Michael Jackson Memorial Images and Distribution Workflow

Michael Jackson Memorial Images and Distribution Workflow

The Michael Jackson Memorial was the largest memorial service since Princess Diana’s memorial in the 90s with an estimated television audience of 31 million people in the US and an additional several million online. Of course, photos from the event were published in newspapers, websites and on television.

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From left Janet Jackson, Paris Michael Katherine, LaToya Jackson, Jermaine Jackson and Prince Michael Jackson I attend a memorial service for their brother and father, music legend Michael Jackson, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on July 7, 2009.  AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

In anticipation of the event, several thousand requests were fielded by the Jackson family PR agency, Sunshine Sachs & Associates, for the seven photo positions within the Staples Center. As is typical for large events with limited photo positions, the organizers decided upon a “pool” solution where the major wire services would gain access in exchange for distribution their images to the media outlets that could not gain access.

On Friday, July 3, Andrew Gombert, a photographer and photo editor with the wire service European Pressphoto Agency, was tasked with finding a distribution solution by the next day that would allow several thousand media agencies to view and download the pool images. The timeline was brief because the PR agency had to notify the other media outlets on how they could access the images.

As a long time PhotoShelter user, Andrew decided to open a PhotoShelter Pro Account, and incorporated the following workflow.

  • Seven media organizations were credentialed for photography:  AP, Reuters, European Pressphoto Agency, Getty Images, AFP, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times
  • Each photographer had a “runner” who was responsible for taking the photographers cards, ingest and  captioning and, transmittal to his/her picture desk
  • The picture desk was responsible for editing the images, inserting meta data, and transmitting them to 1) the pool members major wires, and 2) FTPing them into PhotoShelter
  • The PhotoShelter account was set up so that any FTPd images went directly into a password protected gallery (the password and URL had been previously circulated by the PR agency to all the media outlets that were not credentialed)
  • The meta data was extracted upon upload and redisplayed with the thumbnails and larger images, and the high resolution images could then be downloaded online.
  • Over 23,000 images were downloaded in the 24 hours following the event.

Andrew told me that “the process of setting up the PhotoShelter account and allowing access to thousands of organizations couldn’t have been easier.” We’re excited that people like Andrew continue to find innovative ways to use PhotoShelter to manage their photo workflows.

RIP MJ. Shamon!

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There are 3 comments for this article
  1. Matt at 8:22 am

    Great post. I think this really illustrates the power of some of the relatively simple PSA features, on a scale that few of us individual users could imagine. Despite the sombre occasion, this is definitely a vote of confidence for PhotoShelter!

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