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News & Insight Seeks to Create More Jobs for Photographers

By Hanssie on August 4th 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 10.47.24 PMThere’s a new service that is seeking to match clients to photographers in this age of iPhoneography. It’s called and is a new San Diego based company created by Jon Margalit and Jason Kirby. The idea behind Togally is for people to find and hire a phoTOGrapher for any sort of occasion – be it a family portrait or a new Facebook profile picture.

The idea came to Margalit while he was at a birthday party for his 4 year old twin nieces. Their mother, already burdened with the tasks of being the hostess, was frantically also trying to take photos. He asked her why she didn’t just hire a photographer, and she told him, “I didn’t want to spend $300. I wasn’t sure how to find one, anyway. And I didn’t have time to bother with it.” And thus, was born. With Togally, the premise is that anyone can find a photographer quickly by browsing through photographer’s profiles. Photographers get a free portfolio on the site and also are able to bid on jobs listed. Togally wants to encourage people not the settle for their cell phone pics and hire a “Tog” to come and take their photos.


“Togs don’t have to be professionals to put up a portfolio and bid on gigs,” Kirby told Times of San Diego. “There’s work for Togs all the way from amateur to experienced, in all specializations.” The clients also have to leave a review before being allowed to download their photos, so the ratings are from legitimate customers. Togally then takes 20% of the money paid to photographers as they are the ones doing the advertising and generating leads. 

Clients have two pricing options: a customized job where they set a budget or a fixed price option which they can choose from hours and number of images to fit their needs.

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 10.43.00 PM

The service is currently only available in the San Diego and surrounding areas, but the company hopes to expand nationwide.

My question is: in an effort to create more jobs for photographers – professional and “good [hobbyist] photographers,” is Togally just adding to the already saturated market, especially when their prices “start as low as $30-50?” Or is this a good resource for finding new clients and booking more jobs? What do you think?

[Via Times San Diego]


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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Scott Kaplan

    I would hesitate and call these guys before making any decision to join. Ask questions, get information, because I did and I was not impressed. The going rates for your work, while meant to get people comfortable with paying for photography are abysmal for what we provide. Also, we cannot have our names attached to the final product, which our studio will not abide by. In addition, any clients obtained by using this service cannot be moved over to your own pricing later on and must always go through this service when doing business with you or you will be kicked off this site. As a professional, I like to have control over my work and how it is handled. While I do sell files for things like head shots for businesses and corporate clients, I do not like selling files for anything else unless the client is willing to pay a very high premium since they can modify and print all they like from a file that has my name on it, so no prints from this company is a huge downside for me. Also, I cannot name my price and the “upsell” option doesn’t seem to be very much either. Taking into account time for retouching (because unretouched images bearing my name will not leave my studio), these prices (unless they go up drastically!) will never be worth it. As it was told to me years ago and as I like to say now “The price we place on our craft reflects how we feel about ourselves and our ability to create art” and to be quite honest, the price these people are placing on our craft tells me that we professionals aren’t worth much at all. My advice to you Jon, is allow us to make our own price point and let us control our art ourselves.

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  2. Andoni Silva

    This is a very nice service for photographer, but unfortunately we also live in Europe…

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  3. Vicki DePew

    If people only hire a photographer for their cost, they would do so anyway regardless of an app. It could be a good way to network for budding photographers. I don’t think it will be quite as useful for well-established photogs. Their work brings in the clients, not their prices.

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  4. James Matthews

    I think this is an interesting concept but it’s probably going to get flooded with the $500 expert professional wedding photographers from Craigslist.

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  5. Herm Tjioe

    I definitely see much potential for this. I hear it from many clients and their referrals of spending less because of shorter time needs. The intimidation factor alone is a big hurdle to those that seek decent look at comfortable budget.

    Perhaps as this grows and become more of an appeal to those that tried and liked it, it may well end up as a win-win partnership. After all the photographer gets to filter what he(she) wants to take up. The client gets to sample the posted work.

