When Leslie Khy and her husband were doing equine photo shoots for clients, they always ran into the same problem. It’s one that every rider has drained their photo battery over: the horse that won’t put his ears up.
“My parents had a horse in particular that we wanted to take photos of and it went terribly. We spent forever photographing him and he wouldn’t keep his ears up,” said Leslie. “We started using horse sounds (like whinnying or snorting) that we found on YouTube to get the horses’ ears up when we were shooting. It works like magic, almost every time.”
They quickly realized that it was inconvenient to toggle back and forth between a camera and YouTube on their iPhones, and Leslie had a lightbulb moment.
“I had this idea that I’d create a smartphone app for horse photographers that played horse sounds,” said the 30-year-old Ohio native. “I contacted an app developer, and we realized it would be so much easier to have all of the features in one place: the ability to take a photo, play the sounds to get the horse’s attention, and now you can add fun stickers to the photos, kind of like Snapchat.”
Leslie worked with a developer in the hours outside of her 9-5 job, using money from her savings account to get the idea off the ground, and employing her husband – a designer – to build her website for her.
“I don’t have any sort of coding or tech background, and that was really kind of challenging. I was just trying to Google how to do everything and dealing with the developer and the Beta testing in the hours outside of my job. I really believed in the idea, so I went for it.”
A second version of the app for professional photographers is in the works and while the All Ears App is brand new, it has already gotten a great response.
“Everyone I’ve heard from is raving and going crazy about it,” she said. “There were one or two people that were grumbly about the price because there are some people who just don’t feel like they should pay for an app. But now, people are asking for an Android version as well as the iPhone, so I hired a developer to adapt it to Android as well.”
The most common feedback she gets?
“OMG, it really works!”