SpotMyPhotos Unleashes Real-Time Photo Delivery for Event Attendees
If you attended Connect Marketplace in August in Minneapolis or the Events Industry Council (EIC) Global Awards Celebration at IMEX America in October, you may have received photos in real-time via SpotMyPhotos, an AI-powered, automated private photo sharing technology that goes beyond facial recognition to let people’s photos find them.
Attendees who opt-in to experience this next-gen photo delivery platform at events can enjoy the convenience of having all photographs taken of them instantly delivered to their smartphones, eliminating the need to scroll through hundreds or even thousands of event photos to find their pictures.
Offering the benefits of a roaming photographer and photo booth in one, SpotMyPhotos enables attendees to instantly download their images, share them on social media and/or print them onsite via private galleries that can be uniquely customized to showcase event branding.
Since the company launched 11 years ago, event organizers, professional photographers and marketing agencies have used SpotMyPhotos to spot hundreds of thousands of people at thousands of events of all types across North America, according to Ryan Jacobs, SpotMyPhotos CEO and founder. In addition to Connect Marketplace and EIC, the technology has been used at the Super Bowl, Grammy Awards and the Academy Awards — to name a few.
“There is a time value of photos,” Jacobs said. “Images depreciate rapidly in value, and organizers want to put their photos to work right away. With SpotMyPhotos, the marketing teams for conference organizers are receiving instant photo stream access – [long gone are] the days where photos were held hostage for days, or in some cases, weeks.”
He continued, “In addition to the need for an event organizer to tell their story, attendees too, are publishers in their own right, eager to share novel, custom-branded photos with others. Rather than having to search for their photos, their photos find them. It is the coolest thing ever, the first time one experiences getting ‘spotted,’ and the novelty of that service doesn’t wear off.”
CEN caught up with Jacobs to find out how the technology works and why more event planners might consider implementing this innovative instant photo delivery system at their meetings, conferences and corporate events.
With a background in event production and photography, Jacobs said he created SpotMyPhotos with the objective of empowering professional event photographers to rapidly and seamlessly deliver high-quality photos to attendees in seconds while at the same time prioritizing privacy via robust safeguards.
“Camera companies were serving many different photography markets, but for my world — event photography — they were missing major opportunities for facilitating the delivery of photos to those photographed,” Jacobs explained. “Wireless transfer technologies — plus pattern recognition technologies and cloud infrastructure — provided the ingredients for more frictionless photo sharing possibilities.”
Initially turned off by the idea of using facial recognition to power the platform, Jacobs and his team set out to devise ways to deliver photos to those photographed using everything except for facial recognition.
“For small events, it worked great, but for larger sample sets, people would receive the wrong photos, particularly if their clothing looked similar,” Jacobs continued. “By marrying pattern recognition and logic with opt-in facial recognition, our platform proved to be very effective. And interestingly enough, as facial recognition stumbled from use of masks during the pandemic, our platform remained effective.”
How it works
After obtaining a license to use the software, which is available to event organizers or photographers as a subscription SaaS product, photographers or photo booth operators then use a SpotMyPhotos WiFi SD card to make their cameras cloud-enabled using the SpotMyPhotos iOS App.
Set up is easy and can take place the same day, if necessary. However, getting familiarized with the platform and setting up workflows in advance of an event is advised, Jacobs said.
The process is simple. First, an attendee smiles for the camera and has their picture taken by a professional photographer. Next, the attendee registers with the photographer one time, providing the phone number or email address where they want to receive their photos. The software “spots” the attendee’s photos and instantly shares a link to their own private gallery, which is continuously updated with each photo they appear in during the course of the event.
Additionally, SpotMyPhoto’s software grants photographers and photo booths control over how, when and with whom event photos are shared, and galleries can be shared instantly or scheduled for sharing later, allowing time for photo editing.
With live access to the event’s photo stream, event organizers and marketers can also instantly access and use event photos immediately for social media and marketing purposes, as well as have access to the platform’s photo reach analytics.
To help elevate an event’s ROI potential, the platform provides planners with the ability to customize photo galleries to showcase brand identity, so as attendees share their images on social media and beyond, custom branding helps generate event buzz and excitement.
To learn more about the benefits of SpotMyPhotos for event organizers, watch this video.
In 2019, SpotMyPhotos upped the ante by becoming the first company to integrate Canon U.S.A.’s Camera Control Application Program Interface (CCAPI) software into its products in the U.S. This move not only leveraged a direct-to-camera connection mode within an instant photo-sharing capability to enable a more frictionless photo-sharing experience but also increased the company’s visibility and scale, Jacobs explained.
“In working with Canon engineers on the direct integration, we [provided] another avenue by which photographers could stream to the SpotMyPhotos platform,” Jacobs said. “Our integration landed us a booth at CES with Canon, and the opportunity to partner on activations together at conferences such as PPA’s Imaging USA. SpotMyPhotos quickly became known in the industry as the instant private photo sharing platform.”
He added, “Connecting our platform directly to the operating system of a camera [was] a major step; bringing us closer to a frictionless, photo-sharing future, where digital photos fly seamlessly to the smartphones of those being photographed.”
The engineers at SpotMyPhotos stay busy with bimonthly upgrades and developing new features, according to Jacobs. New products catering to additional privacy safeguards include a creative GDPR compliant product for European partners, and Embargo, which allows teams supporting VIPs such as politicians and celebrities to review and approve their photos prior to anyone else receiving them. In line with the current popularity of professional headshot studios at conferences and events, the platform has also upgraded its professional headshot workflows.
SpotMyPhotos is a federally registered trademark of and assumed name of CloudSpotter Technologies Inc.