Building a national photography network from scratch
In early 2016 DoorDash was one of the only delivery services without photography. When Design got the green light to add food photography to DoorDash's apps I was tasked with a huge question: "How do we get great photos into 30,000 menus?" Go.
For over a year I led DoorDash Photography, growing the team from a few test-shoots to a national, industry-leading food photography program of over 70 people. As the project lead my role was predominantly operational. I created and refined the photoshoot process, aligned multiple teams across the company, managed six-figure budgets, and reported to our executive team.
Our team worked like a start-up within a start-up. We experimented rapidly with how to sign merchants, tried different photography styles, and tested whether large agencies, boutique photo firms, or independent photographers worked best.
Our first focus was to achieve quality at scale. By using a third-party agency we beat our photoshoot goal by 30%, but it was expensive and quality was difficult to control. We took our learnings and created our own photography network, which we were able to scale nationally while maintaining quality and cutting costs by 67%.
I grew DoorDash photography from three to over 70 people, including teams in California, South Carolina, and Arizona, dozens of photographers around the country, and a remote team in India. Our scrappy approach let DoorDash take industry-leading images for 80% cheaper than competitors.
Photography has had a major impact on multiple parts of DoorDash's business:
Photography now plays a prominent role in our consumer experience, and has measurably impacted conversion throughout the checkout flow.
Marketing & Sales
Our photo library has been a huge benefit to our marketing teams, who use our images daily throughout social media and email campaigns. Free photoshoots have given sales teams another tool to sign merchants and up-sell partners for higher commissions.
Photo-heavy consumer products have been featured at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference and in the AppStore. Photography has also played a central role in campaigns with national partners like TacoBell, BevMo, and Cheesecake Factory.