Introducing Snapsation: Connecting Photographers And Clients - Digital Photography School
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Introducing Snapsation: Connecting Photographers And Clients

Every once and a while a site comes along that makes the rest of us think, “Well duh, why didn’t I think of that!?” Snapsation is the brain child of Chris Chabot, one of the founding members of the Google+ team, a developer for Google before that and a lead engineer for OpenSocial before that. It’s safe to say that Chris is an internet bad-a and that’s apparent when you look at this new website.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 9.28.03 AM

 

Snapsation is pretty simple and straight forward. It exists to be a place for clients to find photographers for what they need. Simply do a search for your area (example: Fort Worth, TX) and you’ll find all the photographers in that area and their available offers. If the potential client sees an offer they’re looking for, they can click the offer to get more information about what’s included, ask the photographer a question and/or place an order. From the looks of it, no money will be collected up front until the work is done. I’m not sure how that works yet but I’m assuming once the images are ready from an event, the client will make a payment to Snapsation and then the images will be delivered.

How Do Photographers Make Money?

As far as money goes, photographers can link their checking/savings or PayPal account to Snapsation for direct payment. Whatever you charge for your services, Snapsation will add an additional 10% to the price for their cut. Seems plenty fair to me. If you charge $100 for a headshot, Snapsation will make the price $110. You decide how much YOU want to make, and Snapsation takes care of the rest.

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 10.27.06 AM

Changes I’d Like To See

I really don’t have any complaints right now, it’s too early to tell! The one thing I wonder about is if the website starts getting big, and tons of photographers from my area start using it, what’s going to happen to my offers? Will the eventually get lost in a sea of other offers? So far I don’t see any rhyme or reason to the ordering of the offers in a specific area. It doesn’t look alphabetical, it doesn’t seem to be sorted by price or person and it doesn’t even seem to give preference to photographers with good reviews. The site just launched and I’m sure things like this will get addressed eventually as more and more people start using it. I’d like to eventually be able to sort offers by things like price and average rating by customers.

Another update I’d like to see is the ability to update the number of items a client wants to purchase. That way photographers could offer things at an hourly rate or something like that. Not a big deal but it would be nice to have.

Finally, I’d really like the ability to tag my offers with keywords. I have two offers that revolve around teaching: A private workshop and a portfolio critique. Neither of which show up when I do a Fort Worth, TX search for the word “Lessons” or “Teaching.”

Conclusion

Snapsation is of course a brand new website. It was in BETA for a short time and officially launched on Wednesday, June 5th. The success of this website depends largely on the photographers using it, by telling others about it and helping to drive traffic to it. I didn’t receive anything for doing this review, I heard about it and set up a profile and liked what I saw. I think this could be a great resource for booking clients and am excited to see where it goes.

What are your thoughts? Have you set up a profile yet? If so, be sure to add me to your ‘Favorite People’ list by clicking the little heart icon on my profile and I’ll see you there!

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category.

James Brandon is a photographer located in Dallas and a lover of iced tea, Chipotle and his wife Kristin (but not in that order). Be sure to sign up for his newsletter for a free ebook along with in-depth photo tips and videos! You can find his work at his website or on social media. Links below.

  • Janine Melnitz

    Once IN a while. “And” makes no sense.

  • Gary Rea

    A couple of observations: first, I immediately thought I was looking at a Google+ page and then found out why: the creator is a Google+ guy. Secondly, your apprehensions about what will happen to the market reminded of what has already happened to the market for other creative services since online venues for selling one’s services came into being. Online sweatshops like oDesk, where an American can’t make any money competing with Pakistanis who will gladly work for a $5 flat fee for what amounts to three days’ work, or the microstock sites, which have driven the price of stock photos into the ground are but a couple of examples of what I predict Snapsation will wind up becoming as everyone and his dog joins and begins competing with each other to be the cheapest photographer. In a buyer’s market, the sellers are losers.

  • http://www.patispatonphotography.com Patricia dos Santos Paton

    I really like the new website and its layout. Simple, clear and nice! One of my worries you’ve pointed out James is; What is going to happen when lots and lots of photographers add their offers and how they are going to feel abut difference in prices within the same region. Your idea is interesting of sorting orders by price, name and be dependent on number of reviews maybe. But, my another worry is clients having to sign up and leave private details. I agree with that because of the intention of the website but not all of them feel confident to do so, still. I really hope it changes. I had a client, which wanted to leave a review of my work after I told her about the new website. Unfortunately she didn’t feel comfortable in adding her details, so she didn’t sign up to use the website.

  • http://www.snapsation.com Chris Chabot

    Gary: I completely agree with many of your concerns that that’s been a huge factor in the design of Snapsation.

