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Kickstarter – COVR Photo – An iPhone Case with a Built In Camera Lens – An Interview

This is a cool little project with support and backing from both our Columnists Richard Koci Hernadez and Kevin Kuster among 986 others- $65,966 has actually been pledged so far to get this product into production. COVR Photo is a protective iPhone case with a lens built into it. Simply press the case onto your iPhone, download the app from the App Store, and you’re ready to shoot pictures and video. If you want to use your regular iPhone camera just slide the COVR lens back and shoot away. One of the great assets of COVR Photo is that it’s always on your iPhone ready and waiting—you’ll never have to miss a special moment again.

Thomas Hurst is the creator of COVR and he explains that he created COVR after his wife Angela, a mom of three young boys, was diagnosed with late-stage cancer at the age of 37. Not knowing what lay ahead, Angela and Thomas made it their mission to document as many special moments in their family so their sons would always be able to look back on the beautiful relationship and adventures they had with their mom.

Thomas recently gave a preproduction sample to Kevin Kuster (ours I believe is enroute) to test and he followed that up with an interview with Thomas. We have republished this below and we have included some of Kevin’s sample images, don’t miss that below.

There’s only 4 days to go left on this campaign and the goal is $80,000 – to find out more, please go to their Kickstarter page here.


Image – COVR Photo – ©Kevin Kuster

Thomas Hurst/COVR: Why is it necessary to remain discreet?

Kevin Kuster: Their is a theory called the Hawthorne effect that refers to a phenomenon whereby workers improve or modify an aspect of their behavior in response to the fact of change in their environment by being observed. The same can be said about photography. People often change when they are being photographed. Once someone knows they are being photographed they “alter” and/or project how they wish to be perceived or viewed in the world.

TH/COVR: Is it wrong to be discrete?

KK:I don’t think there is anything wrong with being discrete in certain circumstances when taking pictures. I try and be as discrete as possible whenever, I photograph my son when he is engaged in an activity that requires his concentration and focus.

I also believe their is no universal correct answer for each photographer about being discrete or to ask everyone you photograph for permission. Asking someone to take his or her picture is perfectly acceptable and one-way of approaching photography.

Salman Rushdie once said,  “A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second. ” I always encourage every photographer I meet to know their own boundaries and goals before they begin taking photos.


Image – COVR Photo – ©Kevin Kuster

TH/COVR: What is the biggest benefit of COVR for hobbyist, pros?

KK: COVR allows pros and amateurs both the opportunity to choose to be casually discrete or obvious with their subjects. As photographers we are ultimately visual storytellers and having additional choices and tools to help better express our stories is always helpful when trying to reveal truth.

TH/COVR: What about amateurs?

KK: Amateurs and parents alike will love COVR when photographing their family members and children. Often children stop what they are doing once they see a camera being held up. This unfortunate response often prevents us from capturing those great “real” and “spontaneous” moments that we all desire to capture in our photographs.

TH/COVR: How is the quality of the photos with COVR?

KK: I found the capture quality for my COVR lens to be completely acceptable. Whenever you put any kind of glass in front of the native lens, you are going to have some detail loss. Whatever limited detail loss I experienced from my COVR lens was more than acceptable based on the added benefits of remaining discrete.


Image – COVR Photo – ©Kevin Kuster

TH/COVR: What was / is the best tip you received when you were coming up?

KK: Study classic painters. A great photographer I worked with taught me this lesson because it’s a wonderful way to learn how to read light and how it affects subjects and people.

TH/COVR: How does it feel in your pocket?

KK: Completely comfortable when the lens is forward facing. Although there is a slight incline where the lens is attached to the case, I never found this to be problematic. Whatever “perceived” issues users might have with this aspect of the COVR design is completely eradicated based on the added features and benefits of the lens.

TH/COVR: Do you have to make any adjustments to what you normally do, due to having the case on your phone?

KK: Not really, however, I often had the lens facing up in my pocket and away from my body. By placing the lens in this position in my pocket, the moment I removed my phone, the lens was in the premium shooting position. Often in photography, timing is everything and loosing even 1/1000 of a second can prevent you from getting a great shot. Photography, just like in the Olympics, can be decided by being mere seconds faster.

TH/COVR: Is it worth the price / would you spend your money on it?

KK: Yes. Even if it wasn’t my everyday case, the versatility and additional benefits of the COVER lens allows me to take images I would not otherwise be able to capture. I think of my COVR lens as very similar to a putting club for a golfer. You might not need your COVR lens and putter for every shot, however, when you do need it, nothing can do the job as effectively or successfully.

TH/COVR: What would you change about the COVR Photo Lens Case it?

KK: That I would have invented it!


Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]


  • Carolyn Hall Young

    I want this to succeed! It is what I have been wanting. I believe it is made for the iPhone 5 and 5S. Please correct me, if I am wrong.

  • Thomas Hurst/COVR

    Hi Carolyn – yes this is for the iPhone 5/5s, but we also have designs for some other options once we get this campaign is funded.

    Thomas Hurst
    Founder – COVR Photo

  • Geri

    I have backed this project and so want them to reach their goal! Thanks Joanne for helping to get the word out.