Geek Speak: Bob Homer, wedding and lifestyle photographer
Bob Homer knows that people want more than print photos of their weddings these days. So, the Port Moody wedding and lifestyle photographer is offering his clients a digital product that also incorporates videos and social media.
Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Homer is the 34-year-old proprietor of bOB HOmer photography and West Coast Spaces, which he runs with his wife, Jen. They demonstrated their iPad-optimized e-albums at the A Wedding Affair show at the River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond on February 26.
Homer spoke to the Georgia Straight by phone from his Port Moody studio.
What is your wedding photography business doing with the iPad?
We think that we’re doing something kind of unique. People have done interactive material before—slide shows and that sort of thing—but we really looked at the way the photography industry in general was going and looked at how weddings specifically are really social events. We wanted to see how we could make something even more social and adapt to the way people are looking for photography. People aren’t ordering prints as much as they used to do. They want images on a disc and put it on Facebook. So we’re trying to figure out a way to solve those nontraditional problems.
With the iPad, we’re creating this completely interactive photo album, and we’re incorporating multimedia and even social media into these interactive books. For instance, we get hired to shoot a wedding. We’re off with the bride and groom and the bridal party, and we’re doing professional photos. Let’s say the groomsmen and the bridesmaids, they have their iPhones and they’re taking pictures or they’re Instagraming it or writing things on Facebook or tweeting something about the location or “The bride looks gorgeous”—we want to actually go back and grab all those feeds. From Facebook, from Instagram, from Twitter, we can incorporate it into this interactive book that we’ve developed for the iPad.
What does a customer end up with? Is it an app or is it an e-book?
It’s more of an e-book. But it’s going to be all on the iPad, and we’re going to put their pictures on the iPad. We’re going to basically give them an iPad with everything on it. Our thing is it’s a wedding you can take anywhere. Instead of having a big photo album with your pictures, we thought we would simplify it and put it on an iPad, where they could take it to work and take it to their parents’ house. In the album, you can have a presentation and open it up into more of a slide show within the album and show pictures that the other people have taken.
We really want to document the wedding experience, not just from our perspective but from what everybody is doing that day. We’re with the bride and groom for so long, but there’s the guests that might be taking pictures of themselves at the table or that sort of thing. So if something happened at the reception or ceremony, we want to be able to have that moment all captured and all brought together. We can do this with this new e-album we have.
People like to keep their wedding memories forever, but the iPad may go obsolete. What happens to this e-album then?
Well, the e-album will be upgraded as the format evolves. With iBooks or the Kindle app, when they release new updates, all the books get updated, so they work with the latest version....
We’re still providing images on disc, so they have it in other formats, other ways of holding on to their memories. But they’ll have the e-book to show for as long as there’s an iPad or a type of device it can be ported to.
What’s your favourite photography app?
Apple Aperture. I like the workflow in it. It’s got all the settings right where I need them. Easy access to it. It runs well. It stores my entire library. I can create multiple projects and get things organized, put them on different drives, and have them re-linked easily. As you can imagine, I have terabytes worth of photos, and it’s all easily accessible through Aperture. I know you can do this with other apps. I’ve tried Lightroom. But Aperture seems to work with my workflow.
Every Friday, Geek Speak catches up with someone in Vancouver’s technology sector, video-game industry, or social-media scene. Who should we interview next? You can tell Stephen Hui on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.