PIERRE LE GOVIC INTERVIEW : founder of "OUT OF THE PHONE"

LIS : First, can you briefly describe the activity of the "OOTP" company?

OOTP : Out Of The Phone is a print-on-demand and publishing platform for all photography enthusiasts. A web application allows users to create their photo book in minutes. We also feature the work of photographers by presenting and selling their books in our online bookstore. We ship worldwide.


LIS : How did you come up with this idea?

OOTP : The idea came about naturally. I'm passionate about photography, paper and books and I have a long experience in professional printing. A few years ago, I embraced the mobile photography world and I was fascinated by the power of photography as a way to interact. More importantly, I realized that behind the huge stream of photographs posted on social networks was hidden real talented people. So I decided to build a platform dedicated to mobile photography in order to highlight some unknown talents by publishing their work on paper.

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LIS : In your opinion, what’s the difference between OOTP and other print-on-demand services?

OOTP : 3 things : First of all, unlike other print-on-demand services which offer basic templates to their customers, we offer a tailor-made approach by leveraging on our expertise in publishing. Users just have to upload their pictures and we do the hard job for them including a customized layout. Secondly, our products are different from traditionnal photo books printed on glossy papers. They are hand-crafted objects. We also use special materials and papers. Lastly, by submitting their work, photographers have the possibility to join our book collection. We have a 'featured stories' section and we sell a selection of books in our online bookstore.


LIS : How can we believe in paper printing at a time when the trend is towards dematerialization?

OOTP : Dematerialization creates a frustration. We are overwhelmed by images on social mediam platforms. Our computers and phones are full of photos that we will never see again. Paper, prints, books allow people to preserve their best images and memories. Emotion is essential to me. Paper helps build a link between what you see and what you feel. I really think that touching physical objects is a primary need.

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LIS : While browsing the website, I noticed that some printed books were on sale online in the store, is this a service associated with the delivery of printing on demand? Or is it a punctual edition choice?

OOTP : Out Of The Phone intends to highlight photographers by showcasing their work on its platform. When photographers make a book with us through our web app, they have the possibility to submit their work. We present and sell a selection of stories that we like. Our collection of photo books expands with the works created and submitted on our platform.

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LIS : OOTP focuses on Mobile Photography, what benefits do smartphones bring compared to traditional cameras in your opinion?

OOTP : This is a subject matter raised on countless occasions... Today the line between smartphones and traditional devices is becoming tenuous. At Out Of The Phone, the photographer's eye is more important that the device. Originally publishing house dedicated to mobile photographers, OOTP is now developing into a print-on-demand and publishing platform devoted to all photographers. The main advantage of the Smartphone as a photographic tool is that it is always with you ! No excuse to not be ready for the decisive moment.

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LIS : Do you have to use smartphone to be able to print your book with OOTP?

OOTP : Absolutely not. We are open to all kind of photography whatever the device.


LIS : Have social networks, and especially Instagram, influenced and still influence OOTP in one way or another? if yes, how does it influence it?

OOTP : The couple Instagram / Smartphone has been a revolution in the photography world. Being able to take a picture, post it on Instagram and share it instantly with the world has changed the way photographers approach and share their work. The OOTP idea came thanks to this new paradigm.


LIS : OOTP does not simply use Instagram as a traditional means of communication since the account is also identified on the network as a repost page. Can you explain this choice?

OOTP : OOTP Intagram account has been a curation page from the start. We were one of the first accounts to highlight photographers by showcasing their work. We haven't changed. Our IG page informs our users about the books we publish and about our services but we put the focus on photographers to help them bring recognition.


LIS : Several books by the photographer Richard Koci Hernandez are available in the online store, can you tell us a few words about this privileged collaboration?

OOTP : For Downtown, the first book that OOTP published, Koci was the obvious choice. He's considered the spokesman of mobile photographers, an emblematic figure of mobile photography. He did a lot to make this movement emerge and represents a good mix between Street photography and experimentation. Koci let me totally free to choose the images and to make the sequencing and layout. He trusted me one hundred percent. He's amazing. I love this guy.

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LIS : What are the next development steps for OOTP in the medium term?

OOTP : We have many projects. We are currently working on new print-on-demand products which will soon be available. We will release a new version of our web app offering a better experience.


Website link Out Of The Phone

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