$10 Photoshoots? Ourspot: A Place to Hire Amateur Photographers

$10 Photoshoots? Ourspot: A Place to Hire Amateur Photographers

With the current state of the photography business flooded by part-time professionals, Ourspot (or something like it) was ultimately inevitable. The website, which launches in San Francisco today (New York and Los Angels coming soon), is an online marketplace where anyone can hire an amateur photographer for as little as free to as much as a few hundred bucks.

Photographers are able to upload a "portfolio" for potential "clients" to browse. Those "clients" can pay whatever they like. The site suggests $10 for "fun" shoots, $25 for a "standard" shoot and $100 or more for something "custom." Ourspot takes a 8%. The site's founder, Sam Yam (yes, his real name), has said he is not trying to "cannibalize the market" for higher-end jobs like weddings. Good luck with that, Sam Yam. My personal favorite detail the tagline on their front page, "Be a Photographer." It's now apparently that easy.

What do you think?

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Stuart Holden's picture

I think Lee Morris said it best when he commented on lowering your prices hurting you in the long run and sticking with what you feel you deserve. If your service is amazing and people love you they will come back and recommend you to other people. 80 percent of our wedding business is via word of mouth and by the end of the wedding I make sure that they can see that Ive earned every cent :) surprise and delight people! 

Whatever, no serious professional would be caught dead advertising on a site like this. And no one serious about hiring a true professional would hire someone on a site like this. This is nothing more than a fancy Craig's List for wanna be photographers.


DragonLord's picture

I'm no professional. But while I see Ourspot as a great idea, a base price of $10 is clearly too low.  If prices start from around $30 for simple, fun shoots and run up to $150-200 for higher-quality shoots, rather than $10 and $100 respectively, I'd be less concerned about undercutting the high-end professional market.  Professional photography is a lot of work, and many don't recognize the amount of time and effort that needs to spent in post.  I don't do a lot of post-processing, but when it is necessary, I can tell you that it can be and is very time-consuming.

But for those with lower expectations and don't need true professional quality, Ourspot fills a significant gap at the low end of the professional photography market and is precisely what's needed, both for clients who need decent images without having to pay top dollar, and for aspiring amateurs who are looking to move into professional photography.  Ourspot removes a major barrier to entry for amateurs who want to move up and ultimately "go pro".

It's a great idea, but the expectations can be higher.

Pesima idea.  Aportando para seguir dañando el mercado.  Entre a esa pagina y vi muy buenas fotos.

Honorableschoolboy's picture

$10 for a photographer. I thought Getty Images had already done this.

After 30 years in the commercial photography business, all I can say is that there's always been bottom feeders on both sides of the fence. Hopefully this will keep a lot of them in their own little pond...

After close to 30 years as a commercial photographer, there's always been bottom feeders on both sides of the fence. Hopefully, this will keep a lot of them in their own little pond...

Actually I'm kind of glad for a place like this to syphon off the bottom feeders. Maybe enough will get burned that they finally see the value of professional photography and pony up the dough it costs to produce consistent, serious work. What is it about photography that makes people think they can purchase commercially viable work for pennies? I'm a damn good cook, doesn't mean I could run a restaurant.

Carlos Echavarría S.'s picture

I am A Professional Photographer, I mean I went to college and firs studied Advertising, then I went to Art school in London and studied Photography, Film, and Video, then I assisted Pro photographers for 5 years in London and ONLY then I bought my equipment and started my own practice.
That was 18 years ago. Today I have to charge the same for a day´s work as I charged then...

Since clients and agencies start  to judge our Professional work using Excel instead of Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture, our Professional work is as good as the images of hundreds of self-called "Photo Enthusiasts" or "Casual Photographers" or "Semi-pro Photographers"   that write in the B&H comments. (See http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=NavBar&A=getItemDe...)I´ve lost many clients to ex-employees of the same companies that decided to buy "Semi-pro Photographers" equipment and "Set Up a studio" because "they liked very much Photography too."I like neuro-surgery very much and I'm setting up a Professional Operating Room, I just have to hire three or four surgical assistants and nurses and watch some videos and charge a third of the current price of a Professional surgeon................I wonder if our clients would pay half the price for a surgery or a car repair or an extension of their houses......or a hooker.We will be all working for Corbis, Shutterstock, et al, or just become Photo Enthusiasts too and do the garden....I decided not to buy a camera with more than 22 MP because my clients are saying "the files are too big...." Size matters! Price too!Where is quality?( By the way, English is my second language, just in case...)

Carlos Echavarría S.'s picture

Maybe a GoPro Camera will make me "go pro" again.....

At these prices it is doubtful that any of these amateur/hobbyist photographers have liability insurance.  When someone trips over their equipment or they rub up against that priceless Renoir...good luck.  They'll be paying for it the rest of their lives.

oh so you don't HAVE to charge as low as $10.  These are all suggested amounts.  Whew.  I'm seeing at least some really talented photographers on here..including my own wedding/engagement photographer who routinely charges $3000 a wedding..  

George Gutenberg's picture

And the race to the bottom continues