My Holiday Motto

This year my holiday season motto will be Plan Ahead. Well, really, my holiday motto will be Peace, Joy and Goodwill towards Men, but my holiday preparedness motto will be Plan Ahead. We all know how crazy it can get during this time.

There’s so much to do in December—shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating… you know the drill. Last year, I tried a different motto: Simplify. I didn’t bake, culled my Santa collection, putting fewer on display, and cut back on the decorations. Turns out, I don’t like to simplify. I missed my Santas and wished I had put up the time-consuming decoration on the dining room light fixture.

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This year I’m hoping Plan Ahead will let me do all the things I want to do for the holidays without the stress and craziness of cramming it all into a few weeks. I have to admit that it goes against my nature to start Christmas too early. It kind of drives me crazy to see Christmas lights on the day after Halloween. And Thanksgiving always gets short-changed. But I figure that as long as I keep my early work under wraps until December, it’s acceptable. No one has to know that I’m doing my Christmas cards in early November since I won’t mail them out until December.

So this week I’m doing my Christmas cards. I’ve already selected the pictures of the boys I’ll use and have started looking through the card designs available. I’m going to use the My KODAK MOMENTS App on my smartphone to create my cards. The pictures I want to use are already in my photo stream and the convenience of using my smartphone can’t be beat. Standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for the kids to finish sports practice, a few zone out minutes with my smartphone at the end of the day—all perfect times to open up the App and check out the card designs. What will it be—trendy chalkboard, vintage appeal, whimsical polka dots or traditional cheer. There are literally hundreds to choose from!

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We make it quick and easy to make your holiday cards and other photo products. There are a variety of convenient options from which to choose. Walk into a store and use the KODAK Picture Kiosk or try the KODAK MOMENTS Apps on your smartphone or tablet wherever you are, to create photo gifts which you can pick up on your way home from work or have delivered right to your house.

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Another benefit of planning ahead—I can take advantage of the great discount being offered until November 15th: 33% off all premium photo products. While I’m getting the jump on my holiday cards, I should probably also get my act together and do the annual photo books and calendars (also on sale!) for the Grandmas too!

(And for those of you who choose to go with a different motto this holiday season, we also offer New Year’s cards!)

The new Kodak Moments HD App for your tablet!

I love my iPad. I find myself using it over my laptop more and more, whether it’s looking up recipes in the kitchen or checking IMDB while watching a movie in the living room. After a look at the statistics, I don’t think I’m alone. By 2015 there will be 82.1 million tablet users in the United States. The average tablet user spends 90 minutes a day on their tablet. 80% of tablet users say it has improved their work/life balance and ummm 35% of people say they have used their tablet in the bathroom!

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It only makes sense that you should be able to make photo books and order prints on your tablet too! Today Kodak Alaris introduces KODAK MOMENTS HD App for your iPad. You can easily create a photo book on your tablet which has a nice big screen, larger than your mobile phone, but still has the power of your laptop, without the bulkiness. Since there is a larger screen, this app is able to take advantage of such features as drag and drop.

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The Kodak Moments HD app has unique features such as Smartfit technology that allows your images to be easily dragged and dropped into simple-to-use templates that automatically format. That way nothing important is lost from your images. You also get KODAK Perfect Touch Enhancement Technology for even better looking pictures.

You can pull your photos from Facebook, Instagram and Flickr. Or from your iPad camera roll. You know what I’m talking about. I have totally seen people on vacation in front of landmarks, holding their tablets up in the air, taking photos.

After you have made your photo book or selected your prints (while lounging on the couch or a lawn chair) you can send your order to a major retailer like Target or Bartell Drugs for pick-up. Or you can have it shipped to your home.

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So go and download the Kodak Moments HD App, try it out and let us know what you think.

Stay tuned for the Android version and new photo products like cards and calendars!

Skiing and My Kodak Moment’s app

It has been an epic winter for skiiing.  My family spent last Saturday tearing it up on the slopes; what a bluebird day!  I grabbed a few shots with my iPhone — I love the colors of downhill skiing, especially on a sunny day.

