Let the Alpha Testing Begin

Many nights and almost every weekend for over 6 months.  We’re finally there. We started our alpha testing tonight.

We were able to run our first complete run through of the Phototure sorting process on New Years Eve but we had some issues compiling the code to run on other computers.  Tonight we were able to run most of the way through on the compiled code before we ran into some small bugs but do you know what that means?  It means that we’re officially alpha testing.

At the rate we’re going tonight we might be ready to start actual beta testing in the next couple weeks.

Announcing Phototure

A Problem

A little over a year ago I was chatting with some photographer friends of mine.  It seemed like everyone had put it off until they either didn’t have anything else to do or couldn’t wait any longer but all of them were going to be spending much of the night and into the wee hours of the morning sorting photos from shoots so they could present a limited number to their clients to choose from.

I remember thinking that this was one part of photography that I had enjoyed when I was working on my photography degree.  However I had done all my shooting with film.  I only had a few rolls each time to sort through. My friends were going to be sorting thousands and thousands of photos.  And they hated it.  Dreaded it.  Pushed it off until they could no longer avoid it.

But it gave me an idea.

An Idea

I know that many busy photographers hire assistants and this is one of the tasks that most often end up on the assistant’s plate.  But what about my friends that don’t do enough volume to hire an assistant? There should be a way for them to get their thousands of photos sorted.  It would have to be easy, painless, simple.

So I went to the Internet.  Sure enough there were people offering sorting as a service for photographers.  “Great” I thought, “I’ll have to show this to my friends”.  But then I looked deeper.  These weren’t simple, easy, or painless. These were almost as bad as doing it yourself.

“There has got to be a way.  What I would like is to just drop the photos on my desktop and click a button that says ‘sort this’ or something.  I could design this. Hmmmm, I think I will.”

I also just happened to stumble upon the name Phototure.com. Perfect. Just perfect.

A Solution

I laid out the process. I figured out which pieces could be automated and which would require human hands.  I talked to lots of people to see if they would be interested in using this to sort their photos or sorting someone else’s photos and was amazed to see how many people just loved the idea and want to be involved.

I also spent lots of time learning the Lean Startup model.  I have been to startup events and participated in helping some startups either with development or with understanding their business model canvas.

Then I started building. I’ve had a good amount of help from a handful of really talented developers. And we’re almost to the point where we need photographers to start testing.

An Opportunity

I have received a lot of interest but the testing I need at this point is not for everyone.  The test versions aren’t going to look that pretty. They’ll have bugs and issues.  But if you want to be involved on the ground level and help shape a tool that will simplify your photography business and let you spend more time doing what you love and less time sorting photos, this is your opportunity. I need your help.

Sign up for the notification list and send me an email. troy (@) phototure.com. You can also message me on Twitter. Together we’re going to change the world of digital photography.