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Need Software for Photo Lab Site

Upload photos, select packages, etc.

8:47 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Any ideas? It seems everyone doing this is running proprietary software. The solution I am looking for does not have to tie in to billing or the Frontier yet - if we can just make it easy for the photographers to upload their images along with a comprehensive order form - and keep the two together - that would be a good start.

Any ideas? anyone done this before?

<<added>>Maybe this should be in website technology? I don't know...<</added>>

9:54 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I did something similar but it was all from scratch. The photographer can upload the images to the server and then gives the client a number they enter to preview the session. Crude order form.

The only problem has been user error. When the people he has working for him upload images they are supposed to name the files with the photo session first then the photo number. example: H1543-001 but sometimes they forget to add the photo session number so photos start showing up in other peoples portfolios.

I'll sticky you the site with a sample session number.

10:09 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Jim. I should add that we are trying to allow photographers to upload their photos from their desktop onto our server (physically located in the lab) so that we can place them in our workflow. So an online order and submittal form is needed.

Some labs are set up to allow the photos to directly enter the work flow without user intervention after they are FTP'd or otherwise uploaded. That would be great but I think the programming cost might make that cost-prohibitive. If we can just get the work order and be able to physically identify the photos it relates to, it would be a good start. We can handle the rest manually until volume justifies more programming cost.

10:38 pm on Mar 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The first thing that springs to my mind would be some form of modified support ticket sytsem. The end user (photographer) submits a ticket and uploads his files to your server, he/she then receives an automated receipt. Then after you complete the job you issue a bill, through the same ticket?

I know there are a few ticker systems out there with file upload features but im not sure if this is the rute you want to go down.


3:06 am on Mar 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Mack - it would be similar but probably more complex. I thought it could all be done server side but the systems I've seen my client's competitors using all seem to include a desktop application component. Photographers use this application to select their photos for uploading (and view each one selected) then assign printing instructions for each photo. These applications are all proprietary as far as I can determine.

As I mentioned, some labs are able to feed all of this data directly into their billing and printing systems, so the packages are run pretty much without any intervention on the lab side. My client would be happy at this point just to give his photographers an easy way to get him their photos and instructions - he can do the rest manually for now.

I don't know if there is a business in the world changing faster than the photo lab business. This is an interesting challenge.


1:51 am on Mar 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Maybe just a resume site allow your to upload your resume file.....maybe have it work for photos also......the upload code part can be purchased an added to a web site.....the auto numer aspect is all that would have to be added to it...