Last I wrote, I made a brief mention of the importance of side projects.
Now, in spite of this, when I started working full-time as a developer for Urbanspoon, I thought I’d be less interested in side programming projects. Just as many chefs don’t like to cook at home, I thought I wouldn’t want to program at home after spending all day coding at work.
Wrong! If anything, I’m feeling a stronger itch to program because I’m feeling more confident in my skills. So I’m starting a new side project this summer, and I could use your help… if you own an iPhone, and if you consider yourself a photo enthusiast. (There’s no precise definition, but you’ll know it if you are one. Do you consciously try to make your photos more than snapshots? Have you taken a photography class? Do you own a book on photographic composition? A bookshelf of photo books? Own more than one camera? Own more than five cameras? You get the idea…)
My project this summer is to write a photography iPhone app. Unlike the other 6,500 photography apps in the app store, I’m not trying to make the iPhone a better camera. I want an app that will help make you a better photographer. As a fellow iPhone-wielding photo enthusiast, I want an app that:
Provides the encouragement I need to get out and shoot every day. I know I get better with practice. With the iPhone, I have a capable camera in your pocket at all times, so there are really no excuses. And I like the idea of using my iPhone camera more and trying to improve my photography through better composition rather than better equipment.
Gives me ideas, inspiration, and projects to stretch my creative boundaries. How do I break out from shooting the same kind of photos all the time?
Can connect me to a core group of other photo enthusiasts, who are also trying to learn. I’m not looking for Facebook “likes”, I’m looking for people I can learn from. (And conversely, people who want to learn from me.)
As far as I know, this app doesn’t exist on the App Store, so I’m writing it. So far I’ve put together a simple website for the idea, which I’m calling the Frozen Photon Academy (which mostly just shows that I shouldn’t be allowed to name or market any product at any time).
How can you help me? If this sounds like a project you’re interested in, I’m building a mailing list that I’ll use later to try to get Beta testers. You can sign up at this link. I’ll also probably send out early screenshots to the list to gather feedback, maybe send out a survey link… you get the idea. If you join the mailing list, you can help keep me grounded in reality.
If you’re even more enthusiastic, and have your own ideas about your ideal app that would help you grow as a photographer, drop me an email (or, if you leave in Seattle, we can talk over coffee). I’d love to be able to bounce ideas around with my friends on what would make this a great app for them.
Now that I’ve got my project idea, time to start coding…!