New Apple Store: Capturing & Submitting Live News

Yesterday was the Grand Opening of the New Apple Store in Milan’s Piazza del Liberty. I was there, of course, working hard to capture all the buzz and then duly submitting a batch of a few dozen images to market.


In this tutorial I’ll go through what I did from start to finish, so you can perhaps take advantage of potentially lucrative editorials where you live. Doesn’t have to necessarily be an Apple store opening but anything that may attract a large audience and that local/national/international media may be interested to showcase.

Click here to see an earlier tutorial of capturing and submitting live news at Milano Pride and Saudi Prince visit in London.

Appleism, the New Religion

Despite the high humidity and scorching summer sun, the mood was exuberant. In these more secular times, perhaps Apple is replacing Christianity as the new religion and Steve Jobs (@RIP) was its charismatic high priest for some true fanatics.

apple religion
Apple, the new religion?

I spoke to some Apple loyalists that were waiting to be one of the first to enter the store, and some had even made a pilgrimage from far! Many had camped outside the store.

Smart thinking by Apple organisers to supply those waiting in line with umbrellas to protect against the harsh sunlight

Someone walking randomly into the crowd may have mistaken the launch for a religious/cult revival meeting! Perhaps the comparison can be made to the enthusiasm of a new cathedral being inaugurated (after 100s of years) at a large European city-state during the Middle Ages.


Going ultra wide with my trusty 10-20mm to capture the enthusiastic new employees

Flagship Apple Store

So it (almost) goes without saying that these types of images would feature heavily in all sorts of media and for a long time! This is especially relevant since this is a state-of-the-art Apple Store with a flowing cascade and amphitheater at the heart of Milan’s shopping district.

My Strategy

Since I knew the inauguration would be at 17:00 (it was all over the news) I was there at 16:00 to capture the anticipating mood. This gave me enough time to look for the best angles and light, as well as capture some real time footage, such as the following (which I’ve already uploaded to VB, SS, P5):

My kit

This week I purchased myself a portable-lightweight GorrillaPod that supports DSLRs (approx $50) that I find super practical for such situations. A lot more discreet than a full-on tripod (which can be tricky to use at crowded places + may not even be allowed) and an interesting very low angle. This adds to my already extensive kit:


Getting the best angles

If you want to make it in this game you have to be constantly on the move and searching for the best angles, then move again to find another perspective otherwise you end up with too many similar shots.

Not easy when it’s hot and crowded. People can easily get in your way which can ruin your shot. I spotted a funny pic (Thanks Theo for the spot) of me squeezing by people to get a nice angle, published by another photographer.

apple religion2

Thanks to some polite pushing, I managed a decent-enough angle to capture a series of shots (both ultra wide and normal) of the new Apple employees high-fiving (US-style) the crowd, such as this one:


Looking for something different

To stand out from other photographers (so images are sold), you’ll need to capture unique angles. The angle to the main entrance was extremely crowded so trying from a lower perspective I managed to capture some shots of some entering and then heading down another staircase.

An unique angle, perhaps

Lessons learned

  1. One of my main regrets was not taking more pics of what looked like senior Apple managers, as well as the architect. I later saw them featured. So in the future if I see someone that looks famous (especially since people are congratulating them), then capture them and research later!
  2. Another regret was not taking more shots of the security checks at the entrances. I was slightly reluctant for obvious reasons.
  3. Perhaps not so bad but I could have stuck around longer as the sun set and captured some shots of the live music. Also didn’t get a chance to take any pictures from inside the store itself, but from looking at the number of people waiting, it probably would have taken me at least 2 hours waiting!

Apple hipster!

Milan being the fashion capital of the world and all + Piazza del Liberty plate + Apple phone = An interesting story

Captions + Keywording

As mentioned many times previously, I caption and keyword prior to leaving to the event. This saves me time later on so I can get the images for sale as soon as possible. I used the following detailed captions and keywords. Alamy allows up to 600 characters for its Live News feed, which I took full advantage:

Caption: Milan, Italy – July 26th, 2018: Grand opening of the new retail location for Apple in Piazza Liberty in the historic centre of Milan. The project, which includes both a grand public plaza and a store below, brings Apple’s latest retail design to Italy for the first time. The location features a dramatic glass fountain that serves as the entrance to the store and a backdrop to a large outdoor amphitheatre

Keywords: Milan, Lombardy, Italy, premier, opening Apple Piazza Liberty, retail, piazza, Milano, glass fountain, entrance, amphitheatre, Beola Grigia, Gleditsia, stylish, apple, architecture, brand, cell, computer, consumer, cool, electronics, facade, glass, icon, imac, ipad, iphone, landmark, logo, mac, modern, new, grand opening, phone, tech, technology, urban, liberty, public plaza, Italian, apple store, new apple store, apple store Italy, built structure, cascade, steve jobs, enthusiasm, high energy, piazza liberty

Uploading to Alamy Live News and REX Features

These are not microstock images, they’re breaking news editorials, so I went with my two suppliers, Alamy and REX Features. You can see their selection here: Alamy Live News and REX Features. REX tends to be picker and shortlisted 7/32, whereas Alamy accepted all images.

Any Sales?

I’ve been looking this morning and unfortunately haven’t spotted any of mine, but I’ll keep looking throughout the day and update this blog post accordingly.

I had a funny situation recently with an Alamy Live News image I selected over xmas which was licensed last week! Crazy unpredictable buyers.

Update: August 4th, 2018:

Spotted one of my images in an Israeli newspaper – link here. Hope it goes to print where royalties will be much much larger compared to digital.

About Alex

I’m an eccentric guy on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images. I’m determined not to waste my life away as a corporate drone and have devoted five years to making it as a travel photographer and freelance writer. I hope to inspire others before it’s too late.

I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography

Check out my new photo review service, where I’ll help take your images to the next level and get them sold regularly!

One comment

  1. Good work reporter Alex! I hope your apple pics will sell in the days to come! I suppose you should also be getting ready for the next September big event, Starbucks opening in Milan. I remember this event . I was in Milan when they have burnt the palmtrees at Duomo and had managed some stock photos, so now there might a chance for some prime news coverage. Is the first Starbucks going to be at Cordusio? get ready!

    Liked by 1 person

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