Canon USA has announced Image Connect, a new on-demand professional photography service that matches clients with a photographer.
Image Connect is currently in the beta version and only available in six US states. While there are plans to roll it out across the whole of the USA, it’s unclear whether it will go global and launch in Australia.
Canon’s new platform is geared toward family and event photography, covering areas like newborn portraits, birthday parties, family portraits, religious events, and engagements. Image Connect looks like it will compete with controversial on-demand photography services such as Snappr, but for now details are scant.
Here’s how it will work according to Canon:
– Through the platform, customers can provide basic details for the job, such as event type, location, and date;
– Once photographers are matched with the customer through the platform, customers review photographer profiles and invite those they like to bid on the job;
– Photographers create an offer which allows them to set their own price (rather than adhering to standardised pricing) and allows them to communicate their rates and value to customers;
– Once an offer is accepted, the job is booked through the platform;
– Following the event, images are delivered electronically to the customers through a Canon customer portal.
This business model appears similar to other online service seeking platforms, such as AirTasker, OneFlare, or Snappr. These services have been criticised for either devaluing professional photography or creating a ‘race-to-the-bottom’ pricing system. It will be interesting to see if Canon manages to design a platform which is well received by professional photographers and perhaps even scores them quality extra work.
Petapixel reports payment transactions can be conducted through Image Connect, but it’s not yet clear what fee or commission Canon plans to charge the photographer.
This isn’t the first time a great and long-standing photographic company has moved into the on-demand photography space. Kodak had a crack at it with Kodakit, which has now been abandoned.
Here’s a video promoting Image Connect. Turn the volume up and be prepared to be blown away by its epic-ness!