If you’re a member enthralled by Hepworth Farm’s luscious concord grapes, you might snap a smartphone picture and post it to your social media network.
But if you’re documenting the Coop for the Coop, it’s not so simple.
That’s what the photography team working on the PSFC website redesign discovered at our first meeting this week.
The team of photographers — professional and amateur, plus two full-time Coop staffers — discussed building a library of photos for use in Coop media, such as the Foodcoop.com website, Twitter and other outlets.
Five of us met in the tiny brick-walled 2nd floor conference room, while another four joined via Skype.
First, there’s the issue of photographing members.
Members have an expectation of privacy while shopping. (Don’t Tweet me rooting through the ice cream case!)
The photography team wants to be respectful, so if we get a good shot, we discussed how to ask for permission to use it. We’re hoping to use a model release, which is being drafted.
Photos taken outside the Coop, such as the one at the top of this webpage, don’t warrant such a release. Out in public, no one can reasonably have a right to complete privacy, which is why any one of us might wind up on the cover of the New York Post.
One of our primary missions is to build a library of images that can be used to illustrate blogs posts like this one, Coop brochures and other media.
One of our team members already takes photos for the @foodcoop Twitter stream.
We discussed the kinds of photos we’d want to take: soup kitchen workers, the compost squad, the folks who do the Coop laundry and walk the shopping carts.
For photographers, there’s rich material outside the shopping floor.
Ann Herpel, a General Coordinator, said she often fields queries from international news organizations looking for photos of the Coop to illustrate stories.
She generally sends them the same stock photos of the Coop’s interior. Because of privacy issues, the people in the photos — if any — are usually staffers who have already OK-ed their usage.
Our team’s photographers plan to use Dropbox to manage photos, giving them archive tags with helpful keywords.
We are leaning towards using Flickr, the online photo site, to catalog projects.
Then there’s the issue of storage. Where will the files live?
Jeremy Zilar, a Coop member who works in design strategy at The New York Times and is helping lead the redesign effort, suggested Amazon S3 cloud storage as a solution.
The Coop has its own server for digital storage, but it can’t host photos that are used as illustration on the Internet. Digital photos can be huge, eating up memory and bandwidth on a typical computer server.
Stay tuned! We’ll document the next steps here.