Photographers, says Lukas Dryja, have simple wants from their portfolio software. “The number one goal is to succeed in their career path. So their needs are usually: make me look professional and help me save time.” After all, time spent futzing with portfolio website and software is time spent doing things that aren’t photography.
Five years back, Mr. Dryja co-founded Format, a Toronto-based company that offered web-based portfolios. Since then, the company has grown from two employees to 30, and has attracted tens of thousands of hosted customers (which is as precise as Mr. Dryja is willing to get).
Last week, the company launched Kredo, its entry into the tablet space. The software, in one sense, is as straightforward as its clients needs: It hosts portfolios, and tries to make the process as simple and seamless as possible.
“We did a bunch of research on how professional photographers are using these apps,” says Mr. Dryja. “They try apps, but they end up going back to the print portfolio.” The problems professionals find, he says, range from poor user-experience design to instability.
His software’s mission, then, is to do its job well and be more help than hindrance. Kredo is an iOS app that’s backstopped by a cloud service. Part of its pitch is that artists can upload high-resolution imagery to their portfolios, which clients can then zoom right in on.
What’s more, the iPad app generates links to web-based portfolio pages, so if a client would like to “keep” a picture to study after a meeting, they can be sent a link to a web page, where the high-res images can be studied.
Kredo works in three modes: A one-on-one mode where both parties can use the tablet; a presentation mode, where the software can hook up to a presentation monitor (if it’s compatible) using Apple’s AirPlay technology and a ‘Museum mode,’ where the tablet can be left alone to rotate through galleries.
The app also includes a built-in social network that Mr. Dryja hopes will help connect artists and clients; besides sharing portfolios to be discovered, the network will allow portfolio owners to be searched for and filtered by keywords.
Mr. Dryja says the company has been bootstrapped, and hasn’t accepted venture capital, a move he says has kept a focus on customers rather than investors. (That said, Kredo was built with help from the Canadian Media Fund).
The software is sold on a freemium model: Up to five portfolios with 20 images each are free; a pro account with up to 100 portfolios is $24.99 a year, or $6.99 for three months.
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