Snappr: the Sydney startup disrupting the photography industry

Pauline Morrissey

Whenever new startups come on the scene and disrupt an industry, they’re typically doing so with the aim of providing something either better, cheaper, faster, or in some cases, all of the above. We’ve seen Uber do this with the taxi industry, Airbnb with the hotel industry and now, a new company called Snappr is aiming to follow suit and disrupt the entry level photography industry.

In just seven months, the on-demand photography service has had over 1,000 photographers apply to join the platform, and high profile customers such as Dropbox, Google and Uber use their services.

Co-founders Ed Kearney and Matt Schiller were working together on a previous business venture called GownTown, a ‘one-stop graduation shop’ selling gowns to graduating students in Australia. It was when they added a photography offering, where customers could book a professional photographer to capture their graduation day, was when the new idea struck.

“Students were not happy with the very old fashioned posed photography with a blue screen backdrop that was on offer,” says Kearney. “What we then offered was a photo session on campus with the university landmarks in the background, taken by professional freelancers.”

"We saw a huge gap in the professional photography industry."

When this took off, Kearney and Schiller knew there was a real opportunity to expand to more than just graduation photography. Enter Snappr.

“We saw a huge gap in the professional photography industry,” says Kearney. “As a consumer, finding a photographer was a really tough task. Currently, this involves trawling through Google and emailing ten people hoping one of them would be free, and then often getting a rude shock with pricing.”

Schiller has ten years’ experience in both photography and videography. With this industry insight, he believes that life as a photographer was not much better.

“I would spend a large amount of my time doing admin and customer service work, trying to get jobs, and little time actually being a photographer,” says Schiller. “It’s because of this down time and low number of actual paid jobs that many end up having to charge quite high rates.

“With Snappr, customers can have a confirmed booking in less than two minutes at transparent fixed prices, while photographers spend all of their time doing what they do best - taking amazing photos.”

“We see the future being one where people will not think twice about getting a photographer to take amazing photos of  every special occasion in their life."

The platform allows customers to be instantly matched with a suitable photographer for all occasions. The key focus of the startup is to make the process of booking a photoshoot more accessible and affordable. Bookings start from just $59 for a 30-minutesession, all the way to $449 for a full day seven-hour shoot.

“We see the future being one where people will not think twice about getting a photographer to take amazing photos of  every special occasion in their life,” says Kearney.

The platform has been met with mixed reaction from the industry with some commenting that Snappr confuses the meaning of what constitutes “pro” photography. For others, Snappr prodives a great opportunity for photographers and clients alike to contribute to the broader entry-level space photography space.

Pauline Morrissey

Pauline is a Sydney-based journalist for Domain and is frequently featured amongst various Fairfax Media mastheads including The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.