From being looked down upon by the gatekeepers of traditional photography, through to arguably one of the largest companies in the world promoting user-created content in an attempt to showcase how good their tech is (not to mention the likes of Instagram booming beyond reasonable expectations), the art of phone photography has gone through many phases over the past decade. And look, we're still a long way away from passing a DSLR and Smartphone blind test, but companies like Moment are providing us with options.

For those of you that are new to the world of Moment, the Seattle-based company create the best Smartphone lenses on the planet. Nobody comes close. They sent us a bunch to test out (Macro Lens, Wide Lens, and Tele Portrait Lens), and oh boy did we have fun. From filming a recent festival to simple everyday photography, the difference between the standard iPhone camera lens and one of the Moment lenses is night and day.

To find out more about the company - specifically its origin story and future plans - we spoke to co-founder, Marc Barros. Check out the interview below.

***

How did the company start?

We started Moment with a simple idea to bring back elements of our traditional cameras that we missed. That first product were lenses to give us a different POV when shooting. You start with a single product, design/engineer it, and then put it up on Kickstarter to see if anyone else is interested. We had made action cameras in a prior life so knowing customers cared that helped us to bring the first products to market. Without crowdfunding, we never could have gotten Moment started.

How does the design process work for you: specifically the balance between functionality and aesthetic?

It's a struggle. We start with a customer journey to understand what people do before, during, and after taking pictures. We then dive further into how people solve problems with their existing tools. From there we start looking at improvements and changes to the interactions based on what people want to accomplish.

In particular for mobile photography, we try to balance speed with quality. These two needs push and pull one another to determine which features are most important and why. Speed in our case is both speed to use as well as speed to market. We've learned with mobile products if the product isn't there when a new phone arrives then you lose.

From an aesthetic point of view, we think everything should be beautiful and simple.

Who is the best filmmaker/photographer at the company?

Caleb and Niles are our in-house filmmakers.

As for photographers we're lucky to have everyone in the company passionate about using their camera. Everyone has their own style and some are more popular than others on Instagram. You can see some of the team here, here, here, and here.

What piece are you most proud of and why?

Each project and product we ship just gets better. The early things we shipped were important in our development. They each taught us different lessons we could improve upon. Our most recent efforts with our Filmmaker Collection, Film Festival, and Travel Company are our best work.

Lastly, what do you have coming up that you think we should keep a look out for?

Our Filmmaker Collection just raised $1.6M on Kickstarter. Moment Travel and photo trips we now operate around the Southwest. Moment Film Festival is now one of the largest mobile film festivals. Over the next four months, we need to catch up with everything we put out ensuring we deliver on our promise.

You can visit Moment by heading to shopmoment.com.