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These shots were so good I made a quick photo book with them, using the KODAK My Kodak Moments app.  It took me 10 minutes to create the book; all you need to do is download and start the app, select “Create and Order from Phone”, select “Simple Picture Books”, pick your size, and make it.  The app lets you use all those smartphone pictures you are taking but never seem to make it in print.  I picked 10 shots, did a simple reorder, picked my nearest Target store, and voila — I will pick up the book on my way home.

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A memorable day, now even more memorable with my simple photo book!

You can download the My Kodak Moment mobile app for your iPhone or Android device here and get started right away?

Chatting with Melissa Love for #KodakMoment

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Selfie of Melissa Love

Mother, graphic designer and photographer, Melissa Love was the very first person we featured in our #KodakMoment series in the UK, where we ask people to tell a story in three photographs. Melissa moved from Brighton to the beautiful fishing village of Fowey in Cornwall two years ago and finds that photography provides her with the perfect opportunity to be creative and relax. We caught up with her to ask her what makes her tick…

You can see Melissa’s three #KodakMoment photos below:

Probably the most photos I take are of my kids when they don’t know I’m there. I tuck myself out of the way. They don’t pose – they’re bored of me!

Q: What drives you to take photographs?
A: Once you start seeing something you get into the habit of good composition, and with my graphic design background you see everything with a good frame. I find it very relaxing.

Q: What cameras do you use? Film vs digital?
A: I use both film and digital. I have a digital SLR Canon 5D MK2, and sometimes my smartphone is easily enough for my needs – I have a lot of camera apps on my phone. I’m a big Instagrammer. I like the discipline of using film too, and I also have an old Polaroid camera.

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Melissa’s daughter Grace having fun with the sprinkles during a baking session

Q: What inspires you to get out there and shoot?
A: What doesn’t! I usually get inspired when I’m out somewhere with my kids, taking them to the beach. I also do a lot of street photography – any situation can inspire me. It can be mundane, or it could be a shot of dream weather. I have to consciously not take the camera with me sometimes.

Q: What are your favourite subjects to photograph?
A: Probably the most photos I take are of my kids when they don’t know I’m there. I tuck myself out of the way. They don’t pose – they’re bored of me! They’re used to it, as I’m not up in their faces. Grace is a complete show-off, and Lily doesn’t want to be left out.

Q: Which photographers do you admire and why?
A: Alain Laboile. He takes pictures of his kids – he lives on a muddy farm and his photos are stunning and very different. He has really inspired my work. My favourite photo of all time would be one of his.

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Grace larking about outdoors during stormy weather

Q: Do you like having your photo taken?
A: I’m trying not to mind it. There’s only one photo of me together with my children, and my new year’s resolution is to ask a photographer to take a photo of all of us together. I love looking back at old photos of my Mum and I want my children to know how I looked at various points in my life, too. You can’t wait forever – you just need to get on with it.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: I eat lunch at my desk – as I don’t have that much time due to working within school hours, I will be eating a bowl of noodles while working, while being on the phone to a client – sometimes they can hear me slurping.

Q: What would be the first thing you’d rescue in a house fire?
A: After my children, my Mac!

Q: Tell us a secret about yourself.
A: I can make balloon animals, including a sausage dog, a cat and a bird on a swing!

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Grace signalling to a family friend that changing nappies is a smelly business

To see more of Melissa Love’s photos visit: Website www.melissalove.co.uk Twitter @melissarachlove; Instagram @melissalove

Want to get involved with #KodakMoment? If you can tell a great story in three photos, get in touch with us on the UK Facebook page

CES – Drones, Phones and Wearabletech!

For those of you unfamiliar with CES it’s the annual Consumer Electronics show and the Hollywood of Tech. A glitzy VIP club for the latest shiny new things. It sends the press into hyperbole and brings out the techno-geek in all of us. Of course Las Vegas is the perfect backdrop – an incongruous fantasy world in the middle of the desert (a description that could apply equally to both show and city). The combination is quite overpowering, yet seductive enough to attract 150,000 visitors annually. After four shows I’m still not sure whether I love it or hate it – either way there’s no doubting its credentials to fuel the imagination in ways few other shows can match.