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    I would have loved to see this pitch in a show like Shark tank … I don’t get the really new thing it brings or what makes it different

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  7. Andy O’Dowd

    Haven’t there been several similar sites like this? What makes this one different? Not being snarky, that’s a genuine question.

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    • Jason Kirby

      Hi Andy,

      I am the co-founder of Togally and you have a very legitimate question. There have been lots of websites out there claiming to generate leads for photographers. But there were many problems with those sites:

      1. They are directory sites to dump your link for SEO but they never actually generate any traffic other than from other photographers.
      2. Sites like thumbtack and gigsalad that focus on 50 different industries and then charge photographers for shitty leads they sell to 10 other photographers. These companies never focus on photography, they treat photographers the same way they treat DJs, magicians, event planners, ect.

      Togally focuses solely on photographers and generating transactions that would have never occurred without Togally makes it easy to afford a photographer for any reason or occasion. Togally is educating the world that it’s possible to hire a photographer on a more frequent basis, it is not just for special occasions.

      Very similar to what Uber did to the taxi/transport industry. By making a better, easier and more affordable service, people use it more than they would a taxi and inevitably spend more money. Our goal is take the photography industry which has had zero growth since 2006 and start growing it again.

      I hope this clears things up for you.

      If not, feel free to call me 949-244-7844 if you have further questions.


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  8. Ji Hoon Heo

    It only covers the state of CA at the moment. If people need a photographer, i think they have the means to find one already. They dont necessarily need to go through Togally.

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  9. Stan Rogers

    Well, it’s a good way for Togally to make money (20% cut with, I dunno, web hosting as total expenses?). But unless the peanut butter sandwiches (or mac’n’cheese-in-a-box meals) have been few and far between lately, I can’t see how $30-50 (minus Togally’s 20%, of course) with “light editing” included comes out to “making money”. It’s a way to make a metric craptonne of money off of naïve wannabees who will take a while to figure out that they’re actually paying for the privilege of being ripped off (and who think there’s something positive about being called a “tog”). “With over 100 combined years in the photography business”, it seems they’ve figured out that this is a better way for them to make money than actual photography.

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    • Matt Walsh

      Couldn’t agree more. It seems counter to most of the articles on SLRLounge about pricing and setting yourself up in the market.

      Reminds me of elance and all the people out there willing to do crap work for 10 bucks.

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    • Jason Kirby

      Hi Stan, I am the co-founder of
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I wanted to clarify things a bit for you:

      Some of our Togs have over 25 years experience and are very happy getting new clients from us just by creating a free profile.

      We have many upsells for the Togs to increase their earning potential. Each package price is a starting point for clients to ease them and make them comfortable. Our goal is to make the masses aware that now Togs can be hired for anything, not just for special occasions. Togs choose only the jobs they want to apply for. We just had a client post a job for $250 for 90 minutes of work to shoot a proposal. Both the Tog and the client were stoked on the results and the client ended up choosing an upsell and spending even more.

      We truly value your feedback and wish you the best.

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    • Stan Rogers

      Well, except that “90 minutes” is a half day if it’s on location (travel time is non-zero, and you can’t schedule anything else close enough that delays will interfere) and that’s not counting editing time, equipment checks, etc. And the $250 is really only $200. But if your peoples can convince themselves that they can afford to work at those rates, more power to ’em.

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  10. Eric Sharpe

    Not even remotely interesting in taking a gig paying $30-50. That’s not what I want as a client base.

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  11. Rafael Steffen

    This is true, you need to elevate your photography to a point where people will look at it and pay for the added value that you provide. There is not point on just shooting and burn.

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  12. Brandon Dewey

    People will always have money for what they think is important. If have professional looking images is import to them they will be willing to pay for it. Also, the more hobbits out there trying to take pictures of an event, the more examples are out there that show the difference between a professional photographer and a “Tographer”.

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