Photography startup launching in Bridgeport market
A mobile platform designed to connect customers with photographers has focused on Connecticut for its East Coast expansion.
California-based Snappr is launching markets in Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford on Tuesday, offering its services in the area.
Much like the wave of ride sharing and delivery apps, Snappr lets users looking for a photographer to book a local freelancer for an event.
“Right now, we are expanding pretty rapidly, and Connecticut will be the furthest East that we have gone to date, so it’s sort of our first East Coast launch,” said founder and CEO Matt Schiller. “We are seeing a lot of demands for photoshoots in the area and in other places along the East Coast.”
Schiller started the company two years ago in San Francisco and focused on developing the brand along the West Coast. The idea was inspired by one of Schiller’s earlier startups in Australia that focused on graduation photos.
“It was such a successful product that we decided we should be doing this for much more than just graduation photography,” he said,
Now the platform touts on-demand access to some of the top freelancers in the area — visual artists who are interviewed extensively by Schiller’s team before being registered with Snappr
“They’ve gone through a very long vetting process by the time I would put any photographer in touch with a customer through our platform,” Schiller said.
Prospective phtographers have their portfolio and equipment reviewed by his team and their professional experience with past customers inspected before being associated with the platform.
Schiller said he expects to see the same boom in usage in Connecticut that he saw in California.
“Even with the few cities that we have, we’ve been already the premier company in the U.S. and now it’s a matter of taking the operation eastward and one day have coverage across the entire country,” Schiller said.
Based on U.S. Census data and private research conducted by his company, he estimated that $32.1 million is spent on photography services in the Bridgeport metro area while the cost of freelance photography statewide is just under $100 million.
Snappr has already signed up several local photographers to be featured on the platform, like Milford-based Ed Steinerts, who has been a featured freelancer on the app for a year now providing his services from New Haven to Norwalk.
“What’s great about it is I don’t have to do the marketing for myself,” he said. Letting the app do the advertising has alleviated a large portion of the leg work associated with freelancing and finding work as a freelancer, he said.
Snappr handles booking, billing and marketing for affiliate photographers.
Steinerts recalled spending hundreds of dollars and hours a day trying to gain clients prior to signing with the app.
“All I have to do is show up and shoot my job and upload the photos to Snappr which then are downloaded by the client and then in two weeks I receive payment, so it’s very easy,” Steinerts said. “It does streamline and give me a lot of freedom as far as I can choose when I have to work and where.”
That has become a useful tool for the Milford resident, as he said it’s become increasingly harder to find work in an industry that has seen a spike in digital equipment that makes even the newest photographers look good, he said.
“It’s very competitive these days and anybody with a camera can go out there and offer themselves as a freelancer, so it’s very competitive and almost impossible to find work,” he said.