Take a cruise around Instagram and if you didn’t know it already, you’ll soon learn that parents love to take pictures of their babies. You’ll also learn what baby ears look like, because babies have this crazy way of knowing when you’re about to snap a shot and turn their heads. Two Brazilian fathers found a great way for parents to get great photos of their babies’ faces, and you’d be surprised to learn their inspiration for their new iPhone app, Baby Pic.

We’ve also got one code for Baby Pic lyin’ around and will give it to one of you readers (see details after the review)!

The App

Baby Pic, by Punk Opera, is simple enough: it’s a lightweight photo app but in addition to the three bottom buttons: flash, shutter and front/back camera toggle, there are also five buttons across the top. These five buttons create different sounds: xylaphone sounds, toy animals (rubber ducks and frogs), car and train horns, musical instruments (slide whistle and a toy piano), and kid’s laughter and jingling noises. As well, below the sound buttons are a volume slider.

You know how when you go to get a family portrait taken, the photographer holds up a squeaky baby toy to get your kid to look at the camera? Yeah, it’s like that.

So, what you do is point your iPhone’s camera at your baby, press a noise button, and take the pic when your baby inevitably looks. Hell, I’ve got a three year old and it works on my kid too. Also, shhhh, it worked on my wife as well. But only once.

Baby Pic can also connect to Facebook and will post your pics to a “Baby Pic Photos” album. Sorry, no Twitter or Instagram integration, but Baby Pic allows you to save photos to your iPhone’s Camera Roll so you can upload them yourself. Would it be nice if Baby Pic had those integrations? Sure. Those and a couple filters that are now standard in every photo app. But with the ability to save pics and do it yourself, you won’t be completely without the ability to give the picture a hipster retro look.

My only real problem with Baby Pic – once you start a sound, you can’t stop it until you take a picture. The buttons aren’t toggles; you press a button to turn on a sound, and if you press it again, the sound restarts. Not a huge problem, but if you’re trying to take a picture of your baby and decide now’s not the time, you have to either leave the app completely, tap the power button to put your phone to sleep, or take an unwanted photo. Photos won’t go to your Camera Roll unless you save them, so that’s not a giant problem, but it’s still a workaround that can be solved with a true toggle button.

Also, your volume buttons don’t work to move the app’s volume slider. And it’d be nice if the volume-up was an additional shutter button like in some other apps. But no biggie.

But bottom-line: I’ve got very few complaints about the app. And that’s a true $0.99 – no add-ons to buy and no banner ads in the app. Baby Pic is a great use of a dollar, despite my small list of complaints with it. If you want to support two app-making fathers, drop a dollar on Baby Pic and encourage them to make it better and to make more apps!


The Fathers

Punk Opera is comprised of Rafael Gaino and Cassiano Saldanha, two Brazilian guys that met in San Francisco, California. They began working together, and continued, even after Cassiano moved back to Brazil a couple of years ago. Punk Opera has created three apps to date: Baby Pic, Pet Pic and 5 O’Clock.

I was able to ask the duo a couple of questions about the app and fatherhood. Here’s what they had to say:

8BD: What prompted you to come up with this app?

RG: The original idea actually came from my dog. I was trying to take a picture of him, whistling and snapping my fingers to get him to look at the camera. Then it occurred to me that I could get my phone to make those noises so I partnered with a friend of mine who’s a graphic designer and we built Pet Pic. Immediately after that we started getting requests to make one for babies so we made Baby Pic. During the development of Baby Pic, my wife got pregnant with our first baby which is due in August. We couldn’t be happier! My partner has a toddler and he was one of our “test subjects” during the development phase.

8BD: Do you have any other apps planned?

RG: Right now we just launched Baby Pic and we’re gathering feedback from users to try and improve it. We have many ideas, but nothing really in production now.

8BD: Cassiano, what’s the best thing about fatherhood?

CS: I guess the the best thing is also the worst. Being responsible for another human being is amazing. At the moment he comes to life you start realizing that you’re going to be his role model forever, for the good or not. The fear and the awe will share your live closely for now on.

8BD: And Rafael, what are you looking forward to most about fatherhood?

RG: I can’t wait to see who my baby will become. We don’t even know yet if it’s a boy or girl but I find myself thinking all the time what he or she will like to do. Will we play videogames together or will I have to start liking sports? The only thing I’m sure about is that I’ll support and encourage his or her interests instead of trying to push mine.

8BD: Cassiano, if you could give one piece of advice to fathers, what would it be?

CS: It’s just amazing to think about how your kid have a long path to trace, and because of that you might feel like you’re having a second chance to live that old days again. Yes, it’s great to see you in him, doing same things you’ve done, but for the sake of his development, just don’t over care. Let him live, fall, make mistakes, try his way. Being a dad is not about protection, is about guidance and mentoring. Sometimes is great to fell like a best friend but don’t betrayed by selfishness and miseducate him.

8BD: And Rafael, even though your baby’s not here yet, if you could give one piece of advice to expectant fathers, what would it be?

RG: My advice is to enjoy and be patient. Very soon our lives will change forever. This is a moment of transition that happens very quickly so you must enjoy every day.


The Giveaway

Rafael and Cassiano were nice enough to give me a review code for a free download of Baby Pic. But I bought Baby Pic cash-money, so I’ve got this review code just sitting in my e-mail box. I’m going to give it to a reader – and all you’ve got to do is comment on this review and tell me your current favorite camera app. No tricks here, you won’t be docked points for saying something other than Baby Pic. Is it Instagram? PS Express? Camera+? Let us know in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a free copy of Baby Pic. We’ll announce the random drawing winner on our podcast, which will be posted next Tuesday, March 6!

(Also, only one entry per person)

Congrats to Rafael and Cassiano on the app and good luck to both of them and their families!