The dawn of amateur photography has well and truly arrived with the introduction of smartphone cameras, the rise of the selfie-taker and other instruments of narcissism, such as selfie sticks. The quality of the resulting images, however, is often questionable.
Smartphone cameras now come with high-grade specs, but when it comes down to it the everyday user is still a photography rookie, at best. Without the right settings, angles, filters and artistic flare, subsequent snaps can be a real disappointment and lack imagination.
What’s more, top tourist spots and attractions, such as the Disney theme parks, Wimbledon and Coachella, have also started to ban selfies and selfie sticks – citing the dangers of the practice (twelve tourists died last year taking photographs of themselves).
This situation has inspired a new startup, Pinpic, which aims to hook up tourists with local professional photographers to document their travels. Having returned from a family holiday in Greece with a series of underwhelming shots, Pinpic founder Alen Ankajcan, turned to friend and co-founder Urooj Qureshi, to discuss the potential for a new app which would resolve the problem.
“We crunched some numbers and saw it’s a big enough, growing market within the travel and app space that’s currently not being exploited […] The closest competitor to us is still the agency model where you would contact them prior to going on the trip, and they would arrange a photographer for you, at absurdly high prices,” explained Qureshi.
While the app hasn’t launched yet, the project has a Kickstarter campaign to help gauge demand and understand which cities would offer the best results – for now London, Barcelona and Lisbon are likely to be available first, with Thailand and Singapore following shortly after.
Pinpic is expected to launch this April, and will work in a similar ‘on-demand’ style as Uber. The platform will connect local photographers with clients through a geotagging system. Users can select their chosen photographer according to location, price and rating.
The startup will not charge photographers who sign up to the app, but will take 10-12% of the final price which is set by the photographers themselves. According to Qureshi, 500 have already signed up globally.
“We wanted to change the model where agencies dictate how much photographers can charge and take a huge cut on top of it as well,” he commented. “This kind of marketplace brings much more transparency.”