Pro-Photo Shoot for Outlook

If, like me, you love both photography and Microsoft Outlook, today is your lucky day!

Pro-Photo Shoot is a new free add-in for Microsoft Outlook (versions 2003 and 2007 only) that allows you to add a list of the photographic equipment you need to any Outlook appointment. That way you need never forget an important lens or other piece of equipment!

This very specialised add-in also allows you to keep a digital record of all your photographic equipment complete with serial numbers which could prove very helpful with any subsequent insurance claim.

While Pro-Photo Shoot has been customised for use by photographers, there’s nothing to stop you using this software for other purposes. The custom fields like ‘Camera’, ‘Lens’, and ‘Backdrop’ may not be very helpful for non-photographers, but with a little imagination you could easily adapt this add-in to help you remember to pack the right sports kit, the right picnic items, the right holiday clothes, the right tools, the right cooking ingredients, and so on. How could you use a useful little tool like this?

Download the add-in from here: http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/prophotoshoot.aspx

Get more photography goodies from here:
http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/default.aspx

More details below:

Microsoft Pro Photo Shoot
Release 1.0

Overview
Microsoft Pro Photo Shoot is a Microsoft® Office Outlook® add-in that helps you track photographic assignments.
Microsoft Pro Photo Shoot is designed to run on 32-bit versions of the Windows Vista operating system (see Requirements for details).

Features
Microsoft Pro Photo Shoot provides the following features:
·    Track shoot name. Microsoft Pro Photo Shoot allows you to associate a name with a specific photo session, which may be useful for billing purposes. The Shoot Name field is free-form, so whatever method you use will be supported.
·    Track clients. Photo Shoot allows two ways to associate a photo shoot with a specific client. If your client information is already in your Contacts address list, you can click Select current client to find it. If this is a new client, you can add the client information by clicking Add new client. 
·    Track your equipment. Photo Shoot helps you to keep track of your photo equipment. You can enter the name of the equipment, what type of equipment it is (camera, lens, light, etc.), its serial number, when you bought it, and how much you paid for it. You can also print your complete equipment list, which can be useful for insurance purposes and in case of theft.
·    Remember what equipment to bring to a photo assignment. The Photo Shoot dialog has a list of all your equipment. You can simply check off what to bring for a specific appointment. You can sort this list alphabetically or by the type of equipment. You can also print out the equipment list to bring with you on the assignment.

Setup and Installation
You must have Administrator privileges to install Photo Shoot.

Using Microsoft Pro Photo Shoot
After running Setup, a new Photo Shoot button appears in the ribbon of the appointment inspector. Pressing the button brings up a pop-up window for Photo Shoot.

Initially, the equipment list will be empty. To use it, you must first populate the equipment pool, using the Equipment Pool dialog, which is described below. But first, we will describe the functionality of the Photo Shoot dialog.

You can fill in the Shoot Name field with whatever form of job identification labels you use.  This might be the name of your client, a job id number, or some format devised by your accountant.

There are two ways to associate a client name with the assignment.  If the client’s name is in your Contact list already, press Select Client. This will bring up a dialog box that allows you to select a name from the Contacts list.    If the client is not currently in your contact list, press New Client. This brings up a dialog that allows you to enter information about the client. This information will be stored in your Outlook Contacts.  Again, the client’s name will also show up in the Client Name field.
The check boxes in the equipment list can be used to indicate what equipment you wish to bring with you for the shoot. You can sort the equipment list by clicking on a column header. Clicking on that column header again will sort the list in the opposite direction. You can resize the columns by dragging on the column divider.  You can rearrange the columns by dragging the header to a new position. With one exception, the column widths and ordering will be retained for the next time you use Photo Shoot. The one exception is that the “Name” field will always be in the first column position when you open the Photo Shoot dialog. You can print the information in the dialog box using Print. This creates a list of the checked items, sorted by equipment type. You can then use this list to remember what to take with you on a photo shoot and, equally important, to remember what to bring back at the end of the shoot.
When you press Save, the dialog will be closed and any changes you’ve made will be saved to Outlook. Notice that the information from the dialog appears in the body of the appointment message after any other information you have entered. If you do not wish to save your changes, press Cancel to simply close the dialog.
The Equipment Pool
Pressing Equipment Pool …  in the Photo Shoot dialog brings up the Equipment Pool dialog. Here you can enter new items, update information about existing items, or delete them from your pool.

To add an item, select << Add new item >> in the list on the left. Then fill in the equipment name and select an equipment type. The equipment name must be unique within your equipment list. If you have two items of the same type, we recommend you add a letter or number at the end of the name to distinguish the names. For example, if you have two camera bodies of the same type, you might call them “XYZ Body #1” and “XYZ Body #2”. Possible equipment types are: Camera, Lens, Tripod/Stand, Light, Backdrop, Powerpack/Batteries, Bag, or Miscellaneous. You may also choose to enter the serial number, purchase date, or purchase price. Once you have entered the name and selected a type, the Save button will be available if you have entered all the information you chose. 
When you select an item from the equipment list on the left, the current information for that item will be filled into the form on the right. You can add more information or revise information for that item . Changing the Equipment Name for an item will create a new item leaving the original unchanged.  (But you can then delete the original, if you were trying to change the name.) Press Save when you are done. Or you can delete the item by pressing Delete.
There is a column of check boxes next to the serial number, purchase date, and purchase price information. Selecting these will case the adjacent information to be displayed in the Photo Shoot dialog. 
When you are done editing the list, you can press OK and your changes will be made permanent. Or you can press Cancel and none of the unsaved changes made while you were using the Equipment Pool dialog will be retained.
 
Sharing the Equipment Pool Data
Your equipment pool information is stored in a file, %AppData%\Microsoft\PhotoShoot\user.settings.profile. Note that all users of the computer will see the same equipment pool information. If you use more than one computer, you may prefer to copy that file from one computer to another, rather than re-entering the equipment pool.  However, Photo Shoot does not coordinate access to the equipment pool between different users. 

Requirements
·    32-bit Microsoft Windows Vista operating system.
·    Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2007 or 2003

Known Issues
·    Photo Shoot does not run on 64-bit versions of Windows Vista.
·    Photo Shoot only shows contacts from your Contacts address list and only adds new contacts to that list. It neither examines nor adds to the Global Address List or any other address lists.

Read more about Pro-Photo Shoot here:
http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/articles/lens.aspx

About Allister Frost

I'm a marketer who helps companies adapt and grow in our digital world. This site is the place where I share my thoughts about marketing, how it's evolving and what great marketers are doing. Let me know what you think.

Posted on January 7, 2008, in Digital Living. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Pro-Photo Shoot for Outlook.

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