It’s been an exciting year.
On August 4 2011 EyeEm 1.0 went live in the App Store and on Google Play for the first time. So much has happened since then: millions of photos have been shared, thousands of stories were exchanged and most importantly, thanks to YOU we grew into a global community passionate about taking photos together.
But we’re far from being done and couldn’t be more excited about the upcoming weeks. But before we get to that, let’s take a look back on how it all started with a stolen camera in New York’s subway back in 2009, the EyeEm Mobile Awards and so many brilliant people we met on the way…
Once upon a time in New York City
What you see above is the first picture Flo took with his iPhone 3G back in 2009. Having just finished his studies, he headed over to New York to start working for Resource, a Brooklyn-based photo magazine startup. The first week there, his complete DSLR equipment got stolen in the subway. With no money to buy a new camera, he got a used iPhone 3G from a friend and one day, whilst looking at New York’s skyline on a grey morning, started taking pictures with it.
Turns out, they actually weren’t half bad. Surprised by the quality and the somewhat lo-fi aesthetics the phone produced, Flo discovered a whole community of people in love with this little device, capturing and sharing their daily discoveries. There were Flickr groups, Twitter debates, a few blogs… but it was all really just starting back then.
The EyeEm Mobile Awards, Berlin
A few months later, back in Berlin, Lorenz, Gen and Ramzi joined the crew. Sharing the same passion for photography and communication, we decided to set up a little blog that was dedicated entirely to the art & craft of mobile photography. In summer 2010 the “EyeEm Mobile Awards” were inaugurated with one simple goal in mind: to collect images from all over the world and create a beautiful photo exhibition in the heart of Berlin.
Thousands of images poured in over the next couple of weeks, which left us absolutely breathless. After all it seemed there was quite a bunch of people out there as passionate as us! The exhibition then took place by the end of June at the Schlechtriem Brothers Gallery in Berlin-Mitte and was a big success. The photos from this first exhibition still grace the walls of our office today.
Back to NYC
After an successful exhibition in Berlin, someone in New York got curious about what we do and told the guys from OPENHOUSE Gallery about it. They knocked on our door and asked if we wanted to host another exhibition in New York in September. It goes without saying that we were super psyched about this.
A new call for submissions followed, and again we were overwhelmed by the submissions. We got flooded with tons of photos every day, which resulted in a staggering amount of submissions. Sion Fullana, our old friend and head judge for the NYC-exhibition, truly had a tough job selecting the images to be printed and hanged at the gallery.
EyeEm 1.0 goes live
It was back in New York that the idea of an app that let’s you take photos together came to our mind. We all had jobs by then, took holidays to fly over to NYC and ran EyeEm as a sort of love affair on the side. But what struck us in New York, especially after meeting all the mobile photographers of the city again, was the unique spirit of community everyone sensed.
This was the starting point of EyeEm as an app. With the vision of creating a platform to share and discover photographs, we started spinning around ideas and rolled out the first version of EyeEm in early 2011. 5000 beta-testers signed up, shared their photos, gave us feedback. And then, finally, on August 4,2011, EyeEm 1.0 was officially released in the iTunes App Store and on the Android Market.
The EyeEm Los Angeles Crew at last weekend’s meetup. Thanks to Noah Wiles for the picture.
So what’s the future going to hold?
With all your support we finetuned the app, released EyeEm 2.0, fixed bugs, introduced a new camera, made EyeEm available for WinPhone, had 21 meetups around the world and counting, published a book, projected photos on giant walls, had exhibitions in London, Montreal, Orange County and Berlin, hacked the future of photography at Photo Hack Day, kicked off our new blog. But that’s not it yet. There’s something coming up we’re super excited to share with you.
Albert Einstein once said: I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.
We say: Open your eyes for what’s next!
Your EyeEm Team