    First of all we’re not to worried about an oDesk kind of situation, since this is connecting local people to local photographers (after all flying someone in from another country to take a social media profile photo would be rather overkill right?:) – so the pricing will be local market pricing, and not put under pressure by cheaper markets.

    Secondly we’ve made sure we showcase the works and offers in the best way possible – an elegant design that really puts the emphasis on the photos, support for retina displays, very high image quality – we’ll do everything we can do to make your offers look amazing! Add reviews and other useful social signals to the mix – and potential customers should really be able to tell the quality that they’re getting.

    So we really want to empower the photographer to look his best, and the customer to make an informed decision on what’s the right price/quality mix for them.

  • Gary

    Thanks for the response, Chris. Yes, I can see your point, as far as the local market aspect is concerned. But, even then, when a market is subject to bidding on price – whether intentionally set up that way or not (the customers will drive that, by looking for the cheapest they can get) – it drives the market down for all of us. Your business model may succeed in avoiding the catastrophe the microstocks have created by letting the photographers, themselves, establish the pricing. Customers may still shop for the cheapest they can find, but the photographers can charge what they know they are worth. Good luck with your venture! :)

  • http://www.sharsidd.com Shariq

    Chris, are you expecting this to be entirely focussed on the retail / consumer demand for photography?

    I’m asking because I don’t expect editors or art directors to be looking in a pool which includes wedding photographers – not being snobbish myself, just the reality of the industry… Curious to know your thoughts.

    To put my question another way – what’s the target segment for photography buyers that SnapStation envisages?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.snapsation.com Chris Chabot

    Shariq: Snapsation is very much focused on the consumers, the regular people who need better photos to tell their stories.

    I’m not to worried about the high end market, creative directors have rolodexes with lots of great contacts, and the photographers who are ‘in’ there are doing alright (generally speaking) – it’s the rest of the market that is completely underserved.

    So the target market are people who want more action on their dating profile, who want to look great on linkedin for their next job application, for people who want to have more success on AirBnB or Sidecar, for people who want to show of their beautiful restaurant on Google maps and fill up their tables every evening, people who want to sell their car, and people who want to have amazing photos of their party that they can share with their friends.

    As we’re all becoming much more visual in our communications (just look at how teenagers and early 20′ers are instagraming, snapchatting etc vs texting, which is seen as old and boring) – more and more of our communication is happening through photos – so it really becomes increasingly important to speak that language well if you want to be successful.

    So that’s the market – not the creative directors, not the instagrammers, but everything in between.

  • Gary

    Good question, Shariq. I’m not a wedding shooter, either, and, if I were to use Snapsation, I’d want to know if it’s intended to serve editorial and fine art photographers. My guess is that, if it’s aimed at the general public, it will tend to be biased toward wedding and portrait photography.

    Gary

  • LF

    I think we need to keep a high value on our work – I do not want Walmart shoppers looking at price to decide to hire me- I want them to hire me for my work and quality. I keep my price high and I not worried about completion. If my work is good- they will hire me anyway. I do not plan to list my services on that site.

  • http://www.sharsidd.com Shariq

    Thanks for the clarification Chris.

    This might be worth somehow explaining to budding photographers signing up…that they are likely to be interacting with individuals, so they can define their own desirable outcomes.

    This service is not for me – I’m firmly interested being in the rolodex crowd. But I would love to see it succeed.

    Just providing feedback because I love photography and love to see new services that get everyone interested in *great* photography. I hope there will be resources on there for everyone to learn to appreciate the visual art of photography – regardless of the amounts of money involved – and not just a marketplace to monetise any kind of photography. There are enough GREAT photographers out there who would love to serve the segments you mention, at modest prices, but with the current model they might get lost amidst those just wanting to get a little cash and therefore get disheartened and move away – ensuring that no one wins.

    Maybe you will have quality filters like micro stock websites do though – in which case you can ignore my feedback and just keep my best wishes!

  • jeannie

    Unfortunately it auto-set my location to where my internet connection’s hub is… which is not where I am, and more than twice as far from downtown Cleveland which is 10 minutes from my front door.

    I travel in the direction of town, and the other side of it, and south of it, but not further away from it. And there’s NO setting to manually set/override the incorrect, definitely-outside-of-the-area location?? That’s ridiculous, and renders the service unusable. No setting to delete my account, either.

  • http://www.snapsation.com Chris Chabot

    Jeannie: We’re been made aware of the issues by other Snapographers a few days ago and are working on changing that as we speak. Expect that to be done before the week is done!

    If you have any feedback, or if there’s anything we can to do help please contact us at support@snapsation.com – it’ll be much easier to get back to you and help you out there since it takes a while for our comments to show up here :)

  • http://alanhough.photoshelter.com Alan Hough

    I joined up but have yet to upload photos as I’m still not sure how the whole thing works.
    eg If I post photos of Central Otago, (I live in Auckland two hours flying away, several days by car) what am I proposing to a prospective client?

