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Juan Pablo Mazuera Foschini of PadFolios Interviewed

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The ninth interview from a larger series of interviews with Photographers and iOS Developers.  All of them develop portfolio Apps for Apple’s iPad and iPhone.  This interview is with Juan Mazuera from Bogotá, Colombia in South America. He is a photographer/graphic designer and now writes his own iOS Apps.

“PadFolios is a new application for your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that brings you the opportunity to show your portfolio images with an elegant easy-to-use interface. It allows you to add a customized background with your logo and any info you want, so you keep your brand in your customer’s mind while you show the best of your work. PadFolios is the best portfolio manager available.”

PadFolios is a universal App and can be found at any of the links below:

iTunes, Website, Twitter


To begin then, what gave you the inspiration to write PadFolios?

When I first got the iPad, I wanted it to show my portfolio; my photos and graphic design work. I got it just when it came out in April 2010 and there wasn’t a good option to show all my work. I had to use the Photo Library included, and it definitely is not a good choice when showing your work to a potential client. So I came out with the idea of PadFolios.

Are you a photographer?  Tell us a bit about yourself or the PadFolios team.

I am a Photographer, Graphic Designer, and now also an iOS Developer. I have been a professional photographer for the last three years, and a iOS dev for almost a year now. I worked on PadFolios while doing photography, but now I think I will be working on iOS Development 100%. The “PadFolios Team” is all me. I do Development, Graphic Design, Customer Service, and everything else. But a lot of people around me have been participating with opinions, tests, and a lot more.

Are you a one-man operation or is this a group effort?

Until now it all has been a one-man operation. It is not an easy assignment. It is hard to go ahead in this ultra-fast-growing market, living so far and with almost no iOS developers here in my region, so my best (not to say only) ally in all this process has been the Internet. But it has been a great experience, and I am enjoying it!

Where are you based and where have you seen the greatest uptake of PadFolios at the moment?

I’m located at Bogotá, Colombia, South America. It’s kind of hard to keep up to date with everything being so far, but I do my best. Definitely the best results are from the US Store. It is not only US customers, but a lot of people have US Store accounts even outside USA (as an example, me). It has also been successful all over Europe.

So is PadFolios your first App for iOS?

This is my first app, but I’m sure it won’t be the last one. I have a couple apps I’m working on but not just photography related.

Do you write any other Apps for iOS?

At the moment, I only have PadFolios, and I’m currently working very hard on it, but Yes, I’m working on a couple of apps. I hope for them to see the light of day this year.

PadFolios Homescreen

How easy was it to code in order to create PadFolios?  How long did it take to get PadFolios to Version 1?

It was not easy, but was not hard! In the past I have worked with C++ and going to iOS wasn’t difficult. It is just a matter of time. From scratch, to version 1, It took me about three months, working at nights and weekends, while photography on the day. Long days.

Did you release PadFolios before iOS 4.2? Did coding for iOS 4.2 make much of a difference compared to iOS 3.2?

Yes. PadFolios was launched when iOS 3.2 was the latest version back in August 2010. Actually I think it was the third portfolio app that to appear in the App Store. When 4.2 came out it had some changes but it went all pretty smooth.

How long did it take to write PadFolios?

I have not yet finished writing PadFolios as I (and all it’s users) intend it to be. It took me three months to write PadFolios to version 1. PadFolios is now on version 1.4 which was launched on January so it is like six months, but I’m still working on it.

Where do you want to take PadFolios with future updates, where do you see yourself in a years time?

PadFolios with future updates will be an amazing (not to say the best) portfolio app on the Apple App Store. I just need some time to work on it and make it great with all the help from users with their comments and suggestions. User feedback is the key to making the app better every day. I have some great ideas, for obvious reasons, they won’t be mentioned here, but they will be amazing.

In response to the second part of the question. As it is for me, I see myself developing some more great apps for iOS multi touch devices. This is what I want, I hope to make it as best as I can.

Editing images

What do you as a Developer/Photographer want to see in the next iDevice, either to aid your Apps or just for your own pleasure?

Apple has just announced the iPad2 (and I have just ordered it) and I think it is a great device. I wanted to see an SD slot, retina display, and better cameras. But I think Apple is saving these for the iPad3 or maybe 4, who knows, that’s how Apple moves. About the iPhone, I think it is an amazing device. It is getting better with every version and every iOS update, but what an app like this needs is memory and system improvements. Image manipulation on an iOS device is highly resource consuming.

How do you see this market developing as we go forward?  Are you concerned about the ‘race to the bottom’ and copycat apps affecting this class of applications?

Anything can happen. The App Store is just like a rollercoaster, with ups and downs, new apps are appearing every minute. What we developers have to do is to keep our Apps up to date and to show that we build them not just to gain some money, but also to create a service that can help a lot of people. Those “copycats” are inevitable but our weapon is quality, and our greatest ally is the user with their reviews in the App Store.

I found the built in Photo Application rather lacking for a Pro Photographer, others will feel it’s good enough. Were you concerned of your App’s uptake by other Photographers before committing yourself to creating PadFolios?

This is almost the most important thing when building an app I think. An app like this will never be perfect for everybody. Every one depending their job or simply what they like or not is where the big difference is. But this is the greatest part, with all these points of views, I can try to make PadFolios better every day, and for most of the users out there.

Can you explain anything about the creation process behind your app? Did you involve other photographers or even editors to ask what they would want in a digital portfolio that attempts to replicate the printed portfolio and presentation?

When I first got the iPad, I was one of the first to have it here in my country. So it had great attention from a lot of people around me. From photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, industrial designers, clients, friends, so everybody was telling me their opinion about what they liked and didn’t like about using it as a portfolio. I took all this and started writing PadFolios. While coding I just showed it to everybody, asking for their opinions, questions, comments, and made adjustments as I went. This way PadFolios came to life in August 2010.

iPhone home screen

What if Apple released an iPhoto type application, similar to what they have just done with iMovie and Garageband?

Applications developed by Apple are always great apps. I think if they build an iPhoto App, it will be very nice, but I think this is a different type of App than PadFolios. Will reach different targets. But if that happens, Apps like PadFolios have to add a plus to the App in order to make if differ from iPhoto.

iOS 5 is around the corner, what do you want to see Apple do that will aid you App is anything?

With iOS 5, I would like to see that Apple let us developers use some forbidden APIs that we can’t use right now, this would allow us to make a lot of improvements to our apps to go great with a new (also great) iOS. This is more an under-the-hood change.
Maybe a great feature that could be added is Wireless Sync as this could allow the user to have a smoother experience when adding or removing files from iDevices.
Finally, my last question, how do you see PadFolios existing alongside a traditional portfolio?

I think that in our age, with these kind of applications, and of course this kind of device, they give us new and better ways to show all our work. We should take advantage of these tools that  we have at our disposal. Even, at least for me, showing my portfolio, on my iPad (obviously using PadFolios) has been a bonus with my clients.

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