Atlanta Braves Photographer Kevin D. Liles’ World Series Workflow

Atlanta Braves Photographer Kevin D. Liles’ World Series Workflow

In 1995, the Atlanta Braves won their third World Series championship in franchise history. The world was a very different place, and in the nineties, photography and camera tech looked very different than they do today. Digital cameras were just making their way to the masses and covering a major sporting event was a drawn out, multi-step process when getting photos from your camera to the fans.

This year, when covering the Braves’ journey to winning the 2021 World Series, technology played a major role in quickly connecting baseball fans to all of the action.

Since 2018, Kevin D. Liles has worked as team photographer for the Atlanta Braves. In a remote world, his photography workflow has seen some changes as new challenges and opportunities arise for the sports photography industry.

We connected with Kevin to get the scoop on his creative and collaborative workflow, how things are different when documenting the World Series and how the Braves share game day moments in real time. Take a look through our interview below and make sure to follow @kevindliles on Instagram to see more exciting moments from the 2021 MLB season.

Adam Duvall #14 of the Atlanta Braves reacts after hitting a grand slam during Game 5 of the World Series against the Houston Astros at Truist Park on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves

Can you walk us through your step-by-step workflow, from camera to social or stakeholders? What does that creative process look like for you and for the Braves?

It starts with my Sony cameras (A1 and A9s) that have ethernet cables plugged into that allow me to transmit selects directly from them. I have the FTP settings in the cameras to go to a folder on my PhotoShelter account, where a remote editor (in this case, Jeff Curry in St. Louis) pulls them, tones them, and sends them out to the Braves’ creative team via Slack.

For the home games of the World Series, I had four photographers, three of which were networked and sending images to separate folders for Jeff to pull from. My remote cameras sent photos to another folder. These cameras are typically set up to transmit everything shot, so Jeff could find the best one when a big play happened. 

Once the creative team gets the images, they use them for social media, player Greenfly accounts and graphics.

How fast do you get photos to the Braves’ creative team on game day? What’s their goal there when it comes to speed and sharing photos in real time?

It’s typically 1-2 minutes from when I shoot it until it’s on the creative team’s phones. The great thing is, my colleague Jeff is obviously watching the game and knows when a big play happens and is on the lookout for photos immediately. Once I capture an image, I can have it on the server in about 5-10 seconds.

The team’s goal is to get out pertinent content as fast as possible and to prepare graphics for later in the game (like when a pitcher has a great game, for example). Here is an example on social media:

What’s different about photographing for the World Series?

The biggest thing is just how big the event is. Every game is like a Super Bowl. And this is at the end of a 162-game season and two playoff series. The amount of media, both national and international, at the World Series is staggering. During batting practice, the entire warning track, from third base to first base, is filled with TV cameras, lights and reporters sending their dispatches from the Fall Classic.

Because I’m a team photographer, I have the same field position I do during the regular season, which is the first inside spot next to the Braves’ dugout.

Eddie Rosario #8 of the Atlanta Braves during batting practice before Game 1 of the World Series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves

What’s the plan if the internet goes down?

Lots of prayer! No, we have an editor on the creative team who can edit if we need to. MLB provides runners who can ferry the memory cards from the field to editors in the back for us and anyone else there who has onsite editors.

What other tools do you use to speed up your photo workflow and social sharing?

Mainly just PhotoShelter Brands for us and Greenfly for the players.

How long have you been using PhotoShelter for your personal photography website and archive?

I have been with you guys a long time, so long I don’t remember. I would have to say 8-10 years.

Tell me about your favorite PhotoShelter tools and features you typically use most often. How do these help you with your workflow and photo business?

The best thing about PhotoShelter is the ability to send galleries for clients to download (they can choose individual images or download the entire gallery). I can password protect it and it’s a really clean and seamless way to get images to clients. It’s so professional because it has all my website’s branding on it, unlike using something like Google Drive or Dropbox.

Want to relive some of the major league moments from this year’s World Series? Follow @kevindliles to go behind the scenes with a seasoned sports photographer and to see the photos from the Braves’ journey to the top. Plus, learn more about how to deliver your images directly from PhotoShelter here.

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PhotoShelter's Social Media & Content Marketing Specialist

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