As some of you may know, I have a habit of taking photographs practically everywhere I go. Usually I’m lugging around a Canon 7D dSLR, but nearly all the time I have on hand my iPhone. I don’t fancy myself a professional photographer so when I browse through Instagram, EyeEm, Flickr, and Facebook and see photos from my more experienced photographer friends, I often ask myself “how can I get my photos to look just like that?” I still haven’t quite figured the trade secrets…yet, but suffice it to say, I have a better idea on how to try and recreate that look, thanks to Priime, a new photography editing app that launched at the end of last week.
I had an opportunity to download Priime prior to its release and must say that it looks to be well-designed. This isn’t a photo sharing app like EyeEm or Instagram where you capture photos, process them using a set of filters, and upload them. Rather, this is just focused on one thing: post-processing. Chances are that you would take photos using the default camera app on your mobile device, but aren’t sure how you’d want to share it — maybe post it to Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, EyeEm, or simply text it to a friend. Naturally you’d want to tweak it a bit in order to maximize its appeal, right? Well Priime does that, but instead of overwhelming you with options to pick from, you can make your photos have that professional look with just a couple of actions.
You might be thinking: “wait, you can do this already in many apps, why do I want another one on my phone?” And you’d be right. But here’s the thing about Priime, all the “filters” (called styles in app) were done by specific photographers (like real photographers who use cameras, not just their phones). The company consulted with more than 30 professional photographers to create the right style and instead of showing you the effects, the app offers information on the creator’s style and the best use cases where the style will come in handy. And the number of style authors is only going to grow — I had a quick Twitter conversation with Arthur Chang, CEO of Priime, who told me that the company has a backlog of people eager to contribute to the app:
@thekenyeung Yep. Already majorly back logged!
— Arthur Chang (@art_chang) March 20, 2015
One thing that Priime says separates itself from all the other editing apps out there is the fact that it was built by photographers for photographers. The founding team consists of not only Chang, but also Andrew Ng (former software engineer for Flowtown), Joe Pestro (former CTO of BeRecruited), and Loren Baxter (former design lead at Welkin Health and ReadyForZero). All of whom have experience in the photography field.
So where did Priime come from? Well this Y Combinator accelerator company seems to want to have people refocus (no pun intended) their energy into the composition of their photos. In the photography world, there are specific lenses that have no focal length, called prime lenses, which some photographers enjoy because it causes you to be really creative with the fixed zoom that you have. By naming their company Priime, the founders could have this same idea of making images creative instead of simply slapping a filter or style on an image and making it creative — filters don’t make a photograph, it’s the eye of the photographer.
Nevertheless, however you take photos, if you want to have the end result be similar to a style from your favorite photographer, be sure to check out Priime. With just a tap, you can easily add in a style that makes it pop in sunlight or get that (near) perfect portrait shot. If you’re unsure which is the best style to use, then Priime has a suggested style option as well. The only problem is that it might select styles that aren’t free. Yes, the app is using a freemium option. And don’t worry, if you’re not satisfied with the way a photo looks, you can make granular changes to the editing, including adjusting the brightness, saturation, contrast, applying a vignette, and more.
You can even share photos directly to Instagram and other photo-sharing apps like EyeEm after you’ve done your post-processing.
When you first use Priime, the app gives you eight styles for free. The rest you can buy individually for $0.99 or you can unlock all 66 at a wholesale price — currently the company has a $9.99 sale for all 66 (a 85 percent discount). It’s unknown how much each contributing photographer receives for each purchase of their respective styles.
Priime isn’t the first app to leverage the assistance of professional photographers — TapTapTap’s Camera+ app was built off of the expertise of Lisa Bettany. But what I find in Priime is a focus on simplicity. The app is well designed and allows you to implement quick edits without having to understand all the complex knobs, switches, and widgets needed. Yes, you could also do this in Instagram, but it doesn’t quite have the powerful editing that you would find in Priime…and chances are you’re editing the photos outside of Instagram, anyways — you don’t necessarily want a square-shaped natural image, right?
You can download Priime today for free, but it’s only available for iOS devices.