PictureHealing is a mobile photo-sharing app similar to Instagram, Path and PicPlz, which allows users to earn donations for their favorite charities simply by sharing pictures.
Meet Christopher Brereton, the Executive Director of the startup, in this exclusive interview.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Christopher, thank you for answering my questions. As a starter, introduce yourself briefly.
Christopher Brereton: Hey! My name is Christopher Brereton. I am the Executive director of PictureHealing, a mobile photo-sharing app that raises money for charity by allowing people to take and share photos. PictureHealing is coming soon to both the iPhone and Android phones.
CM: Is there a particular event that triggered the idea behind PictureHealing?
CB: There was no single event really. There was what I call my “Aha!” moment, when I decided to quit my job, develop an awesome team, and started working out the idea to create something that was social, scale-able, and focused on creating as much good in the world as we could! Working for a pay check just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. So I sold the farm if you will, and dove in head first!
CM: The PictureHealing team consists of a small full-time staff as well as volunteers and activists. How did you all meet?
CB: Great question, and yes you are correct about being a small team. We all sort of came together through different means, and walks in life. All of us frustrated with the monotony of careers with no purpose, and the desire to do more. One of the co-founders is actually my first girlfriend's uncle, and he and I met the other co-founders through a group of other business owners we had breakfast with once a week. We were all working in different businesses at the time (marketing, insurance, and wealth management, and Pilates for rehabilitation)
As for the rest of the crew, we met our CTO through a start-up I was consulting for… and later brought him on to our team cause he was such a rock star. Our Director of Ops we met through a boutique web design firm in Burbank, CA, through another consulting gig I had been doing, and I met my assistant… no joke, at a bar one night.
CM: How does the PictureHealing app work?
CB: The app will live on either your iPhone or Android phone, and you’ll be able to open it up, snap a picture of whatever has your attention at the time, add image filters if you so desire, and then you can add a status message, and push it through your various social media channels or to your account via our web app (which will back up all your photos for you automatically!). By taking and sharing the pictures, you’ll earn points, and those points are how we decipher how much of our revenues go to your chosen three charities.
CM: With how many charities have you partnered so far?
CB: We’re up to about 50 so far. Most of which spread the gamut of interests so that you’ll be able to identify with a few! We’ve partnered with some really amazing orgs like Music Saves Lives, Smile Train, Keep-A-Breast, The Fender Music Foundation, and Casa Pacifica. You can find an frequently updated list at: http://www.picturehealing.com/blog/become-a-cause/CM: How have you used social media to create a buzz about PictureHealing?
CB: We’ve really embraced social media since the beginning. Before we started developing the app we spent a little over a year testing a web based version of the idea with 25 charities, so before we were even using it for any buzz, it was more so of a way to connect with our users (who we call HEROs) and hear their thoughts, opinions, and ideas to help us improve the concept… which is ultimately how we ended up moving in to the mobile app world!
Recently we received a letter from one of our HEROs on Twitter, which almost brought me to tears, about her experience with PictureHealing and how she got involved. We published it on our blog, so you can check it out here: http://www.picturehealing.com/blog/an-admirer’s-perspective-of-picturehealing/CM: The PictureHealing’s app will officially launch on October 29, 2011. Any special event planned?
CB: Yes! We’re super excited to launch and get this out in to the hands of HEROs all over the world! We’ve planned an exclusive launch party the same evening. It’s going to be a costume party being that it’s the Saturday before Halloween, at Bellini Osteria in Westlake Village, CA. We’ll have all kinds of tricks and treats to shell out! The party is an invite only event, and you can get an invite by signing up for the app invite on PictureHealing.com or by staying tuned to our Twitter and Facebook pages to participate in a few quirky ways to get yourself and a friend in.
We’ve also partnered with YELP on the event, so they’ll be giving away invites to their Elite Yelper’s… so make sure to check that out as well! A special 8 will even receive a private menu tasting with the chef an hour before the party kicks off.
CM: Where can people find more information on PictureHealing?
CB: Hopefully soon, you’ll see your friends using it, but until then you can sign up for an invite allowing you to download it the minute it releases at http://www.PictureHealing.com, and we’re all over Twitter and Facebook. Come chat it up with us. It’s usually me on those mediums as well… so come tell me if my interview was weak, awesome, or if you want to chat some more!!
CM: Any last words?
CB: Just gratitude for your time, and helping us spread the word about the app! We’re SO excited to release! We’ve been crazy behind the scenes these days, and we’re excited and gearing up to break out of the gate running! The more HEROs the better the world!