We shared similar views on many areas, we challenged each other, we encourage one another, and we both deep down wanted to make things better for photographers who wanted to make a living in this great industry.
Bryan Caporicci and I had collaborated on many things before we had a meeting in 2012 that would prove to be bigger than both of us had ever imagined. We had done shoots together, workshops, short videos and we even spent a year writing and editing a book on pricing for photographers. When Bryan asked me to come over to his studio back in 2012 to ask me if I’d like to partner with him on Sprouting Photographer and a software that would be an all-in-one solution for photographers, I didn't hesitate and said yes immediately. I knew based on our past collaborations that we were a good fit.
Being a part of a start up brought back a lot of memories from my early days, starting up my own studio in 1983. It reminded me that all startups have ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments. Starting anything as big as Sprouting Photographer and Sprout Studio takes perseverance, thick skin, long hours and a strong vision. We both caught the vision for what we were building early on, and our excitement only grew at each stage along the way.
Here are a few milestones that we found encouraging throughout our journey so far:
- The interest and involvement of Skip Cohen, who we both respected and admired, and have come to know now as a friend. Skip told us that he saw in us the potential to make a huge difference in the photo industry. He introduced us to so many big names when we spent most of our time at a PDN Photo Expo with him. His influence and referrals have been invaluable to us.
- Being named by iTunes as one of the top podcasts of 2014. That was both unexpected and absolutely fantastic! We were flabbergasted that a fledgling podcast could command the attention of iTunes, and be singled out as the only photography podcast, and one of only three business podcasts to make that list.
- The phenomenal response we received when we opened up a limited number of lifetime memberships to Sprout Studio. We sold out in just two hours. The loyalty and dedicated testing, trials, and feedback we have received from so many photographers that we have had the pleasure of getting to know through Sprout Studio has been so very rewarding. They have given us their trust and we take that very seriously.
- The amazing team we have assembled here at Sprout. Developers, designers, and support people that work tirelessly to make Sprout Studio the best business management solution for photographers possible. Our lunch conversations, the determined bug fixes, the all-nighters, and the constant supply of memes and crazy gifs on our Slack channel make working here such a pleasure.
- More recently, we were on a list from Animoto of the “10 blogs to make you a better photographer“. Just being in the company of names like FStoppers, Creative Live, Jasmine Star, and Sarah Petty’s “Joy of Marketing” on that list was incredible. “Pinch me”, I had to say to myself, “am I dreaming?”
So as we near the big launch date of November 4th 2015, I am filled with pride for both our triumphs and disappointments. Not everything has gone perfectly or smoothly for us here at Sprout. There have been holdups, snags, delays and glitches that have stressed us all out to our limits. Some of our triumphs have resulted from the way we all dealt with those issues. Honestly, openly and speedily. We are a responsive company. We talk to our users, and more importantly, we listen to them. The struggle for us is to build something that meets the request of the largest majority of users. We get suggestions for our software all day, every day and we take each and every suggestion seriously. We believe that the Sprout Studio we are launching on November 4th will be industry changing, but we won’t be resting on the laurels of that achievement.
Our goal is to constantly add to, improve and innovate the software on an ongoing basis.
We don’t want to be a company that only updates every few years. We would rather poll our users for feature requests on an ongoing basis, and ask those same users to help us prioritize those features for inclusion like we have been with our Beta users so far.
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but hey… rides are exciting right?
We’ll save you a seat!