Snappr, an on-demand photography service which offers shoots from $59, was given a big boost during an ‘infomercial’ on Channel 7’s breakfast program Sunrise.
The four-minute advertorial segment had a clear message: Snappr is offering the cheapest photography in the market.
Hosts David Koch and Samantha Armytage described professional photography as having a ‘hefty price tag’, and that Snappr, the ‘Uber of photography’, is ‘letting people snap up a snapper without breaking the bank’.
‘Capturing moments that don’t cost a fortune, what we’ve found is there are services that make it affordable to order a professional photographer on demand. So even if it’s a last minute booking, you’re covered,’ said Sunrise reporter/spruiker Shaun White.
Snappr has insisted it’s opening photography up to a new market – those who couldn’t otherwise afford it and wouldn’t pay for an established professional. It’s aiming to cover the market segment that’s currently occupied by amateurs and prosumers, which is riddled with horror stories due to a lack of skill, professionalism and frankly, honesty.
Snappr may be helpful in minimising bad experiences caused by amateurs, which typically receives media attention that devalues the broader professional photo community. Additionally, Snappr claims it can be a pathway to professionalism for amateurs.
On the other hand, it undercuts established professionals. Snappr may undermine pricing perceptions among potential clients, who are unaware of the difference in quality of service from an established pro and a Snappr photographer.
Snappr’s aggressive marketing campaign hasn’t made distinctions between an established, more expensive photographer and a Snappr snapper.
People can book a Snappr photographer online for any purpose – events like graduations, birthdays and weddings; family and corporate portraiture; product photography; fashion shoots; real estate and so on.
Photographers are vetted by Snappr to ensure they have gear and skills.
The photographers are paid for the time they attend the shoot. The $59 shoot, the cheapest, runs for a half hour and three photos. (Or $99 for unlimited photos)
Snappr takes a 20 percent cut of the rate, meaning the photographer makes $47 per 30 minute shoot – not taking into account travel expenses, post-production, and other associated costs.
The infomercial had testimonials from Benny and Alexander Eisman, founders of Sydney start-up Aeona, who curiously have ties with Fishburners, the same tech co-working space from which Snappr operates.
‘I feel like photographers are very expensive, especially the really professional ones,’ Benny Eisman said.
‘The old way of doing it (ordering photo shoots) was posting an ad on Gumtree,’ Alexander Eisman said. ‘But the issue is you don’t get to qualify the photographer – you don’t know if they’re any good and what do you know about photography? So I guess the good thing about Snappr is they do all of that for you.’ (Posting an ad on Gumtree – really?)
Snappr’s rebuttal to accusations of it devaluing photography is that it’s not disrupting the network of established Australian professional photographers. Yet the infomercial firmly frames photography as expensive – and Snappr as the solution.
ProCounter has closely followed the development of Snappr. It has received criticism from the industry; received investment from Australian cricketer Steve Smith; AIPP executive officer Peter Myers wrote an opinion piece on Snappr; and it recently expanded to the US.