FLOW: New York Rewind

Uncharted Growth at FLOW: New York

New York has so many nicknames and is the city where almost anything feels possible. So it only made sense that we tried to tackle some of the biggest questions at FLOW: New York. Our theme was uncharted growth - how do we all navigate this new world of technology and creativity together? The speakers gave us plenty of insights to ponder on this, the networking opportunities then gave us all the time to discuss and connect on these topics.

We also were honored to have our partners with us to add to the day, including Let’s Flo, Creative Force, Profoto, and SpinMe.

If you’re interested in attending a FLOW event in the future, view our upcoming events here.

New Horizons In E-commerce Content Creation

This fireside chat featured Juliana Vail from Dreem.ai and Ali McLeod from Saks. They opened up the day by discussing the tech revolution we find ourselves in how to handle ‘shiny objective syndrome,’ and how to navigate the changes that come along with the tech revolution.

Here are some highlights from the fireside chat:

  • Innovation starts everywhere. Everyone can and should participate in innovation.
  • On how to manage innovation: Understand what the vision is and what you are trying to achieve, add structure, then test and learn!
  • Clippy was before his time (you read that!). Look for assistants/sidekicks that can help with our workflow processes.
  • On handling the noise: The ‘shiny objects’ are everywhere. Dig deeper and find out how they scale, get the right people involved in vetting, use your network, and always trust your gut.


A.I. Assisted 3D Asset Production At Scale

We were joined next by Franz Tschimben, Co-founder and CEO of Covision Media. Franz brought us into the world of 3D assets, first by challenging us to a pop quiz on which images were 3D. After a quick quiz, he walked us through the process and possibilities of using 3D assets.

Here are a few other key takeaways:

  • Advancements in technology have made 3D scanning and content creation with 3D assets easier and easier.
  • Scaling of 3D assets needs to go beyond AI and include upscaling and upskilling your team.
  • The 3D workflow is a familiar one. It’s very similar to the 2D workflow, requiring lighting and post-production expertise.

Panel: Power Of Collaboration

Our contributors on collaboration were May Lin Le Goff, Executive Creative Producer at Aries Rising Project, Ashley Chappell, Photographer, Colleen Moore, Studio and Creative Operations Consultant and moderator Clair Carter-Gin, Partner at Forecast Agency. This panel brought together experts who have experienced every side of the industry from working internally at brands, at agencies, and as external freelance talent. They had wise words to share on managing and finding success for hybrid teams.

Here are the key takeaways from their panel:

  • This panel kicked off with audience input on what words they associated with collaboration. Some of the top words were: Communication, Trust, Empathy, Compassion
  • Hybrid is best. Combining internal and external teams allows you to grow relationships, share knowledge, and gain a different perspective.
  • For external talent, be open and honest. External talent can work with your budget and resources only if they know about it.

The Do's And Dont's of Digital Outsourcing

Carrying on the theme of collaboration, the next session was focused on how to approach working with digital outsourcing partners (or vendors). Thomas Ladefoged, CEO at Pixelz, joined us on stage to discuss the most effective ways of handling digital outsourcing and the potential implications of outsourcing.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Are you looking for a vendor or partner? Finding a partner means working together to problem solve and find success.
  • Transparency is key - expect transparency from your partner, but also be transparent with them.
  • Success can be found outside the contract by ensuring your values and culture align.

Mastering Video Strategy: Insights From Yoox Net-A-Porter’s Success

To take us on a deep dive into video strategy, we were joined by Bryce Pincham, Global Head of Photography & Post Production at Yoox Net-A-Porter. Bryce took us through the key components of a successful content strategy that incorporates video and images.

Here are some of the key elements of incorporating video into your content strategy:

  • Combining photos and video on one set is more efficient. Continuous lighting can be used, but the photography needs to be tested and fine-tuned.
  • Shooting video and photography together creates a seamless experience for the customer.
  • Incorporate the video team into all steps of production, including casting. They’ll know what to look for in terms of movement.
  • Video can solve problems of showing off certain features of the product that may come off as awkward or cluttered in an image. For example, showing the capacity and pockets inside a bag.

A Conversation About Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion In Photo Production

Matt Ware, Studio Operations/Photo Manager at REI joined us to discuss Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). More importantly, he shared with us all how brands like REI incorporate DEI into every aspect of the production process.

Here are a few learnings from Matt:

  • DEI starts with taking a look in the mirror. Partnering with a company that specializes in DEI can help you with this process.
  • All areas of production have an opportunity to embrace DEI. REI has looked at each step of the production phase separately to understand where there are opportunities to improve.
  • Sample sizes are a challenge. REI has its own line of clothing, enabling them to produce their own samples at sizes they need. If brands don’t offer diverse sample sizes, keep asking, as it’s the only way to create demand and change in the industry.

Generative AI In Visual Content Creation

To tackle one of the hottest topics of the day, we were joined by a true expert in the field of generative AI, Nima Abbasi, Partner at Maison Meta. He took us through some of Maison Meta’s most beautiful projects and discussed how they use Gen AI.

Here are a few of his key takeaways:

  • The process for Maison Meta is no different than any creative process with a brief, mood boards, refinement, and post.
  • Gen AI is full of opportunity and can allow brands to create content that explores new creative frontiers, scales in new ways, and personalizes content easily.
  • The final result is never perfect and still requires the human touch to retouch and ‘clean up’. The human touch is still at the heart of it - setting the creative vision of the AI-generated content.

Navigating An Ever-Changing Landscape As A Creative

To close out the sessions for the day, we were joined by our very own Creative Cheerleader ™ - Julie Lintz, also known as Post Production Manager at Stitch Fix. Julie helped remind all of us why we got started in this industry and how to hold on to that passion.

Here are a few of her takeaways:

  • In understanding your team, find out why they started creating. What was their dream career?
  • Encourage the passions your team has, but don’t forget to nurture your own.
  • As you navigate changes in the industry, educate yourself. You can make yourself an asset by embracing and learning about new technology and tools.

In Closing

FLOW: New York brought clarity and insight into some of the uncharted waters we find ourselves exploring while also reminding ourselves of the importance of staying connected to our passions and community. Join us at our next FLOW event and get a chance to join in the conversations yourself!