Kodak ‘Ubers’ professional photography

Kodak has called on professionals and enthusiasts to sign up to Kodakit, an online service platform designed to facilitate engagements between a client and photographer – for a 20 percent clip of the fee.

The Kodakit homepage. Source: Kodakit.

The Kodakit homepage. Source: Kodakit.

Launched this week as an app in Singapore with plans to roll out to other cities ‘very soon’, the purpose is to help people find, book, and pay a professional photographer.

‘For now, Australia is definitely one of the priority markets, but we haven’t determined in order yet in which markets will be rolled out after Singapore,’ a Kodakit spokesperson told ProCounter. It will be available in 148 cities around the world over the next few months.

Every function is internalised in the app – from clients booking a photographer through to delivering images and receiving payment – with Kodak taking a 20 percent fee of the photo package price.

Photographers are asked to consider the fees, as well as things like transportation time and costs, when offering a ‘photo package’ price.

A screenshot of the app. Source: Strait Times.

A screenshot of the app. Source: Strait Times.

Customers select from a genre of photography with nine to pick. These are Birthday, Event, Wedding, Portrait, Family, Product, Real Estate, Food, and Pet. A list of photographers then appears and potential clients can browse profiles to select the right person for the job.

Essentially the app acts as a directory – of which many are already in place. However Eric Yves Mahe, chief executive officer of Kodakit, says none offer a structure that covers the entire process. The app is designed to streamline what Mahe views as a ‘fragmented, complicated market for photographers, businesses and consumers’.

To qualify as a Kodakit photographer applicants must submit a portfolio which will be reviewed by the Kodakit team. It doesn’t look like any background checks are guaranteed to clients – users who ‘feel unsafe or uncomfortable’ around a photographer are urged to ‘politely ask the photographer to leave the project or call the local law authorities’. Fair enough.

Once approved the portfolio will be applied to a profile, along with information about the photographer, their schedule and rates.

The website says enthusiasts are welcome to join as Kodakit photographers – and the service will likely have the most appeal to the ‘semi-pro’ segment of the industry.

There’s more of a focus on quantity than quality. There’s guidelines for how many pictures are to be produced based on the length of a shoot. For example a two-hour wedding requires a minimum of 60 images and four hours requires a minimum of 120. A rather unorthodox way of doing things.

A one hour portrait shoot must produce a minimum of 20 images and Kodakit suggests ‘you do some basic editing on the pictures and remove duplicates for your customers so that they are as excited about your pictures as you are.’

Clients will own all rights to the purchased images and there’s no mention on the website of public liability insurance.

Kodakit will potentially lead to a ‘race to the bottom’ in pricing, with amateurs who have no real investment in photography in a position to price themselves far lower than those who rely on it for a living.

Following the huge success of app services like Uber, used for transportation, and Airbnb, used for accommodation, a few business have attempted to turn photographers into a commodity.

PICR, an app strikingly similar to Kodakit, was launched at the start of the year. GeoSnapShots, an Australian photo sales platform launched in 2014, has signed up amateur photographers to shoot events.

While Kodakit has no date for a local launch, photographers can sign up now.

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