Photo Source: Timeshel
Philip Anema, a professional photographer, got the idea for Timeshel while shooting at an event. He saw a woman taking a photo of her child with an iPhone. He noticed how much she loved the photo and thought to himself, “she’ll never print that photo.”
Remembering Your Life Stories
Our relationship with personal printed photographs has changed, and we’re not printing our mobile photos in the same way we used to print from our cameras. He wanted to re-inspire people to document and preserve their life stories with printed keepsakes, fostering sentimental and nostalgic experiences.
With some research, Anema discovered that many people love printing photos, but getting it done regularly was too much of a hassle. Timeshel’s selection and the print process is more about “on-the-fly” curation that takes place throughout the course of a month.
“There’s something really satisfying about stepping away from all this digital noise to create something real you can hold in your hand,” said Anema, “that has a distinct smell, that you want to keep forever because of its physical permanence and the inherent value that fosters.”
The co-founders of Timeshel, Philip Anema and Sean Pfitzenmaier designed and launched the company out of Anema’s apartment in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Currently, they work out of a tiny co-working space in Tribeca, New York.
More Than Just Photos, They’re Momentos
The ethos of Timeshel isn’t just “print your photos.” The ongoing, monthly nature and rhythm of the service is about the documentation and preservation of our life stories with prints.
Timeshel motivates casual photographers to create moments worth capturing. It’s simple and easy of use. You can select a photo to print—adding it to your Timeshel story—in only 4 taps from the home screen. It takes a couple seconds. No shopping cart, no laborious decisions about the paper finish, print size, or shipping options.
“Timeshel is super simple and streamlined,” said Anema, “and that makes it really useful and fun! When is the last time you shot a polaroid camera or went to a photo booth where they printed the photos in real time? Sharing them to Facebook is cool, but I have a whole collection of prints that I intend to never part with because they tell my story in a really compelling way that I just like better than the digital experience.”
Digital Photography in the Internet Age
“The best part is our phones are connected to the Internet all the time and they’re always in our pockets ready to go,” said Anema. “Point and shoot cameras never were there in this way. This is a super exciting time for photography in general.”
He certainly felt this tension in his professional photography career. Brands even seek out mobile photographers above the traditional professionals because of their built-in influence and network of followers. The quality of content may go down but a big part of commercial photography has always been simply about what inspires and engages people.
In all of this, Timeshel wants to step back from the Instagrams and the SnapChats of the world. Their brand and their service puts the car in reverse a little bit as they step away from the pure digital experience to create something physical and tangible.
They believe that there are unique values and aspects of physically printed photographs that no digital image will ever be able to fully emulate and that’s what Timeshel is excited about.
Control: a Functional and Beautifully Designed App for Those Always On the Go
“We are always on the go and having a simple, functional, beautifully designed app makes monitoring and tracking what’s going on with our payment processing much easier and enjoyable,” said Anema. “Control totally nails that!”
Why Timeshel Chose Control
As a founder, Anema has an incessant need to get a pulse on his business financially. The Control dashboard lets him analytically and visually check how things are going in a really helpful, satisfying way. For Timeshel, the best functionality of Control is the design and the layout.
“Control offers a whole additional layer of understanding you don’t get from the native Stripe tools which are awesome.” Anema added, “The way our admin is set up, [Control] allows us to see certain actions customers and potential customers are taking in the app, and Control lets me, at any time, get insight into how much activity is happening there, which is great.”
“The infographics are much easier and much more enjoyable to interact with and I love that,” said Anema. “I’m less the numbers guy and more on the creative side for Timeshel and having simple, slick design for really important information makes me want to return to the Control platform (and the numbers) rather than run away from them.”