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Another new online feature: The Photography Portal

Michael Lavigne Jr., Communications Manager

The Gazette is Phillips Brooks School’s weekly parent newsletter. Each week, the lead article from the Gazette is cross-posted here on the PBS Blog.

Another week, another website feature announcement! (We won’t be rolling out features at this pace for the rest of the year; I promise.)

The Photography Portal, powered by school-photo software specialists Vidigami, replaces SmugMug as the primary sharing platform for all school photos, from official photo shoots run by the Communications Office to candid shots in the classrooms and on campus. It gives teachers and parents an interactive view into students’ school experiences. It’s fully featured and allows users to upload photos from any device, organize them by album, tag them with keywords, and create slideshows for the classroom blogs.

Best of all: the system is designed for families to contribute, as well. Got some great shots while you were chaperoning that field trip? Did you bring your good camera to the class performance and snap some priceless gems? Did you catch a quick moment on the playground with your iPhone? Upload them to the Photography Portal and share them with other PBS parents.

And on the Photography Portal, you don't have to worry about your photos being visible to the public; our portal is secured and available by invitation only. Vidigami stores photos securely online using the Amazon Web Services cloud and shares them privately with the school community. More on security and privacy:

  • Parents, faculty, and staff can see photos for each year to which they belong. So, new families next year will not see this year’s photos but will see next year’s.
  • Only verified members of the community are granted access.
  • Only the user who uploaded a photo or a system administrator may delete photos; any user may flag a photo for review by the school’s administration.
  • Contextual and identity metadata are stored separately from photos, so sensitive information like geolocation, who uploaded an image, student names, etc., are not revealed when photos are downloaded from the Photography Portal.
  • Parents may not download photos posted by other users; this is to prevent sharing beyond the Photography Portal.
  • Students who are tagged in photos have only their first names appear; families can opt out of the Photography Portal if they’d like to disable tagging.

Ready to get started on the Photography Portal?

Current parents, look for today’s invitation, which will go out at 3:00 p.m. to the email address associated with your Community Portal account. You’ll be able to set up your account, download the Vidigami iOS or Android app, and get started uploading, if you’d like, by adding to the album What I did with my summer vacation…, located in the Special Events 2017–2018 group.

Michael Lavigne Jr. joined the PBS team as Communications Manager in 2016 after serving in a similar role at St. James’ Episcopal School in Los Angeles. He cut his professional teeth at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn., his high school alma mater. Michael is also a karaoke and musical theater enthusiast. (Musical-theater karaoke might be his favorite.)


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