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From Yinztagram to HitchedPic

on Fri, 02/15/2013 - 14:59

They made it possible for Pittsburghers everywhere to have WQED documentarian Rick Sebak join a family picnic, or have the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s dinosaur visit anyone’s back yard. Because of them, weightlifters of any shape or size can now lift an oversized Primanti sandwich high above their heads, and the Duquesne Incline can now operate inside a two-story home. For the creative forces behind Yinztagram, however, that was only the beginning as their new iPhone app HitchedPic officially launched on February 13, 2013, allowing wedding guests to now add their own personal touches to any nuptial occasion.

“People like to edit and augment photos,” co-developer Matthew Pegula explained to Pop City. “So we asked ourselves, how can we bring that together and help couples document the biggest day of their lives?” HitchedPic is designed to follow the entire wedding process and allow the bride and groom to experience the pending ceremony and aftermath through the eyes and imagination of their closest friends and family. Once a couple signs up for the service, they are given a private website that collects and organizes photos taken with the assistance of the HitchedPic app. Like Yinztagram, the app allows users to augment any picture by adding new images and backgrounds to the photo, giving each snapshot a humorous and personal touch.

Matthew Pegula first got into the photo augmenting business when his friend Drew Von Arx texted him from Commonplace Voluto in Garfield. “I was kind of bored, and I was posting a picture from the coffee shop on Instagram, and suddenly I thought, ‘Why isn’t there a photo app called a Yinztagram?’” Von Arx told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in August 2012. “Why isn’t there something specifically for Pittsburgh or for people who love Pittsburgh as much as I do?” With the help of Pegula—who worked as director of engineering at Deeplocal at the time, a software design firm in East Liberty—Yinztagram became reality later that evening when a photo of Pegula’s wife was altered to have her sitting next to Rick Sebak.

Yinztagram launched in late August of 2012 and was downloaded by 4,500 people in under forty-eight hours. Just as the original Instagram allows for the altering of pictures, the Yinztagram app offers users the ability to add a touch of the Steel City to their photos, from the aforementioned Rick Sebak to the Duquesne Incline to a Primanti sandwich. Matthew Pegula eventually decided to take the concept of image alteration further with the assistance of fellow Deeplocal employee Dimitry Bentsionov. The two quit their jobs and formed Workshirt, which then created the HitchedPic app and website.

According to Pop City, HitchedPic is only the beginning as the two local entrepreneurs envision apps for any occasion, including birthdays and sporting events. “It’s ongoing,” Pegula explained. “Taking what we’ve done and making it scalable.”

As well as fun, personal and relatable.

Anthony Letizia (February 15, 2013)

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