Andy Goldfarb has always been passionate about photos, but he’s only recently made a business out of them.
After spending 25 years in venture capital, Goldfarb launched his app Photo Butler in March with the goal of making group photo-sharing as seamless as possible.
The Photo Butler app (currently available on iOS devices) lets users make a photostream of an event in real time and invite others who have the app to contribute, using either their phone’s camera or Photo Butler’s in-app device. Once contributions start rolling in, a living album is created.
“The mission of the company is based on the premise that the two greatest gifts you can give people are love and laughter,” Goldfarb said. “And the best way to do that is by creating memories, including digital memories. But people are so busy texting and sharing that they’re missing the moments.”
Goldfarb said Photo Butler allows users to be more present and free of distraction at events because they don’t have to open any other social media apps to share photos of what they’re doing — their photos are shared instantly with other album contributors.
To ensure the app is only sharing high-quality photos, all images are curated as well.
When a photo is taken using Photo Butler, it’s added to the stream, where the app uses an algorithm to curate the best photos that represent the event taking place — whether it’s a wedding, birthday, graduation or the Boston Marathon. Photos can either be shared privately with your contacts or on social media.
“Our patented algorithms go through and find the best shots and remove duplicates and blurs,” Goldfarb said. “Using advanced artificial intelligence, facial recognition and machine learning, we can find the best wedding photos or race photos — whatever event you’re covering.”
The app is currently free for consumers, but Goldfarb is exploring different ways to monetize the app, including partnerships with event organizers who could give people a new way to engage with their events while gaining insight and analytics into their attendees.
Photo Butler was already used for Bridal Wars and at this year’s Pan-Mass Challenge, where over 9,000 photos were taken over the course of the event.
Goldfarb said Photo Butler is rolling out the product to Android in the next few months, and he eventually plans on adding a video component. His team employs 25 people in Boston but is looking to hire for roles in sales and marketing.
“People should try it,” Goldfarb said. “Try it for a wedding. Groups of people can share 1,000 photos without sending a single text.”