PetaPixel

Ourspot Helps Amateurs and Enthusiasts Monetize Their Photographic Talents

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The advent of smartphone photography and the drop in price of entry-level SLRs have, together, introduced many people to the wonderful world of photography. Ourspot, a new marketplace for buying and selling photographic talent, is targeted at this growing population of enthusiasts and amateurs.

If you live in San Francisco (and soon Los Angeles and New York as well) and you count photography as one of your pursuits, you can create an account with Ourspot, upload a portfolio, and start signing up to shoot events that people are posting. For a limited time, photogs that sign up will even get free business cards:

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The idea was put together by co-founder (and seller) of ad mediation start-up AdWhirl, Sam Yam, and is meant to create a marketplace for clients who want to hire someone to capture more casual events (e.g. picnics) and the amateurs and enthusiasts who would be interested in actually doing that work.

As Yam puts it:

There are a lot of people who are into photography, but they might not have the means to be a professional or market themselves. I just wanted to create an opportunity for them to put their work out.

Prices for events will range from “free” to a few hundred dollars and beyond, with Ourspot taking eight percent of the profits.

On that note, Yam has made it clear that he doesn’t want Ourspot to undercut the (justifiably) expensive high-end photography segments. He simply sees a hole in the market: professionals wouldn’t be interested in doing a $50 “fun” shoot of someone’s picnic, but an enthusiast with an entry-level SLR might not mind the practice.

If you’re interested in signing up, you can do so using either your e-mail or Facebook over on Ourspot’s website. In addition to free business cards, you’ll also get access to monthly meetups where pros will come teach Ourspot members the tricks of the trade.

For now, the site is still Yam’s baby, but a seed round is in the works to get the project some financial leg room.

(via TechCrunch)


 
  • Gregor_Albrecht

    Wish I lived in SF.
    Or NY.
    Besides that, I also really like this idea!

  • http://twitter.com/ShootTheSound Peter Neill

    A lot of people dont realise this is a necessity for all of these services, if someone shares a social link using their service , which is a corporate entity, technically that entity is sharing your information, and as such needs the legal coverage. Thats why dropbox, this and about half a million services always cause the same uproar when someone reads the TOC.

  • ryan180becker

    People can post jobs anywhere, so you can use it as a photographer and find jobs posted in your area. Granted, the majority of jobs will be in those two areas though.

  • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

    “Yam has made it clear that he doesn’t want Ourspot to undercut the (justifiably) expensive high-end photography segments…”

    However, you can bet your bottom dollar that you will soon see this marketplace filled with clients asking for wedding, portrait, commercial and other work that would normally be considered professional work.

    See Skillpages or any of the other sites that have this same idea in mind.

  • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

    Also, they kind of contradict themselves with the “enthusiast” angle when they state on their home-page “Beautiful Pro Photos for you!”

    And look! all I have to do to be a Pro photographer is login with my Facebook account!
    Yikes, shades of the IFPO…

  • Gregor_Albrecht

    You are definitely right.
    But my main point was that I’d love to live in SF,
    Just thought I should tell people.

  • ryan180becker

    Agreed!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Yam/201564 Sam Yam

    So I started the site to help all photographers, not just amateurs, but the media has pushed on that more strongly than anything else thus far (admittedly, the pricing structure doesn’t help). I definitely thought of Ourspot as a tool for professionals, too, since effectively it’s a marketing service where you can showcase your portfolio, which should make your photos stand out even more if they’re professional caliber. You definitely aren’t forced to sell anything or do any photoshoots on the site.

    One thing that I intend to do to help foster a better professional community is to allow for photographers to submit their own prices for photoshoots that have been posted. That way it’ll link back to your portfolio and posters can get a better idea what an actual photoshoot is worth — going forward after that, I would then be able to put up “suggested” prices based on averages/medians for certain types of photoshoots.

    Any and ALL feedback is definitely appreciated — photographers should be shaping this product going forward — please don’t hesitate to email me at sam_at_ourspot.com Thanks!

  • TSY87

    well, sadly photography is a very competitive job field with nearly 0 barriers to entry. that doesn’t mean sites like this should not exist, it means you really need to push your self to be better than the random guy/girl that gets an SLR and all of a sudden thinks they are a pro.

  • TSY87

    I think it’s a great idea for pro’s and amateurs alike. Best of luck with your endeavor.

  • Sssup

    I looked at the site and found people offering $25 for corporate headshots, and “FREE” for wedding photography.

    “This website is great for struggling photographers,” said no photographer, ever.

  • LeDare

    READ The Terms of Service: “WAIVER OF RIGHT TO BE A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN A PURPORTED CLASS ACTION OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING.”
    Know your legal rights before using their services. Most amateur photographers don’t understand the legal part of photography business. Any disputes that arises in the future while using this site, you cannot sue them so you’re out of luck when problems arise down the line regarding disputes.
    Ourspot is basically “crowd-herding” photographers to make money just like Instacanvas is tapping the Instagram user base. If you look at any established photographer’s website, they do not list their full prices on their websites such as wedding photographers. They only list their “base” price. Why? By listing the set base price, it weeds out “price sensitive” clients. They only provide their full price list with in-person consultation. By doing this you are able to sell “yourself” as the product brand (not the photographs itself) and set your own prices. If you let Ourspot collect data and set averages/median pricing on gigs, you’ve essential lose control of your own branding, pricing strategy and the ability to up-sell your products (if any). Photographers (amateur/semi-pro) need to truly understand the business side of photography first and foremost. Do you want to control your own pricing or let another site dictate “suggested” pricing for you? I think this site will great for pros to expand their reach but I’m very sure they won’t release their pricing list on here – that’s not business smart.

  • LeDare

    *typo 2nd to last line: “this site will be great for pros…”

  • LeDare

    Offering “FREE” wedding photography is big mistake even if it’s your first gig. The best way to get into wedding photography is be an assistant shooter and learn from one who’s experienced.