Welcome to the Snapsure Beta

Hello! Welcome to the Snapsure Beta—things are… beta-ey. And exciting! I wrote my original Welcome to Snapsure letter a tad prematurely, but things are kicking off properly right now.

There’s enough functionality—and few enough bugs—that we think other photographers will start to find Snapsure useful. (And if they don’t, that’s the kind of hard feedback we’re after.)

If you haven’t already, head here to sign up for a Snapsure account.

We’re pretty proud of the onboarding walk-through, but if you skipped it or just want to see what’s involved in creating an alert, check out this blog post on getting started with Snapsure.

Things are still pretty basic but we’ve got some big plans. Drop me an email with any and all feature request, problems, bugs, and the like, or check out our roadmap.

And, seriously, if you haven’t: sign up for Snapsure!

How to Create a Snapsure Alert

The Snapsure alerts set up dialog.

Snapsure monitors the weather, light, moon phase, and loads more conditions for the ones you want to line up—and then alerts you, so you don’t have to constantly check a half-dozen apps. Let’s look at a super simple example. Say you want to take a photo at a local beach and you need:

  • Clear skies during the evening golden hour.
  • But you’re only free at the weekend.

You could check your weather app and the times of the golden hour during the week, or you could just head down to the beach when you’re free and hope. Or—you could set up an alert in Snapsure.

Snapsure will then monitor the weather during the evening golden hour for you. Two days before things look good, you’ll get an email. (You’ll get a second yay-or-nay confirmation email 12 hours out too.)

Here’s how to set this up.

Sign up for Snapsure and create a new alert. Give it a nickname, and set a location. (It doesn’t have to be exact; this is what lets Snapsure monitor the weather, light times, and the like.)

Next, we need to set some conditions. Click Sun and Light, then Evening Golden Hour.

(If you want, you could also select the Morning Golden Hour, Evening Blue Hour, or any of the other options. Your alert would then fire whenever there were clear skies during any of your chosen times.)

Next, click Day of Week and select Saturday, Sunday, and, if it works for you, Friday. Then click Cloud Cover and choose Clear Skies.

Click Create Alert and everything is ready to go.

When Snapsure detects that there’ll be clear skies during the golden hour on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday evening you’ll get an email to let you know—so you can go out and get the shot.

And you can create alerts like this with any of Snapsure’s conditions, from the moon phase to whether or not the galactic centre is visible. So go, sign up for the free Snapsure beta right now and get started!

And please, if you’ve any questions or comments you can contact me (Harry) by email or WhatsApp.

What’s Next for Snapsure?

Hey, welcome to the super soft launch of Snapsure. This is beta version 0.0001—but, it’s now usable and (hopefully) useful. You can check out the launch announcement for a few more ideas but, as of now, you can use Snapsure to create alerts that tell you if:

  • It’ll be a clear night and the galactic centre will be visible at your location.
  • It’s going to be slightly overcast at sunset on Saturday.
  • It’s going to bucket rain overnight.

The things you can build alerts from are:

  • The day of the week, month of the year, and season. 
  • Sunrise, sunset, and the golden and blue hours. 
  • Moon rise and set times, and moon phase. 
  • Precipitation type and amount. 
  • Whether the skies are cloudy or clear. 
  • If the galactic centre is visible.

But this is all just the beta—we have big ideas on things we’d like to add. Some of the things in the pipeline are:

  • Local tides.
  • Wind speed and direction (for those awesome cloud trails).
  • Sun and moon azimuths (so you can have the sun in a particular position).
  • Cloud height, type, and stuff like that.
  • Predicted sunrise and sunset quality.
  • Fog, mist, and dew predictions.
  • Aurora visibility.
  • The visibility of planets, stars, comets, and other celestial bodies.
  • Meteor predictions.
  • And lots, lots, lots more.

And this is where you as a (potential) beta user come in. We want and need your feedback. What do you want to do in Snapsure but currently can’t? What kind of photos do you love to take and could do with alerts telling you when circumstances are good? Are things too complex? Please, let us know!

You can go and sign up for Snapsure now or if you’ve any questions or comments you can contact me (Harry) by email or WhatsApp.

Thanks! And we’re looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Welcome to Snapsure

Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski.

Hey, so this is Snapsure—a service that helps photographers get the shot. Right now it’s super rough, but we’re moving things in the right direction so stay tuned.

The idea behind Snapsure is pretty simple—to get the great photos you want, you need certain things (like the time of day, the weather, and what the sun is doing) to line up. So, to get the best shot at a great photo of the Milky Way arch you need:

  • The Milky Way’s centre visible from where you want to take the shot.
  • Actual darkness (which you don’t get during the summer at high latitudes).
  • Clear skies.
  • Dark skies (so either a new moon, or the moon to have set by the time you plan to take the shot).

You can work around some of these, but the more things that line up the better. The problem is that, in lots of places, the conditions you need for the shots you want won’t line up very often. If you’re a professional photographer, part of your job is checking everything constantly so you don’t miss an opportunity. But if you’re taking photos as a hobby, you don’t have that luxury. This is where Snapsure comes in.

With Snapsure, you create custom alerts (right now, email only but mobile is on our radar). When the three-day forecast matches the conditions you’re looking for, you’ll get an email letting you know, so you can clear everything with your partner, scope out the location, and so on. 24 hours before, we’ll double check everything and drop you a second message to let you know if the shot’s still on.

So, say you want that shot of the Milky Way. Right now you could create a Snapsure alert that fires when:

  • The galactic centre is visible in your chosen location.
  • It’s a new moon.
  • There will be astrological twilight (so properly dark skies).
  • The skies will either be clear or slightly overcast.

And the next time those things line up, you’ll get an email letting you know. Without having to religiously check the weather every day.

Ready to give it a try?

Sign up for Snapsure free today and you’ll be taking better pictures tomorrow.

Snapsure’s in Version 0.001 Beta at the moment so your current options to build alerts from are:

  • The day of the week, month of the year, and season.
  • Sunrise, sunset, and the golden and blue hours.
  • Moon rise and set times, and moon phase.
  • Precipitation type and amount.
  • Whether the skies are cloudy or clear.
  • If the galactic centre is visible.

With just these conditions, there are thousands of possible alerts from when there’ll be clear skies during the golden hours at the weekend so you can get out for some great sunrise shots or if it’ll be cloudy during the day so you can take some great natural light portraits in a local park.

And they’re just the start. We have plans to add dozens more conditions (and are totally open to requests) to make Snapsure indispensable.

National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson said, “If you want to be a better photographer stand in front of more interesting stuff”. But you can also stand in front of the same stuff, at a more interesting time. That’s what Snapsure wants to help you do.

Thanks for reading. You can go and sign up for Snapsure now or if you’ve any questions you can contact me by email or WhatsApp.


Harry Guinness, Snapsure CEO and co-founder.

(Keanan Koppenhaver, CTO and co-founder, approves this message).