Kodak launches rent-a-pro service in Australia

Kodak has announced it will be operating its Kodakit ‘on-demand photography service platform’ in Sydney and Melbourne, as part of an expansion across 37 countries and 92 cities, including New York, San Francisco, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Delhi.

‘Kodakit will revolutionise how photographers and businesses work together, creating the photography ecosystem of the future,’ the Kodakit press release thundered.

ProCounter covered Kodakit when it was initially launched in Singapore in March, and this remains the most comprehensive report available internationally. (That is, we took the trouble to read the T&Cs, etc!) Little seems to have changed since that report, except the target market has moved from consumers looking for wedding and portrait photographers to businesses in travel, real estate and food photography.

The remainder of this report will be a re-publication from this week’s press release, followed by a response to questions we sent to Kodak Singapore. The press release provides an insight into Kodak’s (parallel universe?) business rationale for Kodakit. (Read our previous report if you want to know what Kodakit actually is and does).

The responses to questions on how Kodakit will operate in Australia – particularly in regards to GST and local consumer law –  beg even more questions…

The press release continued:  ‘Companies understand the power and benefits of high quality photography. Consistent high-quality images are vitally important for brands, especially when selling products and services online. Yet this has been a time-consuming challenge for companies to manage, especially across borders of currency and language. Similarly, for photographers, global brands generate a lot of work, but it’s hard for individual photographers to connect with them and find a platform that manages all aspects of their operations,’ said Eric-Yves Mahe, chief executive officer of Kodakit.

‘We saw a need for an all-encompassing service, especially in the travel, food, and real estate markets that rely on high-quality digital images to drive their business goals. We’ve been able to incubate and innovate within Kodak and are excited to launch Kodakit as a central hub for photographers and businesses worldwide.’

‘Kodakit solves pain points for both photographers and companies alike by managing all operations and logistics end-to-end. For photographers, Kodakit offers connections to high quality, high volume global brands, and eliminates the nitty gritty of marketing, booking, pricing, scheduling, invoicing, and payments. For companies, Kodakit offers access to a pre-screened global network of local talent. Companies only need to indicate when, where and how they want a photo shoot to be conducted. Kodakit handles all other aspects of the process and delivers the images in a dedicated private cloud.’

According to research from MDG Advertising, companies with compelling, professional photography see their business soar. In the travel market, businesses using quality photography see a 46 percent increase in conversion rates. In real estate, properties with quality photos see a 47 percent higher asking price per square foot and stay on the market an average of 10 days less than those without quality photos.

Photography is a $30 billion business globally, but has remained a hyperlocal (sic) business. Companies need to ensure a consistent high quality of brand and imagery across many markets, and before Kodakit that was a time-consuming challenge. Kodakit makes that not just possible but easy and for photographers it provides a steady flow of assignments they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

‘Kodakit has boiled down a complicated process into a user-friendly platform that addresses a huge and growing need in the market,’ said Jeff Clarke, chief executive officer of Kodak. ‘Kodak Founder George Eastman once said, “You press the button, we do the rest.” For photographers and companies, Kodakit operates on this same principle. Building upon our long-standing legacy as one of the most trusted names in film and photography, Kodakit will revolutionise how photographers and businesses work together, creating the photography ecosystem of the future.’

– As it doesn’t appear Kodak Australia will have any active involvement in the initiative, we asked Kodakit in Singapore several follow up questions on operational details of the local business. Here is the response:

1. How do Australian photographers and business clients handle GST? Business clients will want a valid GST invoice so they can claim a rebate.
Photographers registered as a business are required to charge it.
Kodakit is a global platform and complies with all tax requirements globally. The businesses that Kodakit works with receive a full-invoice after the service is complete. Because photographers are contractors and not global employees, they are responsible for their own taxes.

2. Will the Kodakit fee component also be liable for GST, or is it effectively an GST-free overseas transaction?
Kodakit will be compliant with tax regulation and laws within each country.

3. Does Kodakit see itself as subject to Australian Consumer Law or Singapore consumer laws?
Kodakit takes privacy and copyright laws very seriously, however at this point in time, Kodakit is not offering a B2C platform globally and therefore consumer law does not apply here.

4. It’s not transparent exactly what the Kodakit fee is – is it a percentage of the total charge, or a set amount, or is there some other formula?
Kodakit takes a fee which is dependent on the market.

5. How will Kodakit vet local photographers – will you have access to Australian bankruptcy and criminal records?
Our photographers register in the Kodakit platform as independent contractors.
When Kodakit onboards a photographer, we provide guidance on client expectations for both shooting and editing. As they are freelancers, we do not provide company training.
As a best practice, we also run background checks on all of our independent contractors.

6. Will Kodak staff in Australia be involved, or will this will be entirely run from Kodak Singapore?
As a company, we have a strong legacy in Australia. Although core Kodakit operations are being run out of Singapore, in addition to our photographers’ network, we have regional community managers and account managers across the globe to support our customers.

 


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