My Stuff: Nicole Smith
The Flytographer founder uses tech to connect vacationers with photographers
In the fall of 2011, Nicole Smith had an epiphany while on a weekend getaway to Paris with her best friend. “We had two glorious days, no kids, no husband, just me and her walking the streets,” says Smith, a former high tech marketing manager. The only problem? All the selfies they took to mark the occasion turned out terribly. “It didn’t reflect the magic of the moment we were feeling,” she says. When a local friend joined them and snapped a few shots, the result was gorgeous photos that have been keepsakes ever since. And with that, Flytographer was born.
Smith, then a consultant for tech giants like Microsoft, returned home and started sketching out a startup to match vacationers with professional photographers, which launched in 2013. Five years later, Victoria, B.C.–based Flytographer operates in 200 destinations, boasting partners such as Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and coverage in The New York Times.
Technology, of course, has played a huge role in this success, allowing Smith to stay wired on the road. Here are her favourite tech tools for the glamourous globe-trotting life.
Smith’s iPhone 7 Plus is a constant companion – so essential to her day that she laughingly refers to it as “my pulse.” She explains: “I’m on it a hundred times a day, or more. I can run my business from my iPhone. It’s an incredibly awesome tool that I can’t imagine living without.” Its best feature? The large screen. “I probably should wear readers, so I love having a bigger screen.”
My collaboration hub
“I live in Slack most of the day,” Smith says of the team communication software. Everyone on the Flytographer team – and many of its vendors – uses the tool, streamlining spur-of-the-moment conversations across continents, countries and time zones.
My receipt tracker
Travelling can be a nightmare for tracking expenses, and Receipt Bank has been a revelation for Smith. “Every time I have a purchase, or a dinner, or anything that is expensable, I take a photo and enter the details and it’s done. I don’t have to keep the paper. It’s incredibly efficient and it keeps me on track…It makes my accountants very happy!”
My conference call app
For no-fuss conference calls, the appear.in app is invaluable. “At Flytographer, we do proposal calls, every single day, all around the world. We have a team of seven concierges. They’ll be planning a proposal in Dubai, with a guy from Australia. Or planning a proposal in New York, with a guy from Tokyo.” The app sends out a link and everyone can jump on the call.
My social media
For a visual company, social media is a natural fit – and Smith says Instagram is an especially good fit. “Instagram, for us, is just a phenomenal channel,” she says. “It’s a great way for us to connect with people in the planning stages of travel.” Plus, the smorgasbord of pics on offer provides endless inspiration, for customers, photographers and the company alike.
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