The Inspiration of How The Vibrantly Filters Were Created

I LOVE taking food photos on my iPhone! Been snapping away since the 3GS in 2009.

Truthfully, I’m kinda obsessed. The upside to that obsession is that it led to the idea for Vibrantly.

I created Vibrantly because I wanted a way to create stunning food photos in one tap like what you can do on Instagram. My goal is for Vibrantly to be able to edit iPhone pics at  Pinterest-level kinda good which is a pretty high bar if you are an avid food pinner.

With Vibrantly, in one tap, your ice cream shots will look bright and creamy. Your turkey burger will look juicy like IRL, and your friends will be able to see the details in the nori and eel in your beautiful Dragon Sushi Roll.

Here is the back story on how the Vibrantly photo fliters came to be and what the inspiration was behind each of the filters because it’s a fascinating story about how apps are developed and how I wanted to create an experience that makes you feel creative and happy.

I myself learned so much during the process of creating the first phase of Vibrantly that I thought it would be fun to share since most developers don’t tend to let people peek into the app kitchen often.

Vibrantly was born out of my frustration as a food blogger having to use 1-3 mobile photo apps like Camera+, Snapseed, and Photoshop Express to edit my food pics, or saving the photos on my laptop and using Photoshop and PicMonkey to edit. I wanted my food photos to get the Stephanie-look in one tap so I could spend more time eating and focusing on my friends than looking like an obnoxious iPhone foodie editing photos on her phone.

Vibrantly saves you time.

What used to take me 90 minutes to do in photo editing now takes me 10 minutes.

I cannot code my way out of a paper bag, but I am an artist (writer, photographer, cook), a designer ( I have a BS in Industrial Technology: Product Design), and I have a good idea for look and feel. Plus, I used to work in the 3D graphics and the gaming industry at NVIDIA. That experience understanding how computer games are made helped me in the development of Vibrantly.

One of the key things before building this app was finding the right developer to work with. This is everything because if you don’t mesh, the magic cannot happen. I found Lavacado via looking at photo-editing apps I liked and looked up who the developer was. Lavacado has built apps for Trey Ratcliff of Stuck in Customs. Trey is one of the best HDR photographers in the world. The app that caught my eye was 100 in 1 Cameras.

Right away, I felt a good synergy between myself and the guys at Lavacado, and although it took awhile to get started on my part, we ended up actually starting at THE perfect time. We started working on Vibrantly literally the day Apple announced iOS7 in June. Really, the timing could not have been more perfect!

I am SO grateful that we could build Vibrantly integrating iOS7 features like the new look and feel plus Air Drop and texting photos straight from the app. I was blown away the first time I saw Vibrantly in iOS7.

Here were some of the challenges we had with the app:

High quality bar

The level of quality I was shooting for was Pinterest-level good looking. Now that is a really high bar especially for mobile photos. But hey, why not shoot for the moon, right? Food is one of the hottest categories on Pinterest, and the food photos on there are stunning.

To get pinned, repinned or better yet repinned by a top pinner, your food photos have to look Martha-Saveur-Food and Wine-level-approved or they have to be interesting as hell. I don’t know the exact numbers but by my guestimation most good food photos on Pinterest by top pinners are taken on DSLRs. I have rarely seen Instagram filtered photos on Pinterest mainly because Instagram does scenery, selfies, fashion, pets, and moody clouds really well, but not food.

With the Vibrantly filters, I was gunning for Pinterest-level hot looking because I thought how cool would that be if we could get top food bloggers and pinners to use Vibrantly edited photos for their pins. In version 1 of Vibrantly, I believe I got pretty darn close to that level, but we’re not quite there yet. BUT, I am confident we’ll get there real soon also because the camera on the iPhone is getting better with every generation.

The main reason the default cropping in Vibrantly is a rectangle, both portrait and landscape is because rectangle is the most commonly repinned shape on Pinterest. Rectangle for food photos also looks better on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Tumblr because you have more visual real estate.

Translating filter recipes 

When I started talking to Lavacdo, our original plan was for me to give them the recipes of how I made my photos look the way they do. Basically, each recipe was a step-by-step of which software I used and in what steps I created each look.

My favorite orange is the Cara Cara. I love it because it’s sweeter than your typical navel orange, and I love the deeper color of its flesh.

Vibrantly – Pretty Food Photography App Is Shutting Down December 30

It’s been a great run! The Vibrantly – Pretty Food Photography was my first venture into building a native iOS app and it was a great experience.

Between wanting to build more apps related to food and climate change, and the cost to run the Vibrantly photo app behind the scenes, the cost became much more than planned. It was a good learning experience, and I am grateful for all the people who bought my app and helped to support an indie publisher going for the dream.

The app will be shutdown on December 30, in 30-days. The app has been removed from the Apple store and is no longer available for sale.

For our customers, what this shutdown means is that any photos you have stored in your account will be discarded after December 30 as we shut down all operation on the app. If the app stays saved on your phone or laptop, it will no longer work after December 30.

Unfortunately, we did not design a bulk download in order to download all your pics at once. You will have to save each image you want to save individually by clicking on the photo and choosing “Save Image” in the photo options. This will save the image to your Camera roll on your phone.

I am very grateful for your business and support. Please, let me know if you have any questions. Our email is support at vibrantly dotco.

Thank you, Stephanie Quilao – Founder

Our Vision: Rewriting the Food System OS

Yes, we are purposeful and touchy-feely all about the love. Isn’t it time more companies operated this way?

