New York, New York
2011 - Present
"chromatc is the photo booth reincarnate for the digital world. Smaller, faster, more beautiful and better connected, this unique product captures and shares moments like no other device on Earth."
In collaboration with
As Paul Graham once wrote:
"In particular, you don’t need a brilliant idea to start a startup around. The way a startup makes money is to offer people better technology than they have now. But what people have now is often so bad that it doesn’t take brilliance to do better."
Such is the case with the photobooth. We decided to tackle the problem because it a) occurred to us that the available solution was extremely outdated (this goes way beyond sentiment) and b) we actually had the skillsets to do something about it.
The first time I ever considered the idea was while waiting for my prints to develop from one of those nostalgic photobooths at the Ace Hotel in Portland. I paid $5 (or 2.5 tall boys of Rainier in beer currency) to wait 10 minutes for a print that I couldn’t share with anyone. The machine was also massive, presumably very expensive and required regular maintenance. Eventually, a still-wet series of black and white photos dropped out of the machine. I picked it up, Instagram-ed it, and left.
When I returned to New York, I dove into some research and tried to figure out what interesting things people were doing with photobooths those days. The results were bleak. I found tons of corporate event rental photobooth companies that were happy hawking half the space on their photos for advertisements. There were even more companies with crated, unattractive wedding photobooths that took boring photos. Eventually, I learned that the world’s preeminent photo kiosk company was about to release a brand new booth designed in collaboration with Philippe Starck. I presumed that, given their considerable resources and expertise, they would have cornered my fleeting market opportunity. But when the design was unveiled a few weeks later, I was utterly floored at how bad it was…even for Philippe Starck.
All of this conspired to convince me that it wouldn’t really be that hard for us to make the best photobooth in the world. So we did: chromatc Beta.
Select clients: bpmw Fashion Agency, New Museum: Ideas City, The Feast Conference, GACHOT, The Moon Group, Made in Lower East Side, Damsels in Design, The Liberty, Randolph Engineering, Bushwick Country Club, The R.E.A.D. Project