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Arts & Culture

Hippo Pics is an app that connects photographers with amateurs to make their pictures shine

Andrew Conrad
  • 2 may 2016

Instagram is an app that allows anyone with an iPhone or Android feel like a professional photographer by using automatic filters and touch-ups. But Hippo Pics is a new app which acknowledges that, while most users aren’t professional photographers, there are plenty of them out there who are willing to help in the name of art.

The app, which was created by professional photographer Elizabeth Pritts, was released in early March on the app store. Hippo Pics features a very cute logo of a purple cartoon hippo face, and claims to be “the world’s first collaborative photo gallery.”

Users can submit their photos—landscapes and artistic portraits are encouraged over garden variety duck-face selfies or plates of food —to be claimed by an expert. And those with photo editing chops can apply to be one of those experts.


One cool feature on Hippo Pics is the tap-and-hold function that reveals the raw photo before it went through the editing process.

Hippo Pics, now in version 1.0.3, is still working out some kinks. This writer was unable to log in to test it out due to an issue with the iPhone keyboard covering the username and password boxes on the home screen. Based on a quick scan of the App Store comments, I was not the only one having this issue.

Others complained about uploading photos but finding that no experts had claimed them for a makeover. Of course that could be an issue that is resolved as the community of photo experts grows, or some submitted photos might simply not be compelling material.

Hippo Pics is a very interesting and unique concept for a new app, and it will be exciting to watch its community grow. Could this format of artistic collaboration between amateurs and experts catch on and spread through the app development world the same way that Tinder’s swipe-and-match mechanic did?

Hippo Pics

Lead Photo: Photo by Michael James Murray, edited with Hippo

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