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The Strip at night.

2014 was the largest in history with 2 million square feet of exhibit space and over 3200 exhibitors. It is simply stellar in dimension. This year the pretty young things were hailed as wearable tech, drones, 3D printing, next gen smart phones and the Internet of Things to name a few. All exciting opportunities no doubt, but time will tell which live up to the promise. That 3D printing and wearable tech have been around for decades didn’t seem to matter; this year both technologies had evolved to a futuristic sexiness that demanded attention.

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South Hall Entrance

Wearables had been catapulted to stardom by the booming smartphone and app market and just needed the sensors to catch up. Perhaps I should be more interested in how long I’ve sat down and how many calories I’ve burnt, but what would I do with the information bar feel a little guilty about my second piece of toast? The real potential of wearable tech is still waiting in the wings. Imagine a comprehensive health monitor that diagnoses all manner of health problems before they arise – now that sounds useful, but still only scratching the surface as just about everything we use evolves into a connected network.

So we enter the surreal Internet of Things. A rather expansive term attributed to the British technologist Kevin Ashton, encapsulating the concept that everyday objects are now connecting to the internet. Each one uniquely identifiable, accessible, controllable and working silently in the background to make life better. (At least I hope that’s the outcome). And the machines manage themselves. M2M or Machine to Machine technology is growing with google-like determination, with IDC forecasting 212 billion connected things by 2020 and over 30billion autonomous things. Whether the thought of things controlling things without human intervention fills you with wonder or something less savory, it is going to happen and will be one of the biggest revolutions over the horizon. All part of the BIG DATA phenomenon.

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The LV Monorail – every 4 minutes to the show at peak times

3D printing in the home is an impossibly exciting prospect, but what would I print? It’s too slow and expensive for things that can be mass produced – if you wanted a new plastic fork, you’d just buy one. No, the value of 3D printing, at least in the short term, is to create something unique. The prototype and hobbyist market is booming whilst personalization of objects has yet to find mainstream appeal, but watch this space…!

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3D printed models (hand painted) at the 3D systems booth

And so to Kodak Alaris. This was our first CES as the new company. As I entered the foyer to the South Hall and climbed the escalator, a Kodak Moments sign hove into view. We had secured prime position at the hall entrance – it could not have been better sited.

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The Kodak Moments Print Place

The team was busy setting up an array of kiosks and mobile printing sales collateral. I continued on to our conference room suite and demo facilities in Hall 4 of the South Hall next to Google. (Incidentally – it is always a source of amazement to me how the show floor moves from utter mess to pristine overnight.)

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South Hall the day before opening.

Our show message was mobile. A third of the world’s population will have a smartphone with a hi-res camera by 2017 – already the preferred way of capturing planned as well as spontaneous photos. Gartner estimates total app downloads tripped past 100 billion in 2013. The number of digital images in existence is now estimated at over 2 trillion and growing fast. And each time we make it easier for consumers to print and do more with their images from smartphones we see a step change upwards in printing. Already we have accounts with over 20% of orders from Mobile devices. Our My Kodak Moments app passed 3 million downloads in December, and in October last year we took the bold step of allowing any developer to add Kodak printing capability to existing and new photo based apps with the launch of the Kodak Photo Service.  We now have seven partner apps live giving a total of 14million app downloads available to print.

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Image from CNN article 8th Jan 2014

Our message at the show was simple. You can now print easily from your mobile devices wherever you are – and the Kodak connected infrastructure and range of apps able to do this is growing all the time.

On the first day of the show the severe east coast weather was still making headlines. I was delayed a day travelling over and with 17,000 flights cancelled the prior week;there was no doubt early attendance was affected. It quickly picked up on Day two though as airlines worked their way through Atlantic quantities of de-icer and got the US moving again.

