If you've ever tried to hire a photographer you probably start by contacting friends and family for referrals. However highly recommended the photographer is, you are still left with the risk that as much as, for example, the photographer was great for a wedding, they might not be the best for a product shoot; but you likely only discover this after you have paid and they have delivered the photos.
On the other hand, as a photographer, you likely struggle and encounter payment disputes with clients who might pay partially or not at all citing quality of work or a myriad of other reasons.
Both these problems are what a South African startup, Tapsnapp, is looking to solve.
Vije Vijendranath, Co-founder and CEO at Tapsnapp.
"I’ve been in the photography industry for the last 9 years doing photos ranging from personal to large corporate shoots. I realized over the years how hard you have to work to get business which loses your focus in the art of photography and instead just more admin," said Vije Vijendranath, Co-Founder and CEO at Tapsnapp when speaking to iAfrikan.
Together with Jaiprakash Sewram, who is the Co-Founder and CTO, they founded Tapsnapp in the first quarter of 2017 and apart from launching in South Africa, Tapsnapp was also notably accepted into and completed the Y-Combinator Online Startup School.
"I realized if I was going to make the photography industry better, I need to streamline it so it’s easy to connect with customers, make the shoots cheaper and build a platform so payments can be done through a third party to ensure trust between customers and photographers," added Vijendranath.
Tapsnapp is essentially an online marketplace for customers and photographers.
Jaiprakash Sewram, Co-Founder and CTO at Tapsnapp
Customers can select the type of photo shoot they want to book a photographer for (e.g. product photos, corporate event), then they move on to select a date, time and location of the photo shoot. Once this is done, you will receive all the photographers that match your criteria and are available.
The somewhat cool part is that Tapsnapp take payment upfront, online. This guarantees the photographer that they will be paid once the photo shoot is completed. For the customer, this is also great because the photographer will only be paid once the photo shoot is completed as per the customer requirements specified on Tapsnapp.
How Tapsnapp make money is that they take a percentage for every photo shoot booked.
There are other benefits for photographers to sign up to the marketplace, one of them being that they can setup their portfolios to market their services for free. Also, customers can also rate the photographer’s service which in turn encourages photographers to deliver good work.
The marketplace is currently available in South Africa with plans for expansion into the rest of Afrika in 2018.
"We have designed Tapsnapp for the business market. Our main customer is the startup, entrepreneur or small business that can use our company for their photography needs, e.g. a new bakery that needs product photos for their advertising or an online magazine that needs photoshoots for the web," concluded Vijendranath.