If you shoot with Hipstamatic or Oggl on any platform, you should bookmark and be reading Eric Rozen’s Hipstography web site (we’ve got the English version bookmarked in our sidebar). Eric just got back from San Francisco where he spent time with Hipstamatic’s CEO and co-Creator Lucas Buick. The results of that interview have just been published on Hipstography. >>>
Life In LoFi has been covering Hipstamatic here since it was first released. Although other photo apps have eclipsed its celebrity in the news cycle, I still think it’s by far one of the best camera apps available for classic retro style iPhoneography in the App Store.
Eric’s interview spans the history of Hipstamatic and Oggl, as well as Lucas’ ideas for the direction of both apps.
One interesting omission from the interview. I’m surprised that the subject of the Dorbowski brothers and the original (but fictional) backstory of Hipstamatic never came up. Despite the fact that it took over a year to officially debunk, I still think it was one of the best viral marketing campaigns in recent years. Definitely a big part of Hipstamatic history.
“I went to art school, where I met Ryan the other co-founder; we ran a design studio from September 2006. In 2008, a lot of our big clients stopped paying their bills, and that’s when we decided that we should get out of the service business. We looked at starting a wine label, re-packaging existing wines. The other option was to do mobile software. To do wine you have to one: know somebody in wine, and we didn’t know anybody. Two: you need money, and we didn’t have any! So, in August 2009, Ryan and I sat down and started whiteboarding mobile apps. I had a couple of photo apps on my phone, there were some pretty cool ones back then. We also had this old Polaroid SX70: every time somebody came by our studio we’d shoot their portrait and put it on the wall. Thinking about that, what we loved about toy cameras in general was this romantic idea that you didn’t have to think […] you just hit the button and it does all the stuff for you, what you get is what you get, and it felt very ephemeral. It was temporary, it didn’t matter, but at the same time it could push into high art. We really wanted to recreate that feeling.”
“The original set of Hipstamatic filters was basically my library from a ten-year career doing retouching as the art director of a fashion magazine. Ryan coded it in such a way that you hit a yellow button, and he was able to do work that used to take me hours in a few seconds.”
If you love Hipstamatic, this is an essential read. It’s one of the best histories available of this iconic iPhone photo app.
Read all of Eric Rozen’s story, “Inside The Haus”, an interview with Lucas Buick here.