Rick Voight is CEO of Vivid-Pix, a leading provider of image restoration software that has just announced the creation of free online classes to teach people how to host holiday events online.
Vivid-Pix was founded eight years ago with a mission to enable people to enjoy and share better images and restore decades-old photos. Vivid-Pix’s patented, AI software is in use in over 100 countries and enjoyed by librarians, genealogists, historians, and more.
Rick recently discussed his career and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your love for photography and how did you hone your skills?
Rick Voight (RV): I guess I’ve always liked pictures. My dad used to take many, although not a very good photographer. MANY years ago, I graduated from college in Rochester, NY (RIT) and was fortunate to be hired by Kodak. A terrific company for many years, with great people.
MM: How did you establish Vivid-Pix?
RV: Having worked on many projects at Kodak, HP, other places, I got to meet and work with many smart and honest people. I took a trip to Belize and took underwater photos that didn’t look very good — green colorcast — because warm colors are filtered out by the water due to depth and distance to the subject. One of the folks I worked with at Kodak was Randy Fredlund, the co-founder of Vivid-Pix. We’ve created patented image science to improve things that go wrong with images — like underwater or the fading of colors and contrast that occurs with old photos and documents.
MM: How tough was it to raise awareness about this company and keep it successful?
RV: Creating awareness and a brand is quite difficult — like the invention of image science, it takes hard work and dedication — listening to customers and to folks that can help you gain awareness.
MM: What are some of the most interesting old photos that you’ve restored?
RV: That’s really a great question — we’ve gotten to see a lot of unique photos! Most come from our customers — this example of a completely washed out, faded photo of a baby is one. We were blown away by how good of a job the software did. Or, this document from 1785, where mold had obscured the text, but we are able to restore the image so that the writing is legible.
MM: In what ways have you seen photographers use your platform to create cool images?
RV: Vivid-Pix software is designed for everyday photographers and people who are interested in family (genealogy/family history). Photos are a great way to “capture a moment” and to share with others. Most people want effective, easy-to-use and affordable “things” — including software. That’s what we create.
MM: What prompted you to launch these classes and how long did they take to design?
RV: When the pandemic struck, we decided to create education that could help people as they spent more time at home. Doing the research and building the platform took about 1 month. When health officials advised us to stay “home for the holidays”, we thought it would be good to help folks stay connected with their loved ones. So, we created Gathering Traditions — along with terrific people that were giving of their time and expertise. Since we’d built the platform, we needed to work with others on the video creations and website updates — again, about a month to create.
MM: What can attendees expect?
RV: The classes are designed to help people connect literally (through Zoom) and emotionally (through various activities that folks can do while distant). Attendees will learn from experts, in a relaxed, easy to understand format, and in bite-sized classes.
MM: What are some of the coolest things that technology offers to people seeking to connect?
RV: I really like the “tagline” that we created — I think it says it all: “Handshakes, hugs & kisses have to wait, but smiles, laughter & joy don’t have to!” All of us wish that we weren’t having to live the way we currently are, but everyone I speak with really likes that we’re helping them stay connected with friends and family. I’ve heard wonderful stories of conversations that people are having and really getting to know more about each other — to really talk and listen.
MM: How do you hope the brand evolves and expands in the future?
RV: I learn from others and I like “sayings/adages”. A couple that resonate with me are: “Do well doing good.” and “Treat others the way you wish to be treated.” The brand will evolve with these tenants and the solutions we create will be designed to help solve a need and/or want.
MM: What projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to mention?
RV: There are many health and social benefits that reminiscing provides. As we share memories and talk about the good and the bad, we feel better. We like sharing our lives and feelings, and learning about others. We wish to help more people understand this and are taking steps to do so.
For more info, see www.vivid-pix.com.