The Story of der Greif and Picter

My interest for photography manifested when I started to study graphic design and later fine arts. Out of this growing interest, the idea of ‘Der Greif’ was born. Together with Felix von Scheffer – a close friend and photography enthusiast – I founded ‘Der Greif’ in 2008. ‘Der Greif’ is an art project that combines digital and analog content in unique ways and is constantly exploring and pushing the boundaries of publishing in the digital era. The idea was to take images from the screen and put them back onto paper and to experiment with de- and re-contextualization of those images.

At the core of ‘Der Greif’ is a printed magazine with open submission. Today we receive around 10k submissions for each publication. Dealing with this amount of data became highly inefficient for us and so we decided to built our own solution to manage submissions around four years ago. By giving curators, editors and gallerists access to our solution, we found out that our approach could actually solve real problems for both photographers and organizations working with images. This  was then the birth of

Picter connects photographers and organizations in a new way. Organizations can host their call for entries with Picter. They can review work online, evaluate submissions together in a team and track their entries. Photographers upload their projects, choose from a list of open calls and submit their work with a few clicks. There are several problems our approach tackles: so far, photographers have to do the same repetitive tasks of resizing, sending from A to B and so forth  over and over again, which creates an unmanageable and uncontrollable amount of duplicates of the same projects. Organizations on the other hand receive gigabites of these duplicates and have them sitting on their hard drives or FTPs. Both struggle with tasks of managing files.

Our approach with Picter is to bring an end to these highly time-consuming parts of image data logistics. With Picter, images are securely stored and the creator or owner of the files only gives access to them. An organization who was granted access now can easily review, evaluate and sort the entries, remotely, as a team. In case needed, they can request high-res files through Picter. In this process, no duplicate has been created, so for everyone using Picter the currently existing overhead related to working with imagefiles is already way smoother, everyone saves a huge amount of time that is often spent on these repetitive tasks and gains more control about their process. Sounds great, right?

So, right now we’re concentrating on improving submission management with Picter. However, we believe that with our technology we can solve many more problems photographers are currently facing. We are in constant exchange with organizations and photographers who use Picter and currently we are integrating the feedback we gathered throughout the first year since Picter went live. We have ideas about the challenges the industry faces in their daily work life but the only way to confirm these ideas is to talk to people. The next step is to build solutions to overcome those challenges!

Last week, we celebrated our first anniversary with our partners from Aperture Foundation, Triennial of Photography Hamburg, and Paris Photo. Thanks to everyone who came – here’s to many more exciting years to come and to many hours saved that are still spent on inefficient and repetitive tasks!