I’ve been hearing for some time now about Padport. A few friends of mine knew who was developing the app (they wouldn’t elaborate) but, kept it very hush-hush, only to say that it was a portfolio app for the iPad, and that it was going to be all the rage. So, when I heard about the release of PadPort in the iTunes App Store last Wednesday afternoon, I decided I would get to the bottom of it. I made a couple calls and found out that a photography colleague of mine, here in Minneapolis, was the brain-child of Padport. I gave him a call and he agreed to this interview.
APhotoAssistant: Today, I’m speaking today with Chad Holder, a successful commercial advertising photographer from Minneapolis, and the creator of Padport. First thing, Chad, please tell us just exactly what Padport is and why did you decide to create it?
Chad Holder: PADPORT is a self contained, customizable portfolio for the iPad. It shows your images, your videos, and your contact information. It has an ABOUT section where you can tell the viewer a little about yourself. We also tried to think beyond the photographer and planned for Models, Art directors, Stylists, Reps, Illustrators, Architects, Cabinet makers, Jewelry makers, really anyone who wants to show their works through a digital portfolio.
When I first saw the iPad–how cool it was and how great images looked on it–I immediately thought, “How could this be my portfolio?” When I thought about it more, I realized that we as photographers really want to be different and want to set ourselves apart from the rest of the shooters out there. I thought about the ways to customize the iPad. I researched cases, skins, sleeves anything that might make my iPad different from the next person. Found a cool idea with iskins. Then when I started messing around with the Photo viewer on the iPad I realized what is lacking is the option for greater customization. When you show your images with iPad photo it lacks personality and style, I wanted to show my identity. Then I also found that ordering images was a major pain, and I also wanted to show motion, which meant I needed to switch to the iPad’s video player, and how can I send my portfolio out to an art buyer and expect them to navigate through all of that without me standing there? That is where PADPORT was imagined, out of those needs. I figure that if I was facing those issues, then many others were as well.
APA: Wow, it sounds like you really put a lot of energy into developing Padport. Now, I’ve checked out some of the videos you posted–about how Padport works and some of the features. It looks incredibly easy to use and to create a very customizable portfolio of work.
CH: Yes, it is very easy to use. We focused on it being intuitive, with a wonderful user interface that gives you multiple options.
It starts with the SPLASH SCREEN where you can place any image that you would like. We see this as the first impression page, and thought it would be a great place to show your name or logo over one of your images. After a few seconds that screen slides left to reveal the HOME SCREEN. This is the Main navigation screen for the person viewing your portfolio. It has links to the PORTFOLIOS that you set up, a CONTACT page and an ABOUT page. On this HOME SCREEN is where you first see the different THEME options. Each THEME is a different design that lays over one of your imported images. PADPORT has two themes now with more coming down the pipes.
Let’s say for example that you don’t like how your name looks with the MNLST THEME, and you would like to use your logo instead. Then in the user interface, you just leave the name section blank and create a background and drop in your logo, or name. Right now you are able to set up as many PORTFOLIOS as you would like, but only display seven on the home screen. We made it possible to toggle PORTFOLIOS on and off. That way you can set up all your PORTFOLIOS and only show the ones you want. For instance if you are sending PADPORT to a certain Art Buyer and you don’t want them to see your table top work, then toggle that PORTFOLIO off.
The HOME SCREEN has the DASHBOARD ICON in one of the bottom corners. Tapping this icon opens up the user interface where the user can manage their images, portfolios and change settings. We built this app with the understanding that every artist, photographer or anyone presenting their work has the option to completely customize their presentation to fit their business and clients.
Within the DASHBOARD – PROFILE the user is able to input all their current information, name, email, website, twitter, facebook and additional contact information. Within this section you are also able to write a brief bio about yourself and your work. Also included is a section to reference their representation.
In the DASHBOARD – SETTINGS the user can choose the HOME SCREEN image and SPLASH SCREEN image and select the color of the text that displays on the home screen.
Within the DASHBOARD – PORTFOLIOS is where the user prepares their portfolios to be shown. We are excited about this feature because it is very easy to use and gives the user the flexibility to create unique portfolios to showcase their work. PADPORT allows users to finger select either images or videos that they have previously loaded into the app and by sliding the image or video into the ‘Image Order’ sequence selection. In here you are able to move images and videos around to have them display how you would like. The user is also allowed to select a background image that would be shown behind the images as the portfolio is shown.
Users are able to select a PORTFOLIO THEME with a background image and also choose to show a THUMBNAIL SCREEN that will show all the images in the selected portfolio.
PADPORT offers users the ability to load their images and video through iTunes file sharing. This bulk loading system makes importing images easy.
The user also has the ability to hide the DASHBOARD icon in SETTINGS, therefore creating a true digital portfolio. Therefore when the users portfolio is presented to a client, they will not be able to get into the owners dashboard.
