Alexa Providing extraordinary tools for extraordinary talents for lightning-fast visual production—Meero
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Providing extraordinary tools for extraordinary talents for lightning-fast visual production—Meero

Providing extraordinary tools for extraordinary talents for lightning-fast visual production—Meero

In today’s digital age, photography is being used in different ways by a range of people and businesses. The demand for professional photography increases with many opportunities across photography genres like commercial, fashion, product, travel, weddings, etc. Developing your artistic style and expressing yourself creatively, all while getting paid, is part of the perks of being a freelance photographer. However, it is much more involved than taking a few smartphone photographs and adding a filter. Modern photographers can avail the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for the post-production of images because of the vast possibilities these technologies open for them. Machines can be taught to interpret images the same way our brains do and analyze those images much more thoroughly than we can.

One such firm that enables freelance photographers and businesses to connect, create employment opportunities, and deliver lightning-quick post-production capabilities is Meero.

Following excerpts are taken from the conversation withThomas Rebaud, Founder and CEO of Meero

Q. The photography industry has blossomed over the years. How has Meero grown with the industry?

Meero’s journey began in 2016 with an evident vision: produce and beautify digital visual content worldwide.

The first objective was to free up time for photographers to focus their energy and time on what they enjoy—creativity. I realized that a photographer’s day-to-day life is filled with tedious and time-consuming tasks like prospecting and paperwork that distract them from doing what they like. We think it’s a waste of creative talent. Therefore, we take care of everything that interferes with photographers’ core activity: prospecting, billing, sorting, indexing, and editing to delivering visuals. Offering them regular projects for top-notch brands, Meero has convenedover 100,000 photographers in the largest community worldwide.

Moreover, Meero offers its platforms and AI solutions to online businesses that handle large volumes of visual content. Previously, a once-a-year shoot used to cut it, but today’s insatiable image consumption demands a constant influx of content. While producing and managing that volume of images certainly isn’t easy, doing it well and on-brand is an almost herculean task. Our team and AI tool suite help brands produce, assess and optimize visual assets at any scale, anywhere globally.

Q. What makes Meero relevant in today’s times? Could you give us some context?

A picture is worth a thousand words. Digital photography has proven it accurate, and all the more since mobile phones invaded our pockets. Images are replacing words.

With the emergence of online shopping, brands desperately need images because that’s their best lever to drive sales. 93% of consumers say that visuals are the #1 deciding factor in their buying act.

However, the processes and means to produce photos have not evolved for years. Organizing daily photoshootsworldwide with consistent guidelines, look, and feel is challenging. Conversely, image creators like photographers can find it difficult to build a network of clients, receive clear briefs, and get paid. Therefore, the meeting between supply and demand can be random and chaotic.

Image production solutions are reshaping the global photography landscape, and so is Meero, with its suite of solutions and tools for photographers and brands.

Please walk us through the technology that made Meero possible.

Meero solved a significantproblem in the photography industry: the photo editing process. Generally, 50 photos require nearly four hours of post-production. Meero’s AI technology reduces that to a few seconds, solving the problem of time-consuming delivery, non-consistent editing, and pricing disparities.

Meero’s AI analyzes and optimizes millions of images in seconds with precision and expertise, resulting in unique image alterations. Meero leveragesdeep learning techniques through a double convolutional neural network by extracting global and local image characteristics on a multi-scale analysis basis. The objective is to carefully teach our algorithm the different improvement steps performed by image professionals and to make it resistant to variations in lighting (such as white balance) and photographic flaws (for example, noise or motion blur).

Q. What does innovation mean to you?

Innovation means constantly adapting to your clients’and the market’s needs. At Meero, we’ve developed a new product or feature ahead of the market multiple times because of a clear vision of the market evolution and solutions required to tackle this. Innovation is key to our model and stands on top of our three areas of expertise: AI, photography, and operations.

Q. How has the pandemic affected the industry? How was your experience working through the pandemic?

As photographers could not move and travel to work during the lockdowns, the pandemic deeply affected our business.

Our internal teams showed incredible reactivity to organize and adjust to deal with uncertainty and lockdowns. We ensured the safety of employees and photographers by adapting the operations to increased sanitary conditions while keeping the operations afloat. Eventually, we developed new products and solutions to satisfy our clients’ evolving needs and make our business healthier.

Furthermore, some of the essential verticals of the professional photography industry suffered seriously from the crisis. This is the case of the travel & hospitality and real estate industries. Meero adapted quickly to the pandemic challenges. We developed and targeted new business verticals like e-commerce to continue to offer gigs to our community of photographers.

Q. Do your offerings work for companies across verticals?

Whether you’re a global brand, a real estate broker, an e-commerce marketplace, ora business of any kind, the visuals your customers see mattersexponentially than your words. Therefore, everyone needs Meero’s services and solutions. Meero offers these across verticals across all sectors. Basically, every vertical needs images.

Q. What does the road ahead look like for Meero?

Today, the road is pretty exciting as we evolve in a constantly moving and fascinating environment with much room for growth and innovation. The photography industry and the image industry, more broadly speaking, still needs pioneers in technology to create the future of image; this is what we’re building at Meero.

The person revolutionizing the photography industry

Thomas Rebaud founded Meero at 28, driven by the desire to simplify the life of creative people and enable them to fully devote their time to their passion: art and creation.

It all started in 2007 when he joined EMLyon Business School, one of the top French business schools. When he was still a student, he was president of the junior branch of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, an association present in fifteen countries that develops entrepreneurship as a vector for growth and employment. Freshly graduated, he founded his first company —an interest-free loans online benchmarking tool— which worked well but did not take off. He founded Diji, an innovative and agile IT consulting and engineering company. Diji’s growing activities in the tech world led him to discover and understand the professional photography market. Thomas immediately saw the world of opportunities in this exciting market: Meero was born.

“Order shoots and have them delivered in no time. Anywhere.”

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