    That they can buy the uploaded photos or I am willing and able to gone down to Central Otago for a travel feature?

    What am I posting a costing for?

    Secondly I did a search in Los Angeles CA, clicked on Places and Buildings, which returned people hugging and kissing, headshots, portraits, product shots etc!

    Thanks Alan.

  • http://www.snapsation.com Chris Chabot

    Copying from the email reply I send to Alan:

    So Snapsation is where people buy photographic services – say that an actor needs a new headshot, someone needs an interior shot of their apartment for their AirBnB listing, a car dealer needs a shot for their for sale ad – all these and so, so many more situations people need photographers, and Snapsation makes finding a local photographer, well, a snap!

    It is however not a site where images are sold though – Smugmug, Zenfolio, 500px, PhotoShelter and so many other great solutions are fantastic at that – so I don’t feel that’s a need that really needs to be solved.

    So the type of offers you would create on Snapsation are the services you can offer to clients – interior shoots, portraits, headshots, fashion, editorial or commercial work, holiday snaps, weddings – what ever services you’d be interested in offering – that would work perfectly on Snapsation.

    I did take a quick look at LA’s Places & Buildings btw and for me I’m finding a lot of interior, property and realestate photography.

    If you change the category and then the location – the category selection is reset again – so maybe that’s what happened?

Some older comments

  • Chris Chabot

    July 4, 2013 01:28 pm

    Copying from the email reply I send to Alan:

    So Snapsation is where people buy photographic services - say that an actor needs a new headshot, someone needs an interior shot of their apartment for their AirBnB listing, a car dealer needs a shot for their for sale ad - all these and so, so many more situations people need photographers, and Snapsation makes finding a local photographer, well, a snap!

    It is however not a site where images are sold though - Smugmug, Zenfolio, 500px, PhotoShelter and so many other great solutions are fantastic at that - so I don't feel that's a need that really needs to be solved.

    So the type of offers you would create on Snapsation are the services you can offer to clients - interior shoots, portraits, headshots, fashion, editorial or commercial work, holiday snaps, weddings - what ever services you'd be interested in offering - that would work perfectly on Snapsation.

    I did take a quick look at LA's Places & Buildings btw and for me I'm finding a lot of interior, property and realestate photography.

    If you change the category and then the location - the category selection is reset again - so maybe that's what happened?

  • Alan Hough

    July 4, 2013 08:30 am

    I joined up but have yet to upload photos as I'm still not sure how the whole thing works.
    eg If I post photos of Central Otago, (I live in Auckland two hours flying away, several days by car) what am I proposing to a prospective client?

    That they can buy the uploaded photos or I am willing and able to gone down to Central Otago for a travel feature?

    What am I posting a costing for?

    Secondly I did a search in Los Angeles CA, clicked on Places and Buildings, which returned people hugging and kissing, headshots, portraits, product shots etc!

    Thanks Alan.

  • Chris Chabot

    June 18, 2013 06:11 am

    Jeannie: We're been made aware of the issues by other Snapographers a few days ago and are working on changing that as we speak. Expect that to be done before the week is done!

    If you have any feedback, or if there's anything we can to do help please contact us at support@snapsation.com - it'll be much easier to get back to you and help you out there since it takes a while for our comments to show up here :)

  • jeannie

    June 17, 2013 09:34 am

    Unfortunately it auto-set my location to where my internet connection's hub is... which is not where I am, and more than twice as far from downtown Cleveland which is 10 minutes from my front door.

    I travel in the direction of town, and the other side of it, and south of it, but not further away from it. And there's NO setting to manually set/override the incorrect, definitely-outside-of-the-area location?? That's ridiculous, and renders the service unusable. No setting to delete my account, either.

  • Shariq

    June 14, 2013 04:41 am

    Thanks for the clarification Chris.

    This might be worth somehow explaining to budding photographers signing up...that they are likely to be interacting with individuals, so they can define their own desirable outcomes.

    This service is not for me - I'm firmly interested being in the rolodex crowd. But I would love to see it succeed.

    Just providing feedback because I love photography and love to see new services that get everyone interested in *great* photography. I hope there will be resources on there for everyone to learn to appreciate the visual art of photography - regardless of the amounts of money involved - and not just a marketplace to monetise any kind of photography. There are enough GREAT photographers out there who would love to serve the segments you mention, at modest prices, but with the current model they might get lost amidst those just wanting to get a little cash and therefore get disheartened and move away - ensuring that no one wins.

    Maybe you will have quality filters like micro stock websites do though - in which case you can ignore my feedback and just keep my best wishes!

