Wrote a slick scheduling and communication system allowing me to assign photography resources based on time and location.

I'll tell you a little secret ... I'm not actually a dev. I'm a photographer, pretending to be a dev.

Or ... perhaps it's the other way around? (I spend most of my time writing code these days, but only for me - I write the software I use to run my business).

I own a photography studio - we specialize in youth volleyball photography (mostly 12-18 year old girls with a bit of high school, college and semi-pro thrown in for good measure - it's a hugely popular sport) and travel all over the US (and sometimes Europe) photographing.

As a point of scale, this year we photographed a tournament in Denver that featured 100 volleyball courts (in one room!), playing at the same time.

I'm based in California and fly a crew of part-time staff around to these events, but my father and I drive our booth equipment wherever it needs to go. We usually setup a 30'x90' booth with local servers, download/processing/cashier computers and 45 laptops for viewing/ordering photographs. Not to mention 16' drape and banners, tons of samples, 55' TVs, etc. It's quite the production.

We photograph by paid signup only - when there are upwards of 800 teams/9,600 athletes per weekend playing, and you only have four trained photographers, you've got to manage your resources!

This of course means you have to have a system for taking sign those sign ups, assigning teams to photographers and doing so in the most efficient manner possible based on who is available when the team is playing. (You can waste an awful lot of time walking from one court to another in a large convention center - especially if you have to navigate through large crowds - not to mention exhausting yourself).

So this year I finally added a feature I've wanted for quite some time - an interactive court map. I can take an image of the court layout from the tournament and create an HTML version in our software. As I mouse over requests in one window, the corresponding court is highlighted on the map in another browser window. Each photographer has a color associated with them. When I assign requests to a photographer, the court is color coded with the color of the photographer. This allows me to group assignments to minimize photographer walk time and keep them in a specific area. It's also very easy to look at the map and see unassigned requests and look to see what photographer is nearby.

This year I also integrated with Twilio and setup a simple set of text shortcuts that photographers can use to let our booth staff know where they are, if they have memory cards that need picking up, if they need water/coffee/snack, etc. They can also move assignments on their schedule or send and SOS for help if it looks like they aren't going to be able to photograph a team.

Kind of a CLI via the phone. :)

The additions have turned out to be really useful and has made scheduling and managing the photographers much easier that it was in the past.

  • 3
    Looks awesome!
  • 7
    @dfox Thanks! I've actually never shared my work with professional developers before. Kinda have a set of imposter syndrome nerves going on so I really appreciate the compliment!
  • 2
    That is so cool.
  • 3
    @mcraz Thanks! It's a continually fun project to work on. This is actually a really small part of the overall system.
  • 4
    impressive for a non dev ☺️ I like the dark design.
  • 1
    @michael. Thanks! I'm a big fan of dark design. Throughout the system I tried to keep it really spare and keep the focus on the photographs as much as possible.
  • 1
  • 1
    I want to photograph 18-years old girls...
  • 6
    @SithLord That's why you don't
  • 1
    @SithLord dude... πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
  • 6
    @mhall nice job, man. Very impressive. You're not a pretend developer, this is what developers do; solve problems to make life easier. Keep doing what you're doing :3
  • 0
    HAHAHAHAHA πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ absolutely!
  • 0
    @prodoxx Thanks man! It's certainly addictive. Frustrating sometimes, but always fun in the end.
  • 1
    Impressive. I have photographed weddings and even that if not organized would result in terrible pictures and unsatisfactory coverage. You really are a Dev given that you solved your own problem. Inspiring @mhall
  • 5
    Sir, I promise you - you are a developer! Terrific valuable application. Congrats.
  • 2
    consider selling that software man! is awesome!
  • 2
    @da-baws or OpenSource it
  • 3
    @da-baws I've been asked by a number of photographers if I would sell it ... but way back in the dark ages (DOS/Windows 95) I worked Tech Support for a software package ... Ugh. The thought of having to do that again! o.O
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