‘Snappr’ | The Matchmaking Photography App That Devalues The Professional
“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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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?