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‘Snappr’ | The Matchmaking Photography App That Devalues The Professional

By Shivani Reddy on August 27th 2016

“Book a pro photographer easily and affordably.”

This claim stands large and in charge on the front page of Snappr, and Australian app that works as a matchmaking service connecting photographers to people at an insanely low price point. In theory, it all sounds dandy, because I think we are all in agreeance that exposure & client reach are very limited when you are running a freelance photography business. When you don’t have someone responding to your flooded inquiry emails and managing the communication and outreach aspect of your business, this app could quite possibly be your knight in shining armor.

snappr-claims

Too bad this isn’t a fairy tale. Starting out at a $59 AUD price point for 30 minutes of shooting (which is around $45 USD just to give you an understanding even though the app is currently only available in Australian cities) this outrageous claim actually means that your professional work has been devalued to $1.50 USD per minute. Within this 30 minute shoot you are expected to deliver 5 hi-res images & as if the embarrassment wasn’t enough, pay for an unspecified limit of travel.

snappr-pricing

Professional photographers out there must be cringing just at the sight of those numbers, but could this app appeal to the masses of amateur photographers looking to earn a decent income on a job-to-job basis? Even at these rates, entry-level freelancers wouldn’t be able to afford a decent standard of living, on top of the fact that there is no guarantee that work would be constantly coming to you from the app. DIY Photography states that at Snappr’s highest price point, a whopping $749 AUD ($572 USD), a consumer receives a 7 hour shoot with all digital files included – subtract “Snappr’s cut, travel tax, post-production time, and other costs and barely left with enough to buy yourself a decent steak dinner, if that.

Photo of the day by photographer @amyhibbardphotographer ? #snappr #photooftheday #photography #model

A photo posted by Snappr (@snappr.co) on

Maybe this isn’t a devaluation, maybe it is simply just another way to expand your market distribution, an infamous claim of the boom of tech-service companies alongside Snappr like Uber, Seamless, and Air BNB. Resource Magazine interviewed a former Snappr photographer, Hugo Lopes, who argues that “They’re encouraging people to hire a professional, even if it’s not a high level professional. I think they’re helping to make professional photography accessible to everyone. And it’s up to each professional, to decide whether to participate or not and evaluate if the amounts paid are worth it.” Ironically, Lopes decided to leave Snappr due to it’s low prices.

snappr-photographer

Alas, Ttere is still more icing on this cake. Regardless of your niche, Snappr requires photographers to shoot 60 images per hour of shooting, meaning if you are shooting a family portrait session you better be firing away. Seems like a lot of work for very little reward. Snappr’s Instagram feed is populated by the work of photographer’s contracted by their site, which even in its attempt, seems like a feeble way to promote its users.

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Apart from all of this, a big concern is how the company assures users that it will “hand-pick the very best professional photographers through a rigorous screening and interview process” yet there is no specification on the criterion, experience, or level of creativity they are being judged on. You decide for yourself – how will you let your worth be determined?

Shivani wants to live in a world where laughter is the cure to pretty much everything. Since she can’t claim “Serial Bingewatcher” as an occupation, she’ll settle for wedding/portrait photographer at Lin and Jirsa & marketing coordinator here at SLR Lounge. For those rare moments when you won’t find a camera in her hand, she will be dancing, eating a donut, or most likely watching Seinfeld.

Follow her on Instagram: @shivalry_inc

9 Comments

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  1. Federico Guendel

    I live and work in France and I have been bombarded by requests from different sites like this all over the world – I call them directory sites. They just invest in SEO to have a decent traffic coming in and then book to get by with commissions. But this is the thing, this websites are popping up EVERYWHERE which would hike up the SEO investment to even stay relevant. I don’t see how these websites can even exist.

    Fun fact – If you think THIS Aussie service is cheap, let me introduce you to EverPhotoShoot based in Paris http://www.en.everphotoshoot.com/
    You get 2 hour session FREE and without deposit , couples only pay the photos they want at 6 euros a pop with a minimum of 30… so 180 euros give or take.

    Best part of all, they are expanding all over France :D

    Moral of the story – this is not unique to Australia and it’s not the worst of cases/business models out there based on photographer’s work. I’m glad someone is pointing out ( thanks Shivani <3 )

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  2. Lee Hawkins

    I think I need to set up a photography marketing site with the tagline, “Quality photographers at moderately expensive prices. Because you get what you pay for!”

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  3. Daeshawn Ballard

    I wouldn’t dare sign up for this and by no means am I a pro lol.

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  4. Nicolás Pelikan

    I don’t mean to be rude here, but isn’t that pretty much the same thing you are doing at SLRLoung? I mean, you are selling lots of hours of tutorials/courses for a USD300 subscription… so you’d be also devaluating the work of photography teachers and schools. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think what you do is awesome: but I also thing Snappr is pretty cool- As a user, you’d have to be realistic enough to understand you’re probably not getting a Testino, but it’s a cool way for photographers who are just starting in the business.

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    • Lee Hawkins

      Selling photography courses on video is doing work once, and getting paid many times for it because it appeals to a number of people. That’s smart business, and doesn’t devalue a $3,000 master class with Scott Kelby or whomever, because you can’t get the same thing out of a huge video library that you can get from in-person, one-on-one time attending a class. Snappr is selling a one-off service that can be labor-intensive with no resellable material as it appeals to a VERY narrow audience usually (few are going to want pictures of your family!) and selling it at a ridiculous price and likely with no more income down the road. That is terrible business, especially when we’re talking intellectual property.

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    • Joshua McKenna

      In a similar vein, Snappr doesn’t account for overhead rates and thus (I predict) will see a high rate of turnover in its photographers. As economics go, supply and demand interact and value is set by the perception of the buyer. It’s really not a bad rate if Snappr can find ways to minimize photographer overhead by eliminating the need for separate online portfolio websites, file storage, liability insurance, etc. In my personal experience, my overhead largely consists of liability insurance. Additionally, does Snappr stipulate that photographers deliver edited images? Or what edited means? I wouldn’t offer unedited digitals myself, but I know of many photographers out there who sell on a bulk service model with events and other shoots without edits.

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  5. Kim Farrelly

    “hand-pick the very best professional photographers” Yeah, the very best who feel the need to sign up for this ‘service’ so probably not even close to the very best at all really as they, I’m sure, have plenty of work on the books.

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  6. Ralph Hightower

    The terms are ridiculous. “Shoot at least 60 photos per hour”?
    Okay, just shoot with a Canon 1Dx II on high speed burst. Four seconds later, you’re done. Next!

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    • Joshua McKenna

      I agree wholeheartedly here, the minimum photos per hour seems a bit odd from the perspective of a photographer.

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