Meet the App That's 'Replacing Selfie Sticks' With Professional Photographers

Meet the App That's 'Replacing Selfie Sticks' With Professional Photographers

Lately, I’ve noticed a huge surge in the number of emails I’ve received inquiring about my interest in partnering up with a website or app that claims to be shaping the next generation of holiday photo. One email even introduced its company’s services with a tagline of “the app that’s replacing selfie sticks.”

The principal idea is this: instead of trying to take your holiday pictures yourself, you can book a photographer on short notice to shadow your family holiday and take professional-standard photos. Most of the companies running with this concept are assembling a directory of photographers in cities across the globe, so that no matter where it is you’re venturing to, there’s likely someone on hand. When referring to the process of booking a photographer, one particular site I encountered is using words like "summon," making it sound reminiscent of Uber, like some kind of dial-a-photographer service. You know, so if you stumble across something rather scenic on holiday and decide that, actually, you want a "professional" picture, you can just call someone out. I know the creative industry is often last-minute, but this is certainly taking it up a notch.

It’s not an entirely new concept, and in many senses, it is similar in nature to engagement portraits. Everybody wants the option to revisit good memories, and in the digital era, there's an increasing demand for photos in the highest possible resolution. 

There’s certainly been a rise in the number of companies specializing in holiday photographer services. Many launching the service are even using Kickstarter campaigns to get things off the ground, offering pledgers a photoshoot any place in the world that their company has a photographer based.

What are your thoughts? Is this a cheap gimmick to capitalize on the self-indulgent selfie stick generation, or is it a smart business venture that will soon become an essential part of any holiday? From a photographer’s point of view, are you interested in working as a professional tourist photographer? Should we be grateful for more potential work opportunities at a time when cameraphones are improving in quality, or is this just trivializing our work?

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Previous comments

These fluffy, no brainer articles are fine. But It’s incredibly odd that Fstoppers, a photography/photographer used community has yet to post an article covering what is going on with B&H right now.

I'm launching a business this year that is somewhat related to this. We'll be offering packages for people visiting Utah, but rather than tourist spots, we're focusing on camping spots. In addition to being able to offer fully guided trips, and all the necessary camping equipment (plus meals), we will provide professional Canon gear and some guidance to get great photos, while photographing our clients enjoying the outdoors. They will take home photos of themselves, plus much better than average vacation photos. Feedback from our market research has been overwhelmingly positive. And we'll be getting paid to enjoy the outdoors, camp, and take photos. Who wouldn't want a paid vacation every weekend?

If I may comment as someone who has studied this concept. We've been researching this topic for a couple years now and listened to the pain points of both sides - photographers and customers. In order to not commoditize it but still bring a more convenient solution to hiring a photographer, there had to be a compromise to meet in the middle. On one side we needed to create a platform to fill up openings in a photographer's schedule at a discount. On the other side we needed to let customers still choose their photographer based on portfolio and style. The technology was developed to simply narrow it down to who is available, who is qualified, and who is closest. It seemed to have created a harmonious community of highly talented artists. Disclaimer: We created this app and it's called PhotoSesh! :-)