A decade is definitely a milestone to celebrate. Big birthdays are an achievement and an opportunity to celebrate a ritual or tradition. Almost ten years ago, I downloaded the app VSCO Cam and started the ritual of uploading the iPhone pictures that I liked aesthetically. And that’s what I am celebrating with you today.
VSCO (an Oakland startup and an acronym for Visual Supply Co.) was launched in 2012 and has been around almost as long as Instagram, which is barely two years younger. I don’t really remember how I heard of it, it might have been a recommendation from Kirstin, who is always current on the latest photography apps, but I do know I liked it as soon as I tried it and it’s the main reason why I still renew my subscription every year ($19.99 – a little pricey but totally worth it for me). I also renew every year because I do not want to lose my portfolio of mobile photos that I have created over ten years.
VSCO is an editing app; it allows users to use the in-app camera (which shoots RAW image files) or you can upload them directly from your camera roll. You can then edit them using different presets and photo filters that have a very distinct feel and/or use their toolkit feature, which allows you to make finer adjustments in editing. The default presets they provide (10 as opposed to 5 on Lightroom) help the user achieve creative freedom. VSCO also has developed presets for Lightroom, which emulate a film look.
VSCO is not a social app, and that is the main difference from Instagram. It allows you to post pictures that can be starred or reposted but you cannot see how many stars you have in each post. There is barely any interaction among users, mainly because it does not allow comments. In my opinion, it is simply a way to showcase your photos in a community where, in their own words, “expression matters most”.
You probably have heard about VSCO or may even have the app already, but I encourage you to re visit it. You will truly enjoy their array of photo filters and their beautifully inspiring curated feed, I assure you. Below, I leave you with some more highlights of my feed throughout the decade. Happy milestone, VSCO!