VSCO – Mobile photography empire for hipsters

3 min read
24 November 2016

In 2011 in Oakland a small VSCO company was founded. This company started selling presets for photo editing. Later was added an app for editing photos on the smartphone.

Five years later VSCO became a real mobile photography empire for hipster: with apps, messages, and inside media. Here we’ll tell you about 5 main things you need to know about VSCO.

1. VSCO is the best filters for Instagram

Most of smartphone photographers use VSCO filters (today the app has more than 20 million users all over the world).

There are two types of filters: a dozen of free filters and tens of filters you need to pay for. You can buy selections of certain filters or purchase them all together.

From time to time the company releases free selections of filters from sponsors. Sponsors could be fashion brands, hotels, and other companies.

We suggest buying all filters together. Then test them carefully on your favorite photos and turn off those you don’t like. Just keep about 15-20 filters.

ACG is a pretty cool filter for every occasion, will take it. In P2 sepia is too strong, will turn it off in settings.

2. VSCO has its own analogue of Instaram

There is a small social network hidden inside the app. VSCO Community is a way to publish your photos and compile them into collections. You can see photos both in the app and in the social network.

VSCO interface is so fancy that it seems weird. Obviously, designers overdid their job. They even reinvented the “OK” button putting ◯ instead of ✔

VSCO social network is a pretty weird thing. We can’t call it popular, and there are not so many reasons to actually use it. There are no likes, no comments, and no searching tools. Most probably this service was created because of the desire to make their own small world for hipsters, with blackjack and filters.

3. VSCO has its own journal about photography

Several times a month they publish photo stories about people or travel. They also share new filter selections and promote active users.

Unfortunately, each time they have less photo stories and more boring news about the service in this “journal”.

4. Besides collections of filters VSCO has other apps

There are two apps. DSCO is a free app for creating loop GIFs. Artifact uprising is a service for creating photo books from users’ photos. It costs from $25 to $139 for a piece.

5. As they did before, the company sells analogue filters for professional photographers

If you upload to Instagram photos made with a professional camera, take a look at the VSCO presents for Photoshop and Lightroom. Lately the company has lowered prices more than twice: they ask $60 for each selection of 8 filters.

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It seems that VSCO can be divided into two parts: small one and big one.

The small part consists of useful filters for Instagram. Feel free to install VSCO apps and use them.

The big part is the community, the journal, different events and collaborations. You can leave it to journalists, startupers, and fancy people.