PhotoVogue Case Study


PhotoVogue is an online photography platform. Launched in 2011 and part of Vogue Italia - which is owned by Condé Nast Italia - it allows upcoming photographers to showcase their work. It also gives them the chance to have their photos published in Vogue or be picked by photography agencies. Each picture that’s submitted is carefully reviewed by Vogue Italia’s editorial staff, who ensure only the highest quality images appear online.

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With Amazon API Gateway and AWS Lambda, the user experience is up to 90% faster. That's for both photographers uploading images and the editorial team processing them."

Marco Viganò
Head of Digital Development, PhotoVogue

The Challenge

  • PhotoVogue currently showcases the work of around 130,000 photographers. This represents a collection of more than 400,000 photos, each of which can be up to 50 megabytes (MB) in size.
  • With the number of photos being submitted and published growing by the day, the challenge for Marco Viganò, Head of Digital Development at Condé Nast Italia, was keeping up with the demand created by the popularity of the site.
  • The existing IT infrastructure behind PhotoVogue was restricting growth. Viganò says, “We couldn’t provision resources quickly enough. We wanted to give both photographers and editorial staff a better, faster experience.”

Why Amazon Web Services

  • Viganò identified Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the cloud provider that suited the firm’s requirements. It offered flexible scalability and easy maintenance more cost-effectively that the physical infrastructure that currently supported PhotoVogue.
  • Working with AWS Advanced Consulting Partner XPeppers, Viganò reengineered PhotoVogue’s entire infrastructure on AWS in just three months, where it uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store all its photos. XPeppers’ Christian Fei says, “An interesting feature of Amazon S3 is the ability to generate a URL to enable users to upload their photos. This makes the process really fast.”
  • From Amazon S3, an AWS Lambda function is triggered, which automatically converts the uploaded photo to various digital formats—such as GIF, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF—and allows the images to be edited by PhotoVogue staff.
  • The Amazon API Gateway is used as the caching layer for the REST API, and Amazon CloudFront provides the content delivery network (CDN).

The Benefits

  • Quicker provisioning of resources supports growth: “With our physical infrastructure, it would take days to set up an infrastructure, but in AWS, we can do this in hours. IT is no longer holding back the business. In fact, it’s helping us grow faster,” says Viganò.
  • Photographers and editorial staff get an excellent experience: “With Amazon API Gateway and AWS Lambda, the user experience is up to 90 percent faster. That’s for both photographers uploading images and the editorial team processing them,” says Viganò.
  • Making savings, enabling innovation, boosting revenue: Viganò says, “We’ve cut IT costs by around 30% with AWS. We used to spend our time tending to the infrastructure, but now we can explore new services.” Plus, because the site is more reliable due to services such as the API Gateway and Lambda, which Fei says allow isolation in the infrastructure, PhotoVogue can maximize revenue. “Our business model is based on advertising, so being more reliable means we can make more money,” says Viganò.
  • Successful events further promote the online platform: In November 2016, PhotoVogue held an event in Milan to celebrate fashion photography. Viganò says, “During the event, we experienced about 20% more uploads than normal daily traffic, but we dealt with this seamlessly with AWS.”

About the Partner


  • An Advanced Partner of the AWS Partner Network (APN). XPeppers helps its customers successfully migrate to the cloud and benefit from continuous integration and delivery practices.
  • For more information about how XPeppers can help your company build and manage your AWS environment, see XPeppers in the AWS Partner Directory.

About PhotoVogue

PhotoVogue is an online photography platform.

AWS Services Used

Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. 

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AWS Lambda

Run code without thinking about servers. Pay only for the compute time you consume.

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Amazon API Gateway

Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale.

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Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally.

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