By Heide Brandes
Courtesy of The Journal Record
TULSA – Dustin Curzon of Tulsa has known his wife since their childhood days. Throughout the years, he collected photos of their youthful friendship, their romance during college, and their engagement as adults.
While each photograph was important, he realized that the stories behind those photos were the most important part. He created a slideshow of pictures for their wedding day, and an idea was born.
So many times, those hundreds of photos taken during family trips, special events or holidays sit idle and forgotten on computers or in boxes, but Curzon created a platform and a company to make those photos sharable – and narrated as well with real voices and stories.
He wanted people to be able to share the story behind their photos.
“By profession, I’m a photographer, and I dealt with people and the stories they would tell about those photos,” Curzon said. “I started thinking. We all have thousands of photos, but there’s a small group of photos that we really care about. What if you could tell the story behind those photos and share that?”
In January 2011, Curzon took that idea and created Narrable.com, a startup that launched an online storytelling platform on Dec. 11. The company is making waves in the tech world all over the nation.
“Right now, you can upload photos to the Narrable.com site. You enter your phone number, and the site calls you. You talk about the photo, and the site adds that narration to the photo,” said Curzon. “This is going to change the way we take photos because we are changing the way we tell the story in real time.”
It’s not just another photo site that simply organizes images or creates a slideshow. It gives the photos life by capturing the voices. In addition, the Tulsa company offers the only platform of this kind.
“We’re the first,” Curzon said. “There were a couple of other companies that were trying to do this, but it was too difficult in the past to capture both photos and voice.”
The Narrable process is designed to be user-friendly. Subscribers upload favorite photos to Narrable.com. After a layout is chosen, users add written and audio narratives to each photo. Invited friends and family can also share their experiences by adding memories, creating a story with multiple layers. The site offers five free audio uploads, called narrables, but for each story shared on Facebook, a user can earn an additional free narrable.
“Conceivably, you could just keep sharing and getting new narrables,” Curzon said. “But we do offer a premium package for $5 a month that offers unlimited narrables.”
Curzon and his partners in Narrable want to offer additional features as the site develops. For instance, Narrable will offer a way for multiple people to add narration to a single image.
The site works with smartphones, tablets and desktops.