Photographers, Colleges, Fried Green Tomatoes … and DAM

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Last week I attended the University Photographers’ Association (UPAA) Symposium in Auburn, AL as a vendor.  I presented Widen’s digital asset management (DAM) applications for this unique group of photographers working in colleges and universities across the United States (Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, Iowa, Michigan, Louisiana, Florida – and more).  One of the interesting things of the UPAA is its focus on “photographic excellence through continuing education” which I find one of the most admirable missions of any organization.  These photographers strive to learn more about equipment, techniques, and software applications that will enhance not only their personal style, but also improve the practice and use of photography at the colleges and universities in which they operate.

These photographers understood not only ‘what DAM is all about,’ but also ‘why organizations need dam.’  What struck me is that – regardless of if a photographer shoots for a college in Louisiana or a university in Michigan – they have the exact same problems with image storage, management, and retrieval as photographers shooting product images or lifestyle shots for Fortune 500 companies.  Why is that?

I think it’s the nature of the beast with digital assets.  Everyone has them.  Everyone tries to manage them.  Everyone struggles.  The need for hosted digital asset management solutions crosses all industries regardless of an organization’s size or structure.  A photographer takes images of a football game, students on campus, a concert – and now what?  Who needs to review them?  Who needs to receive them?  What format do they need?  Where to store them?  Will the IT department give them more server space?  Where to find them when someone calls 3 months from now for a particular photograph?  Hmmm … it’s a good thing Widen solves these problems on a daily basis.

p.s. On a lighter note – I’d highly recommend the fried pickles and fried green tomatoes on your next trip to Alabama.

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