No matter how much you spend on professional event photography, you know your guests are going to record the whole day with their cell phone cameras anyway. Several apps offer solutions for collecting all this coverage into a crowdsourced photo album. We found some options for all mobile platforms so you can access all the smartphone snapshots captured at the next festival, party or wedding you attend.
1. Wedding Snap; iOS and Android; App is free for guests, but hosts must purchase a package to collect the images.
Disposable cameras are as common on reception tables as bland chicken. In the age of mobile photography, it makes sense that guests' own smartphones would eventually replace these flimsy film cameras.
Wedding Snap offers packages to couples who want to easily collect all their guests' wedding snaps. The iOS and Android apps are free to guests, but in order to collect the photos, hosts have to purchase one of three packages. The cheapest starts at $129 — about the cost of 30 disposable cameras — and allows for the full-resolution download of all images and comes with 200 instruction cards for guests. The priciest option is $249 — about the cost to buy and develop 17 disposable cameras — and includes photo retouching and a live, moderated slideshow to play during your event. The only trick might be making sure your eager shutter-happy guests don't interfere with your paid wedding photographer.
2. Sharypic; iOS; Free
If you are a social butterfly, you need an easy way to collect and share your event photos — no matter how many parties you have thrown in the past few days. Sharypic allows for smartphone-to-app photo uploading and sharing, but it also will collect photos from popular social networking sites to help you consolidate your event coverage into just one app. If you are looking for a cool party, you can search events and check out live coverage from attendee photographers.
While other apps may be able to share photos, Bonfyre lets you talk about them, too. Seemingly ideal for a large event like a music festival, Bonfyre allows users to create and join albums as well as enter private chats so they can talk about the event as it unfolds.
While the chatting feature of Bonfyre may suggest that it is a hyper-social app, it actually provides quite a bit of privacy. To start, you cannot view any photos or chats unless you participate in them. Once you are using Bonfyre, you can mute the notifications so the chatting and sharing doesn't interrupt your experience. Hosts of events use Bonfyre for its impact measurement tools and live feedback of the event as it happens. After the event is over, you can revisit the photos in the Memories tab.
4. Cluster; iOS; Free
Live chatting an event in real time is cool and all, but what if you want to collect photos from an event that already happened? No need to organize all of your photos yourself. Cluster will sort them out for you based on the time and location of capture. Once categorized, you can create a "cluster" by inviting other people who were at the event to share their photos with you. If you like a photo in a particular cluster, a quick tap and hold will give you the option to download it to your device.
Cluster has some big plans. While the event photo app is currently only available for iOS, its website asks Android, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry users to give it their phone numbers so they can receive a text message when the app is available for their platform.
5. FotoJelly; Windows Phone 8; Free
For many people, an event starts on Facebook with an invitation but as the night unfolds, attendees may not be too eager to see their faces tagged on the social network for the world to see. FotoJelly for Windows Phone 8 will import the details of your Facebook events and let you add the photos separately from the social networking giant. The final albums can then be shared privately through FotoJelly. The app also has Aviary editing tools so you can fine tune your photos before you share them.
6. Napa; iOS; $0.99
The latest in event photo sharing, Napa recently caught our eye, prompting a conversation with its founder Chris Lee. Napa — an acronym for “not another photo app”— allows users to share photos privately among friends instead of hosting them publicly on a site like Instagram or Facebook. It automatically displays photos taken by your friends at the same time in the same place, combining them into events.
The developers at Napa have big plans for Android development and eventual photo downloading, but in the meantime, it is a great viewing platform for iOS.
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