Another feature that is unique is when you click on the url address shown on your CONTACT section the website opens within the app. Also, if you were to click on an email address, the app will open the email to be mailed from the iPad.
Through our interaction with the artist and photograph community we are asked what differentiates the PADPORT app from others on the market and to put it simple, professionalism. PADPORT is the lets you customize your portfolio digitally and allows for the flexibility of the artist to display their work however they like, with ease.
We at PADPORT anticipate that the future of the art presentation world will be completely digital, with the high resolution on the iPad and the unique features this technology offers, artist, photographers will need to adapt to keep up and PADPORT provides a platform for them to express their abilities allowing for the ease and customizable features to get their work to the world.
At PADPORT HQ we pride ourselves in being available to our users and we are willing to help them with any questions or ideas on how to prepare their portfolios. We have many plans for improvements and more ways to showcase users portfolios. We have received tremendous response throughout the artist community and love to hear what the users think. Photographers and artist are really enjoying PADPORT and are thrilled this has finally been released. We would love to see some samples of how PADPORT is being used and to hear any success stories that people are having.
APA: Shoot, Chad! It sounds like you’ve thought of pretty much everything! It’s obvious that Padport has been in very good hands through it’s initial development because of your experience as a professional photographer and business owner.
I think I saw an image of yours with a portfolio case actually built for the iPad. With your last statement about art presentation becoming more and more digital, now and into the future, do you actually intend to send off your iPad, loaded with your “programmed” portfolios, to an art buyer via Fed Ex, much like standard print books are sent today?
CH: Yes, I think the iPad is perfect for a portfolio. With more and more photographers shooting motion along-side images it only makes sense to package those two together and show them on the iPad. And to be honest, images look better on the iPad than they do in print. I really believe that the iPad will become the norm for portfolios and I expect PADPORT to be the go to app for all of them.
APA: Very cool. Now, I realize you’ve only just released Padport last week, but, what has the initial response been? Have you gotten any feedback from users, colleagues, art buyers, or other creatives?
CH: Response has been wonderful. People really like it, I think it filled a need for a professional looking portfolio, with an awesome user interface, without the unnecessary. We have received emails that simply say “Love it!” to people explaining that the swipe function is perfect. Our first review in iTunes says that “PADPORT is the most polished portfolio app for the iPad. Unique branding is easy, transitions between photos is butter smooth with a pleasant swipe speed…. All this works seamlessly to let clients focus on your tailored portfolio and not your portfolio app.” Feedback like that is unheard of for a 1.0 version, and we are very pleased.
A few other emails read:
“Just downloaded Padport and it’s looking great so far! There was such a need for this that I was even considering developing something like this myself. Now I don’t need to… Great Job!”
“I really like the app, you put a lot of thought into it!”
“I’m really happy that Padport is finally out and of course I already bought it and really enjoy it so far!”
“Very nice, very nice. All in all, very polished and attractive, and it performs well.”
We are also getting quite a few suggestions about what users are wanting, which we really appreciate and we seriously consider each one. Right now we are determining what we feel are the greatest needs and are focusing on getting them into the updates. We are excited about the future of PADPORT.
APA: That’s great to see you are getting all these kudos! Obviously well-deserved. And very good to know that you are listening to users about suggestions for updates. It really seems like you have quite a winner here with Padport, Chad. What has it been like for you, personally, in this whole process of getting Padport off the ground?
CH: Like any worthwhile project it has been fun and challenging. My partner is my brother Curtis, and it has been great working and figuring things out with him. The challenge has been the things that we cannot control. Programing takes time and then working out the bugs takes more time. There has to be compromises on what PADPORT will be able to do, and also compromises on what features PADPORT will launch with. It has also been rewarding, it’s cool to envision an app and to see it realized. It is cool producing a tool that will help it’s users show off their work and land projects. All in all I am glad I did it because it has been a blast.
APA: Well this all sounds just great, for everyone. It’s obvious to me that Padport has been a labor of love for you and Curtis, and it appears you have done things right by giving Padport’s development the time it needed before rushing it onto the market. There’s a couple of our mutual friends that have been trying to keep it quiet, but I know they have been excited to tell everyone about it.
Okay… so you released Padport last week. I’m going to go out on a limb here, assuming that it’s available at the iTunes App Store?
CH: Yes, it is available through iTunes, the price is $9.99. We really believe that it is a $14.99 app but we felt that there were some benefits to selling it for $9.99 for a limited time. PADPORT is theme based, meaning that with this one app, users will be able to get many different look and feels. So we are working on getting more themes into users hands. We are also working on a few little polishes to make PADPORT look and work better. We are really trying hard to keep the news and updates flowing by twitter and our Facebook page, so we hope that our users continue to check in.
APA: Well, it’s an awesome looking app, Chad. I imagine that there are a lot of photographers and other creatives out there happy to get there hands on Padport!
CH: Thank you, we hope that it will help people get projects and that people will be excited about what PADPORT can do.
My thanks to Chad Holder.