The next time someone says there aren’t any great start-ups in Santa Barbara, you might want to tell them about Snapizzi, which seeks to change the way photographs are shared.

It all started with a trip to the slopes. While on vacation, Snapizzi’s founder, Henrik Hvidtfeldt, tried to retrieve photos that friends had taken of him, but when he searched online and couldn’t find them, he knew there was a better way. So in 2009, Snapizzi was born.

Snapizzi’s patent-pending method for automated photo-tagging allows photographers and consumers alike to have quick and private access to photos. So how’s it work? Imagine you’re a photographer, capturing photos of hundreds of people. Or let’s say you’re one of the hundreds whose photo is being taken by this one photographer. Either way, there are going to be a lot of photos to upload and organize, promising a grueling, time-consuming process.

Snapizzi’s solution is for photographers to print business cards with unique 2D-technology barcodes. They snap a photo of the barcode, snap a photo of their subject, and give them the business card. This 2D-barcode recognition is like facial recognition, but a little more accurate, explains Snapizzi’s CEO, Asif Iqbal, who explained, “Facial recognition says, ‘Hey, this looks like you’, whereas our technology will know that it is you.”

Photographers then upload all the files to their own Snapizzi-hosted webpage to be automatically sorted. Consumers simply go online and type in their unique code to instantly access all photos taken of them, and only them, to preserve privacy. The platform works with schools, events, and venues.

According to Iqbal, Snapizzi is in talks with PTA members at Santa Barbara Junior High School to handle their school photos. Families would have private, unlimited access to their children’s photos and can order prints and products featuring the files.

Photographers who create accounts with Snapizzi will have professional websites that handle data management, e-commerce, order management, IT, and integrated printing labs. This will help them save on expensive software, since Snapizzi offers complete access to these programs. “Our high-tech tools and solutions provide small and medium-sized photography businesses the leverage they need to compete,” said Iqbal on the company website.

It’s a relatively new business, but it’s hitting the ground running. The Snapizzi team is trying to bridge the gap between what photographers can offer and what modern consumers demand. The technology is truly a sign of the times: quick, computer-based, and saves the need to print proofs of photos.

The Santa Barbara headquarters sells international franchises. Allan Vestergaard, senior vice president of international development, recently launched efforts to sell the first to Sweden and is securing deals in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Denmark.

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