  • LF

    June 14, 2013 01:26 am

    I think we need to keep a high value on our work - I do not want Walmart shoppers looking at price to decide to hire me- I want them to hire me for my work and quality. I keep my price high and I not worried about completion. If my work is good- they will hire me anyway. I do not plan to list my services on that site.

  • Gary

    June 14, 2013 01:16 am

    Good question, Shariq. I'm not a wedding shooter, either, and, if I were to use Snapsation, I'd want to know if it's intended to serve editorial and fine art photographers. My guess is that, if it's aimed at the general public, it will tend to be biased toward wedding and portrait photography.

    Gary

  • Chris Chabot

    June 14, 2013 12:50 am

    Shariq: Snapsation is very much focused on the consumers, the regular people who need better photos to tell their stories.

    I'm not to worried about the high end market, creative directors have rolodexes with lots of great contacts, and the photographers who are 'in' there are doing alright (generally speaking) - it's the rest of the market that is completely underserved.

    So the target market are people who want more action on their dating profile, who want to look great on linkedin for their next job application, for people who want to have more success on AirBnB or Sidecar, for people who want to show of their beautiful restaurant on Google maps and fill up their tables every evening, people who want to sell their car, and people who want to have amazing photos of their party that they can share with their friends.

    As we're all becoming much more visual in our communications (just look at how teenagers and early 20'ers are instagraming, snapchatting etc vs texting, which is seen as old and boring) - more and more of our communication is happening through photos - so it really becomes increasingly important to speak that language well if you want to be successful.

    So that's the market - not the creative directors, not the instagrammers, but everything in between.

  • Shariq

    June 14, 2013 12:42 am

    Chris, are you expecting this to be entirely focussed on the retail / consumer demand for photography?

    I'm asking because I don't expect editors or art directors to be looking in a pool which includes wedding photographers - not being snobbish myself, just the reality of the industry... Curious to know your thoughts.

    To put my question another way - what's the target segment for photography buyers that SnapStation envisages?

    Thanks!

  • Gary

    June 13, 2013 04:17 am

    Thanks for the response, Chris. Yes, I can see your point, as far as the local market aspect is concerned. But, even then, when a market is subject to bidding on price - whether intentionally set up that way or not (the customers will drive that, by looking for the cheapest they can get) - it drives the market down for all of us. Your business model may succeed in avoiding the catastrophe the microstocks have created by letting the photographers, themselves, establish the pricing. Customers may still shop for the cheapest they can find, but the photographers can charge what they know they are worth. Good luck with your venture! :)

  • Chris Chabot

    June 11, 2013 12:52 am

    Gary: I completely agree with many of your concerns that that's been a huge factor in the design of Snapsation.

    First of all we're not to worried about an oDesk kind of situation, since this is connecting local people to local photographers (after all flying someone in from another country to take a social media profile photo would be rather overkill right?:) - so the pricing will be local market pricing, and not put under pressure by cheaper markets.

    Secondly we've made sure we showcase the works and offers in the best way possible - an elegant design that really puts the emphasis on the photos, support for retina displays, very high image quality - we'll do everything we can do to make your offers look amazing! Add reviews and other useful social signals to the mix - and potential customers should really be able to tell the quality that they're getting.

    So we really want to empower the photographer to look his best, and the customer to make an informed decision on what's the right price/quality mix for them.

  • Patricia dos Santos Paton

    June 7, 2013 11:59 pm

    I really like the new website and its layout. Simple, clear and nice! One of my worries you've pointed out James is; What is going to happen when lots and lots of photographers add their offers and how they are going to feel abut difference in prices within the same region. Your idea is interesting of sorting orders by price, name and be dependent on number of reviews maybe. But, my another worry is clients having to sign up and leave private details. I agree with that because of the intention of the website but not all of them feel confident to do so, still. I really hope it changes. I had a client, which wanted to leave a review of my work after I told her about the new website. Unfortunately she didn't feel comfortable in adding her details, so she didn't sign up to use the website.

  • Gary Rea

    June 7, 2013 09:43 am

    A couple of observations: first, I immediately thought I was looking at a Google+ page and then found out why: the creator is a Google+ guy. Secondly, your apprehensions about what will happen to the market reminded of what has already happened to the market for other creative services since online venues for selling one's services came into being. Online sweatshops like oDesk, where an American can't make any money competing with Pakistanis who will gladly work for a $5 flat fee for what amounts to three days' work, or the microstock sites, which have driven the price of stock photos into the ground are but a couple of examples of what I predict Snapsation will wind up becoming as everyone and his dog joins and begins competing with each other to be the cheapest photographer. In a buyer's market, the sellers are losers.

  • Janine Melnitz

    June 7, 2013 08:44 am

    Once IN a while. "And" makes no sense.

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