Vibrantly is a #worldpositive startup. We are techies, artists and changemakers who love food, people, animals and the planet. We create from a place of love, the most powerful force on the planet, to help advance the higher good of all.

The vision of Vibrantly is to help rewrite the food system OS (operating system) by growing the Good Food economy.

We envision a food system that is whole-serving. I used to think that our food system was broken when in actuality, it’s not broken, it just has an operating system that has become outdated. The current OS is self-serving designed to drive shareholder return on investment unfortunately too much at the expense of people, animals, and the planet leading us to a moment of truth.

Millions of us are in pain from chronic illness crying louder and louder for mercy. Mother Earth has had to bear the brunt of prolonged exploitation of her resources and she is weakening asking for grace. The animal kingdom has been under assault far too long, and is howling for compassion.

Everything and everyone is connected. What impacts one affects the whole.

Instead of focusing on the doom, this is a call for us to no longer accept these standards and demand better. As Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” In that context, we cannot change the food system using the same OS. We have to create a new operating system.

You and I have been given an invitation to elevate, and create a food system based in a consciousness for the higher good of the whole. We create through purposeful, whole-focused activity.

Vibrantly’s part in helping rewrite the food system OS is to build tools that give consumers more power to support and buy from Good Food brands and businesses that operate in alignment with their values like locally sourced, sustainably farmed, humanely raised, GMO-free, Fair Food Program and B-Corp Certified. The more consumer dollars that flow into the Good Food economy, the more the food movement gains momentum.

What is Good Food?

Good Food is a trifecta of: Food that tastes good, is good for you, and is made and sold by companies that do good – are socially responsible, give back to their communities, and pay fair wages.

It’s time to pioneer a new story for our food system. Here is a glimpse of what we imagine in the new OS:

  • An emphasis on stakeholder return on investment benefiting the whole system – whole-serving
  • More fresh, whole, organic foods are affordable and accessible to everyone
  • A re-imagination of industrial farming of animals eliminating inhumane practices or eliminating the need for animals at all in future food products
  • Minimal food waste
  • Full transparency on where food comes from, what’s in it, and how it is grown, made, and sold
  • A Farmacy in every hospital where food is thy medicine as Hippocrates imagined
  • Patents and technology shared openly and royalty-free like open source seeds and what Tesla and Toyota are doing in the auto industry to help advance transportation innovation

What would you like to see? I open the call to you as well to imagine what a new food system OS would do because it’s going to take all of us.

Yes. This is asking A LOT! But, it’s not impossible. The emergence of a new food system OS is already underway, and here are some examples:

  • Chipotle was the first fast food chain to label GMOs for transparency and made a commitment to go as GMO-free as possible. Their stock in the last month of 2014 hovered around $650 per share. CMG was higher than Google’s at $510. Shake Shack, the sustainable ingredients, humanely-raised beef burger and shakes chain has filed for a $100 million IPO.
  • Wholesome Wave is running a Farmacy program in four New York City hospitals where doctors are prescribing produce versus pills.
  • The Agriculture and Health and Human Services Departments which create guidelines used for “My Plate” healthy eating is considering adding in environmental impact asking people to eat more plant-based.
  • Plant-based food manufacturers, Hampton Creek Foods, re-imagining the egg, and Beyond Meat, re-imagining meat, have both received funding from top Silicon Valley venture capital firms and two of the wealthiest people on the planet – Bill Gates and Li Ka-Shing.
  • In 2014, the Open Source Seed Initiative launched.

We can make this change happen.

You and I have the right to a well life: to eat well, feel well, and live well. We have the power through our purchases and voice to demand better standards from our food system, and make the world a better place.

We have the ability to create good by eating good.

~ Stephanie

Vibrantly Food Photo Editing App for iPhone

I am very proud to introduce Vibrantly, the iPhone app that let’s you create pretty food photos in one tap.

With Vibrantly, you can shoot, edit, and share a beautiful food photo to your social networks in less time than it takes to make a piece of toast.

With Vibrantly, you get to spend more time eating and enjoying your company than editing food photos on your phone.

The Problem and Solution

As a professional food blogger and iPhone food photographer, I personally wanted a way to create great food shots in a couple taps like what you can do on Instagram.

I looked high and low for an iPhone photo editing app that would give me the ability to make food photos look GOOD in one tap, and alas I could not find that app, so I made one.

Before Vibrantly, editing 20 photos would require 1-3 iPhone apps and or 2 programs on my laptop taking at least 90 minutes of my time. Now, with Vibrantly, I can create those same 20 food photos at Stephanie-level quality in 15 minutes.

And so can you!

This is the inaugural version of Vibrantly, v1 as I call it, which focuses solely on simple food photo editing. In v2, we will add more filters and custom editing features.

Here is a quick run down on the current featured filters in Vibrantly.

There are currently 5 photo filters in Vibrantly. Each of the filters were thoughtfully named related to food reflecting similar characteristics of what the filter does to your photo complementary to qualities of its namesake like refreshing, brilliant, pop, luster, smoldering and romantic.

We had so much fun naming these memorable filters!

Here is each filter in action. You can create these beautiful effects on your raw iPhone photos in one tap!

Hope that introduction helps you feel inspired. Here are 5 tips to take better iPhone food shots in the first place because filters can help only so much.

Bon appeshoot!

Buy Vibrantly on the Apple app store for $1.99.

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