solution that works well for everyone involved. So far I’ve come up with the following criteria:
- Easy to use for the photographers.
- Easy to manage for the sports league.
- Reasonable secure which means individual IDs and accounts for each user.
- Enables searching of the photographs based on metadata like: When was the photo taken? Who is in the photo? etc.
- Is accessible via the WWW. Both photographers and the league members/staff will need to access this catalog of photos from lots of places.
- Doesn’t break the bank for the league to operate.
Right now what I’m looking at are the photo gallery packages that can be used on websites that meet my criteria. The biggest stumbling block that I can see right now is the amount of disk space and the cost that it will incur. Digital photographs are small individually but can quickly add up to a lot.
More to follow.