A photographer-on demand-service Snappr is officially launching Monday in Boulder.
The service, which can be described as the Uber or Lyft of photography, allows consumers to use the app or website to book a photographer for photo shoot at specified prices with a one-t-two-hour booking window. Customers who need special assistance also can call.
“(With the launch) we’ll start our marketing efforts to customers in Boulder and Denver and drive business for our partner photographers,” said Matt Schiller, founder and CEO of Snappr. “We are the largest on-demand photography marketplace in the U.S.”
Snappr moved from Sydney, Australia, to San Francisco in December 2016. Its investors include Silicon Valley seed accelerator, Y Combinator, Schiller said.
An estimated $108 million is spent annually on photography in the Denver and Boulder area, and the most common type of photography jobs are event shoots, with wedding photography being the largest category, Schiller said, attributing the data to IBISWorld, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and his company’s research.
There are 25 active photographers to service the Boulder and Denver area, Schiller said.
Gerardo Brucker of Longmont, who came on board with Snappr about nine months ago, is excited about increased business opportunities with the official launch.
But other local photographers are ambivalent.
“It’s tricky. I guess it depends on the client base. If someone is looking for budget-friendly, quick photography, it might be a good fit,” Wendy Brown, owner of Wendy B. Photography in Boulder, said in an email. “I personally don’t run a quantity-over-quality business. I focus on a very personal experience where I make deeper connections with my clients and aim to create the highest quality possible for the images and the products my clients receive.”
Mark Quentin, owner of Studio Q Photography LLC in Boulder, is concerned about the quality a service like Snappr can provide.
“High-quality photography is a reflection of the many elements involved, from the planning of the photo shoot to the editing of the final image, the value of hiring an experienced photographer lies in the attention to detail in each image created,” he said.
Websites such as Snappr undercut pricing that has been established for such a meticulous process, said Quentin, who started Studio Q more than 23 years ago and specializes in business marketing and portfolio photography.
Snappr helps take care of the admin tasks such chasing and booking photo shoots, and taking care of payment issues, said Brucker, who is a scientist, but has pursued photography professionally part time since 2008. “Now, all I have to do is to show up.”
Brucker said he charges about $100 an hour for photography work through his website. He doesn’t mind giving up to about 30 percent of his assignment fee to Snappr, he said.
“I’m a technical person. I like having a creative outlet,” Brucker said, adding he likes variety in photo assignments.
Snappr’s Schiller said the ever-growing popularity of photography by all and sundry has made people aware of the need for high-quality photography. Snappr helps expand the demand for quality work, he said. “We enlarge the size of the photography market.”
Professional photographers with thriving businesses also like to work with Snapper, Schiller said.
Snappr is helping professionals by letting them focus on photography instead of other time-consuming tasks associated with running a business, he said.
It is a win-win for every one, including consumers, who know up front what they’ll pay for the services and products they want, Schiller said.
Brown said, “I think applications like this will benefit some, but can harm the industry for many photographers. To a true professional, it is a craft, a true art form. Hours upon hours are spent learning the craft and developing a unique style.”
Quentin said end users really should educate themselves on what great photography involves — especially businesses seeking to boost their brand through imagery.
“Hiring on the cheap and getting sub-par photography can devalue a brand-name, and not convey the message businesses want to express,” he said.
Pratik Joshi: 303-684-5310, firstname.lastname@example.org