FLOW: New York Rewind
During our recent FLOW: North America event, we hosted breakout sessions where attendees got the chance to discuss in small groups the studio challenges they are facing and help one another brainstorm solutions to these challenges.

TBut before we sent the participants off to their breakout groups, we asked the entire audience what some of their studio challenges were. Here are the top five answers:

  • Reshoots
  • Budget (lack of)
  • Scope Creep
  • Lack of Trust
  • Communication

Now, let’s dive into some of the main themes from the breakout groups:


Communication was a common theme amongst the different breakout groups. Within the studio, issues that were brought up related to a breakdown of communication, a lack of flow of information throughout the studio and the fact that there isn’t one person who comprehensively understands all processes.

The issue with communication also extends to outside the studio. Many commented on the ‘silo’ experience with a lack of communication and understanding across different departments. And it often comes down to the fact that everyone is too busy trying to solve problems in their own area that there is not an opportunity to address the silo issue.

Some solutions for this included:

  • Attend more events like FLOW
  • Regular inter-department meetings
  • Connecting with other creatives dealing with similar issues
  • The main contacts who lead the communication between teams have a good understanding of what the other teams do in order to do it successfully
  • Functional collaborative hybrid tools to better communicate live and on the fly, especially for remote teams


Getting the right talent who is passionate about the job and keeping those people engaged and motivated while maintaining company values. Another common issue is around talent scouts not doing the best job when contracting talent which can lead to forced reshoots and styling issues.

Here are some of the possible solutions discussed:

  • Cultivate relationships through regular interactions and continuous education about department roles.
  • Finding retouching talent who wants to retouch e-commerce images all day and is willing to come into the studio five days a week is currently difficult.
  • Have internal team lunches
  • Find time to have ‘drive-bys’ or ‘water cooler chats’ even for remote teams
  • Integrate comprehensive training to align departments and improve efficiency.

Technology & Workflows

The issues discussed related to technology and workflows were varied. Some are trying to manage outdated and broken processes and transition to new, more efficient technology and solutions. Manual workflows pose challenges, especially when it comes to time management. The common denominator seems to be managing normal studio functions in the most efficient way possible. And, of course, how to get approval from higher-ups on the extra budget needed to make these changes.

One of the groups touched on the possible issues that arise from adding in new technology, which is that adding automation can make photography uninspiring.

Some of the possible solutions discussed:

  • Using AI to help keep the work fresh
  • If there is an opportunity, allow the team members to use the studio and equipment during off-hours
  • Utilize tools like Capture One/Creative Force/Spin Me for better image handling.
  • Implement a centralized asset management tool and a 'one source of truth' platform.