There was a time when taking photos meant a long and complicated process. In the olden times, we used to buy something called film and insert it in the camera (a special kind of camera). The “film” had 10, 24 or 36 images on it. If you insert it in daylight, you ran the risk of burning the whole film, and that is why most of the time you had to buy two films. Then there was the process of taking the image, and not being able to see it right away. That is why when you go through your parents’ old images, you will probably find a lot of them with people blinking or moving around awkwardly or they might be too dark or too bright.
To be able to see the images, you had to “develop the film”, which was a chemical process done in a red room (spooky!). However, when things progressed, machines took over, resulting in 1-hour image shops instead of waiting a day or two. However, this all ended with the onslaught of digital cameras. Printing photos was no longer required. Yet, a new Egyptian business called Fotosoora intends to change that.
“The Idea behind Fotosoora.com came to one of our partners more than one and half years ago. Our co-founder, Mohamed Moharram, who happened to work in finance in London for more than seven years, was on a flight from London to Cairo when he spotted an article in the Financial Times about Kodak International filing for bankruptcy in the United States,” explained Marwan Kabbani, managing director of Fotosoora.
Moharram realised that “Kodak was failing in its attempt to remake its analogue film business for the digital age.” That was the inspiration for Fotosoora and the challenge of trying to succeed where Kodak failed. “The idea was to reengineer the process, making it easier again for this customer base to print their pictures. After a few Google searches, he discovered that this is a business that is prospering in Europe and the United States, but not yet available in the Middle East region,” Kabbani explained.
Moharram then shared the idea with “a local entrepreneur, an IT expert and a lawyer,” namely: Marwan Kabbani, Tayssir Hawary and Mahmoud Moharram. The four became the founders of the local business. Fotosoora was launched on 4 September of this year.
Even though photos are meant to be admired and looked at, most people keep theirs on hard-drives and computers, away from sight. “There are some photos that are just too good to be kept trapped behind a computer screen; our graduating class photos, prom, the first dance at the wedding, the little one’s first toothless grin…these photos are meant to last forever,” Kabbani explained. This is the main premise of Fotosoora, giving freedom to those special images.
Kabbani continued: “We give you the chance to bring your memories to life by creating cool prints and unique photo gifts to share with your loved ones. And the best part yet? You never have to leave your sofa!”
Fotosoora also gives you the possibility of printing those photos on other objects such as mugs, wooden panels and more. They are constantly adding more products and memorabilia to their range.
To get started you need to create an account on the website, upload your images and then make your selection of printing options. The only method of payment is cash upon delivery and it usually takes three to four days to deliver the images. More information can be found on their Facebook page.