|The first SOVS application provides 17 sample compositions for portrait photos. Users can use these guidelines by overlapping them with the photograph being taken. Photo provided by SOVS.
When you hand your camera to someone else, regardless of his or her photography skills, the odds are that you’ll be returned with something far from what you’ve expected. This is because explaining what you want your photograph to look like to others can be very tricky, not to mention while traveling abroad when the only word you can say is “photo.”
So Su-young and Park Joo-eun, two students from Korea University Business School (KUBS), focused on this moment of inconvenience. How can I explain what kind of photograph I want to take to somebody else? Their answer could be found in a promotion video of their application, SOVS: “Don’t explain, just show it.”
SOVS, an acronym for “Someone Very Special,” is a photo request app that creates a guideline for a desired photograph. Using SOVS’ sample compositions and silhouette marks, the application helps anyone to easily take a photo in a desired way. All the photographer has to do is simply follow the guidelines, so regardless of who is taking the photo, the results are likely to fulfill the expectation of the user. There will be no need to explain with words, making the application quite useful when traveling abroad by overcoming any language barrier.
According to the SOVS team, their 17 sample compositions were made by analyzing more than 40,000 snapshots. By collected shots that received positive reviews on the internet and analyzing them, they deduced the most popular compositions preferred when taking portrait pictures.
“SOVS takes advantage of the distortions that happen in most smartphone rear cameras and provides compositions that would make legs look longer and heads smaller,” So explained. “We also did research on how objects look different in size according to their position in the scene.”
Co-founder So and Park met at a student entrepreneur club at KUBS where they made the first demo version of SOVS. The team won Business Research Award from “2017 Startup Express Summer Season” which was hosted by KUBS Iljin Center for Startup Incubation. They received funding from Korea University Startup Station and moved into Iljin Center for further educational support.
In August 2017, So and Park established their own body corporate to continue with their project and after two months, the co-founders launched the completed application in app stores around the world.
Since its release, SOVS has ranked 1st as the most popular paid app on Apple App Store and has hit the top 100 in the Photo & Video section of App Store in 14 different countries. Currently, it still keeps its place on the section’s top 10 apps in Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. Recently on Nov. 2, the team launched SOVS2 – this time a free app with in-app purchase bundles. Paid sample compositions for groups of three or four, couple portraits, and much more were added to the new version. It also introduced its new filter feature.
“Through gathering and analyzing more snapshot data, we are going to update more silhouettes that people want. Also, we want to expand SOVS’ service to include more features that users need,” Park said. “We hope SOVS can help people who don’t know anything about composition to create their best shot.” firstname.lastname@example.org