The lobby booth was a storming success and bustling with activity from dawn till dusk every day. Feedback was unanimously positive and we have a great opportunity to further expand our touchpoints, connected retail distribution and awareness. Our open platform mobile strategy in this space has been well received by press and customers alike and there is much to play for over the coming months.

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Karen Hoff –  in control at the lobby booth!

Finally I would like to thank our tireless team who really did a wonderful job in the planning and execution of our CES presence – it was a great success! The next show is the big one for our industry – Photokina, which takes place in September at Cologne. Look forward to sharing the experience as it happens, it’s sure to be a something special

Best wishes to all for 2014!

Darren

My Kodak Moment Social Prints Display Project

When I went to Hawaii last summer I took hundreds of photos. Some were on my DSLR, some on Kodak film and some on my iPhone.

The pictures taken with my DSLR and film camera were blown up, printed, framed and made into photo books.

The pictures taken on my iPhone were posted to Facebook and that was the last anyone saw of them. I recently went back to my Facebook album and realized there were shots I got with my iPhone, because it was handy, that I didn’t otherwise capture.

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Not wanting to forget those moments, I used the My Kodak Moments app for Facebook to make Social Prints of those shots. As you can see above I have ordered prints of my Facebook photos using the My Kodak Moments app before… it works really well with square photos like those that come from Instagram.

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You can access all your photo albums on Facebook to choose your photos. If your friends have given you permission, you can even print photos from their albums.

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There are several alternatives to choose from for your prints. You can change the background color/pattern and the orientation.

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You can even do a “mini-collage” print with three photos.

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Lots of combos to choose from!

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The app pulls in any comments that were posted to that photo onto your print. If you want to edit it or delete it just click “Edit Caption”

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I wanted a fun way to display these prints at home so I took an old frame and converted it into a photo display that I can easily update occasionally.

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It was pretty easy. I took out the glass and wrapped the board inside the frame with an old map. I thought the map would make a nice background for travel photos.

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Then I nailed small nails into the back of the frame, stretched wire across the front of the frame and wrapped it around the nails.

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I like to use little wee clothespins to attach the prints to the wire. They are so cute. You can also hang other memorabilia with the pictures like postcards, business cards, tickets and menus.

I love how looking at it brings back the entire trip for me!

You can try the My Kodak Moments app for Facebook here –> http://kodak.ly/MKMFBApp

How to get prints of photos on your phone

There are 1.1 billion smartphone users in the world. Chances are you are one of them and on that phone you have lots of pictures that you have snapped. Whether they are  of your cat sleeping in the sun, the amazing eggs benedict you had at brunch or your sister’s wedding, there may come a time that you want prints of those photos.

(Side thought – good for you for thinking about printing those photos. Remember what it was like flipping through photo albums? Will you and family gather around your phone in 30 years? Where will those pictures be? Whether they are in a frame, a photo book or a collage… there is just something about a printed photo you can’t beat!)

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Ok, back to how you can make prints of those photos you have on your phone. This is where the My Kodak Moments mobile app comes in. It’s available for iPhone and Android users.

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Once you download the My Kodak Moments app, you can decide if you want to order the prints from your phone and go pick them up at the store, or go into the store and make the prints right on the kiosk.

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When you use the app, you have access to all the albums and photos on your phone and if you have them in the cloud too.

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There is a grid view where you can tap and select the pictures you want to print. The icon in the lower right will switch you to the slideshow view seen below.

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In the slideshow view you can see the photos a little larger and still tap on them to select them for printing.

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After you have selected the photos you want, click “Cart” and there you will see a list of the photos you selected. In this view if you click the photo or “Change” it will give you options to edit the photo.

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In edit mode you can crop, rotate, or add an effect to your photo. You can also change what size print you want. Clicking “Done” will take you back to the list of your prints and then walk you through the rest of the ordering process.

Still not convinced how quick and easy it is to get prints from your phone? Watch one of our software developers, Marty, show how to order prints in under 3 minutes in this video!

To download the My Kodak Moments mobile app get started here –> kodak.ly/apps4mobile