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App developer with Wilsonville ties strikes again

Aaron Marshall's latest creation, Obaby, applies art and text directly to baby photos


by: PHOTO COURTESY OF OVER - Obaby is the new app designed for the iPhone by Aaron Marshall and his company, Over. At its heart its simple: Pick a photo and add the art and text of your choice. Everyone is a photographer these days, and you need a way to make your photos stand out from the crowd.

Even when the images show your own kids it’s easy for them to get overlooked in the midst of a busy Facebook or Instagram feed. And that’s where the new iOS mobile application Obaby can make a difference.

Designed especially for new parents, parents-to-be and anyone else who simply loves children, Obaby allows you and your iPhone to apply custom artwork and messages to photos of your kids and share them directly with the online destination of your choice.

There’s not much more to it than that.

“Babies are so unique, and there are so many sweet moments, it was a real challenge to make something that could express those eventful early years,” said Aaron Marshall, co-creator and designer of Obaby. “We decided the best solution was to create a vast amount of original, timeless artwork for parents to put on photos of their babies.”

Wilsonville residents might recognize the Marshall name; Aaron Marshall’s father, Doug, has been lead pastor at the popular Valley Christian Church since 2006. While Aaron was not raised here, he grew up on the Oregon coast before moving to Louisville, Ky., where he rose to prominence in the local high tech community, eventually releasing Over, an app that applies text to photos, in 2012.

He has always been a “big idea guy,” his father told the Spokesman during an interview earlier this year. “He sees the big picture and enlists others to get the work done. He’s just got a talent for that, seeing what people want and marketing things. He’s always had the knack of knowing what people want.”

Aaron Marshall wrote the code for Over in a pair of Louisville coffee shops, using fellow coffee lovers as a sounding board for his idea until it was officially released in Apple’s App Store in July 2012. Over was an instant success, selling 15,000 downloads at $1.99 each during its first three days on the market.

That quickly led investors to seek out Marshall. Now, just a year later, Obaby is the result. In addition to custom art commissioned just for Obaby, the new app also features robust privacy protection for its users. by: PHOTO COURTESY OF OVER - Obaby is intended, as the name screams, for parents with babies or parents-to-be.

Among the hundreds of pieces of artwork in Obaby are illustrated phrases such as “Baby Bump,” “We’re Adopting,” “Baby Shower,” “We Felt the Baby Kick,” “Any Day Now,” “Tantrum Time” and hundreds more. Users can crop photos into different sizes, select from different colors, make the artwork bigger or smaller and place it anywhere on a photo. Finished images may be shared directly to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more.

Obaby also includes a privacy promise whereby no personally identifiable information is stored through anyone’s use of the app. All location data is also removed from uploaded files.

The app is normally $1.99 through the Apple App Store and includes more than 300 illustrations, with hundreds more available via in-app purchases. For its launch the price was discounted to 99 cents, with additional discounts on in-app art purchases. by: PHOTO COURTESY OF OVER - New parents and parents-to-be are the intended target of Obaby, which combines baby-centric messages with photos of your little one.

Users can vote for new artwork within the app, using clickable choices to suggest and vote on new artwork to be created for Obaby. You can even request to be notified when the new artwork has been completed. Contributing artists include Kyle Steed, Kelsey Cronkhite, Karli Ingersoll and Megan Gilger.

The ultimate battles

have been won

Marshall now lives in South Africa with his wife and two children. But by his own admission, he “barely” graduated from Warrenton High School in rural Clatsop County. He also dropped out of Hope International University in Costa Mesa, Calif., after just two semesters.

“I dropped out to join a startup,” Marshall said.

Despite the rocky road, his parents kept their faith in their son’s abilities. The success of Over proved they were right all along.

“My dad is one of the advisers in my business,” Marshall said. “He’s advised my business for years, with both strategy and philosophy. To build a good company you have to get the right person on the bus and manage those people properly.”

His own Christian faith also is key, he said, having giving him the confidence to strike out in his own direction.

“I can take risks because all the ultimate battles have been won,” Marshall said. “The initial startup has been launched ... and won, and that’s the gospel. As exciting as it all is, if it all dies tomorrow, I’m all right.”

At a Glance:

  • For more on the artwork included in the application, check out the Obaby website at ObabyApp.com.
  • All additional artwork can be unlocked for $9.99, a $6 discount, and includes all future artwork additions to the app.



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