Synthetic Infatuation makers of Hipstamatic SwankoLab

L to R, Marty Yawnick, Ryan Dorshorst, Lucas Buick, and Nick Campbell

I love Chicago. There’s The Cubs, Giordano’s Famous Chicago Style Pizza (make mine pepperoni with extra cheese, please), and now the Chicago office of Synthetic Infatuation, the creators of the iPhone apps Hipstamatic and SwankoLab.

Friday, April 9, Lucas Buick and Ryan Dorshorst, the driving forces behind Synthetic, invited the world to the new office for the Hipstamatic Print Show to preview an upcoming feature of the app — the ability to purchase photographic prints of your images from within Hipstamatic — and to get feedback on various trim sizes.

I was going to be in Chicago anyway for the weekend, so I took them up on their invitation.

Hipstamatic print show synthetic infatuation

Hipstamatic Print Show in Synthetic Infatuation's Chicago office

Upon meeting them, you wouldn’t know that Lucas and Ryan are the creators of one of the biggest apps in the App Store. Both are great, very friendly and easy to talk with. It was a very casual evening where the talk was more of coding, CameraBag, ping-pong, analog photography, and a ton of other topics.

I got to spend some time talking with both off the mic. Here are some of the highlights.

  • Before Hipstamatic was conceived, Lucas and Ryan were considering developing a weather app, complete with radar animation. The idea was tossed because neither said they would pay $0.99 for a weather app.
  • Hipstamatic has been very successful for Synthetic Infatuation, allowing them to focus more on developing apps and the Hipstamatic infrastructure than Synthetic’s previous endeavors.
  • They’ll be working with Nick Campbell, who created his own analog film apps ShakeItPhoto and Cross Process, for some cool future add-ons to their apps. Nick and I had an interesting conversation about analog film and our shared appreciation of photography apps with a UI that take you out of the iPhone and into its own experience.
  • Hipstamatic photos enlarge very nicely. While most of the images on display were between 3.5″-10″, they blow up to 15″x15″ most impressively.
  • The quality of the Hipsta prints is impressive. They will be offering several packages in different trim sizes. Photos will be printed on high quality Fuji archival matte finish paper. The feel, color, and saturation is impressive. And, in unofficial testing, the prints survive wine spills with little to no visible damage….
  • There are plans for worldwide curated showings of gallery prints of Hipstamatic photos.

One of the topics of the evening was the thought that iPhone photography had recently achieved a sort of pinnacle of apps, but several recent releases, including SwankoLab, once again raise the bar of analog-style digital photography.

Lucas, Ryan, and Synthetic Infatuation have some really cool updates coming for Hipstamatic and SwankoLab and some extremely cool projects in the works. With the success of Hipstamatic and their focus on app development, look for Synthetic to keep rocking the Photography tab of the App Store.



Related links: Hipstamatic web site |  SwankoLab web site |  ShakeItPhoto ShakeItPhoto |  Cross Process Cross