New information management vistas open for world-class photography firm with the introduction of FileMaker Pro 7

Jim Jordan Photography

Striking, glamorous images that capture the eyes of the world, Jim Jordan Photography makes them happen. This full–service celebrity fashion photography studio maintains a fully staffed production company, turning out magazine and catalog shoots, TV commercials, even music videos at its facilities in New York and Los Angeles. From the glossy pages of American Vogue, Vanity Fair, and the J. Crew catalogue, to the upscale, memorable ad campaigns of BMW, American Express, and Mercedes Benz, Jim Jordan Photography travels the globe to capture images that endure, and the power of FileMaker Pro helps keep those images organized.


  • Prominent celebrity fashion photography studio offering a full range of design and production services
  • Approximately 12 employees
  • Based in New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA


  • Creative Services
  • Small Business


  • FileMaker Pro databases organize contact management, agency data, model releases, legal documents, image archives, and digital rights management


  • FileMaker Pro's ease of use ensures efficient workflow.
  • Image storage and retrieval capability enhances digital rights management procedures.
  • Database import options allow customization while migrating legacy data to FileMaker Pro 7.

It's really user–friendly. Just about anybody can use it, it holds so much information… It's just changed my business.

— Jim Jordan, Photographer/CEO, Jim Jordan Photography

Business Challenge

Jim Jordan spends most of his time behind the camera, and a typical day might find him jetting off to some remote and exotic location for a shoot with Leonardo DiCaprio, Alicia Silverstone or Robert Redford. His business is founded on his distinctive approach to fashion and celebrity photography, but his company is diversifying into other aspects of the business as well. "We're constantly growing and expanding," says Jim. "We have a staff of employees and agents in New York and Los Angeles, as well as a team of technicians who maintain my digital archives, and my film and commercial libraries. We also represent several other photographers, as well as hair and makeup stylists, wardrobe stylists, and prop stylists, under the name of White Cross Productions."

All those enterprises serve an impressive list of clients, and generate a vast amount of data — contact information, work notes, production orders, and invoicing, as well as the actual photography itself. And a comprehensive tool for keeping track of that data is essential to the smooth functioning of the organization. "I was introduced to FileMaker Pro as a contact database," Jim recalls, "and then, several years ago, I met James Manley, who was on the consulting team for the Smithsonian Institute, and who told me how the Smithsonian was using FileMaker Pro for archiving and image retrieval."

This conversation opened Jim's eyes to what he calls the "infinite possibilities" for the use of FileMaker Pro in his own business, and before long James Manley was working for Jim Jordan Photography as his post–production supervisor — delving fully into the construction of a full–scale FileMaker Pro database system.

Successful Solution

The result was six comprehensive databases, covering every phase of the business, from contact management to work tracking to image storage and retrieval, to agency followup to legal releases and documentation.

The Digital Rights Management database is especially valuable, allowing rapid access to image files for clients of the company's stock photo service.

"A client might call us from Europe," Jim explains, "and they might say "we're an ad agency working on an account for an international cosmetics company, and we would like to see some images of female actresses. Particularly Charlize Theron." They can go into my database using a web access code, and they might say 'we like images number 14, 22, 67, and 28.' We can call up those images in our database and check if there are any restrictions on them or if they've been sold to other client. And if they're available, all the pricing is keyed right into the database."

That Digital Rights Management database is also significant in that it's the first database at Jim Jordan Photography to be developed native to FileMaker Pro 7 — marking the start of a new era in sophisticated information management at the company.

I think what FileMaker did was very smart, to allow options for importing a database. You have three options — you can bring in the data with no changes, you can make the new database '7–like', or you can go the whole hog. It's really up to you.

— James Manley, Post Production Supervisor, Jim Jordan Photography

Customer Benefits

The touch–of–a–button efficiency of the Digital Rights Management database is a working demonstration of the advantages of FileMaker Pro 7, according to James Manley. "It's an incredible advance," he declares, "the advantages of FileMaker Pro 7 in being able to have multiple windows and multiple files under one file"

Migration of the existing databases into FileMaker Pro 7 proceeded smoothly as well. These earlier files had been constructed in a combination of FileMaker Pro versions, including 5, 5.5, and 6, and James was concerned about the potential complexity of the migration process. But he says he's pleased with the range of migration options offered in FileMaker Pro 7, options which allow the user to tailor the process to the specific situation. "I think what FileMaker did was very smart," he declares, " to allow options for importing a database. You have three options — you can bring in the data with no changes, you can make the new database '7–like', or you can go the whole hog. It's really up to you. It's something that requires a lot of thought and preparation, and careful planning — but overall it's been very successful."

Catalog layouts, magazine shoots, evocative commercial presentations — whatever the job at hand, the FileMaker Pro database system handles the challenge. "It's really user–friendly," notes Jim Jordan. "Just about anybody can use it, it holds so much information — and it's growing so fast because of the possibilities of how we've structured it. It's just changed my business."

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.

For Jim Jordan Photography:

Jim Jordan
Jim Jordan Photography