While Snappr has copped a thrashing in recent online reviews, the cheap on-demand photography service continues to expand by launching a new high volume photography platform and a recent acquisition.
Snappr allows clients to book vetted photographers in as little as two hours, with a set price list that has drawn the ire of the professional photo industry. Clients can choose the photographer, who has a profile which includes reviews, a portfolio, and other information.
From its humble beginnings in 2016 out of a co-working space in Sydney, Snappr relocated to San Francisco after securing investment funding and has built a heavy presence in most Australian and US cities.
Snappr is controversial, with Inside Imaging speaking with both Snappr photographers and a client about the woes of using the platform. While the testimonies from a few contractors and one client is far from representing the full picture, the majority of reviews in ProductReview.com.au claim the photography platform fails to deliver.
Of 15 reviews published in the last 18 months, nine warned others against using Snappr while six recommend Snappr.
Almost all negative reviews occurred when the photographer cancelled or simply didn’t show up, and the client was let down by poor customer service and communication.
Snappr customer reviews
Ren from Perth said his photographer, Isabelle, cancelled an hour before the shoot. ‘We set up the location and took the morning off for the shoot. Tried to contact Snappr for advice and help [after the cancellation] – couldn’t reach them. Before booking they would send text/ email to urge you to make the booking, hence not reachable when it comes to issuing refund/ giving solution. Absolute disappointment. Stay away.’
This was the trend. ‘Photog cancelled the day of the event,’ wrote reviewer, Sybil, in August 2021. ‘Snappr never answered calls or emails for a replacement. They finally reached contacted me the day after the event, … [and] issued a refund’
Mohamed from Greater Melbourne penned a review in August 2021 highlighting how after a photographer cancelled, the replacement had inferior gear and a poor skillset.
‘The new photographer came without lights or ideas and it ended up with photos with bad colours and angles and the photos I am taking with my mobile are much, much better. Contacted snapper and sent them examples from the normal photos which I am taking.’
Despite Mohamed’s disappointment with the pictures, Snappr stated they passed its Editing and Design Team’s standards.
There have also been cases where it’s difficult to reschedule or organise refunds after a Snappr photographer cancels, as outlined by Insiya in a review from June 2021.
‘Booking process was smooth however the photographer cancelled upon me as he had to isolate which is understandable but the support team didn’t help to reschedule the appointment. Once product sold they are not interested at all in providing a service. They have taken full payment and haven’t refunded me yet. Wouldn’t recommend snappr, big company with various departments but poor customer service.’
The worst situations, however, are when the photographer is a no show at a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Nina in February, 2021:
‘Do not recommend to anyone. Paid for a Snappr photographer to attend my pre-wedding function and they didn’t show! Snappr didn’t bother organising a replacement for my special day. It was so embarrasing in front of guests not to mention a waste of what would have been amazing memories. On top of everything they refused to give me a refund for their mistake!! Book at your own risk,mine wasn’t worth it.
Michael from Mid North Coast in April, 2020:
‘The absolute worst!
This company is only focused on taking your money. When the photographer we booked did not turn up to our wedding we contacted Snappr a half hour before the ceremony. Their response was “we can’t get a hold of them”. That was all.
My wife and I are pretty understanding people and gave the company the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe the photographer got lost or may have been sick. What we found out weeks later is that the photographer was over seas and had notified Snappr that they were not available.
We were not angry at the photographer, but the fact that Snappr were told and didn’t bother to do anything about it was devastating. Once we notified Snappr that we knew what really happened, we were purely just ignored. They even ignored consumer affairs.
This company really ruined our wedding without a care in the world as long as they have money coming in.
Again, please don’t make the same mistake that we did. Please book a professional.
Lastly, if you read this Snappr, please do not reply with one of your generic messages. It would be an insult as you neglected to reply to our emails and phone calls. You left my wife and I devastated on our most special day. But the worst part was, you just ignored us. I hope no one has to go through what we went through and books with a reliable company.
[Snappr came back to them… with a generic message]
It’s not all bad. Some clients had a great experience using Snappr, such as Dr Savio George from South Australia.
‘I was very fortunate to have John N (South Australia) as the photographer. John is a ‘mobile photo studio’ – he has all the equipment needed to click the right photographs. Most importantly, he is patient, friendly, and takes the time to ensure that he gets the right shot every time. Highly recommended!’
And sometimes Snappr’s customer service does, in fact, ‘come to the rescue’!
‘I couldn’t be happier with the photos taken by Hyunjun for my son’s 21st. Candid, natural photos without being intrusive when people mingling. He captured the best moments so I could relax & enjoy the party. Very reasonable pricing for amazing photos. I had originally booked another photographer with Snappr, but understandably, for Covid-19 reasons, had to pull out just a few days before. Snappr quickly came to the rescue giving me a few other photographers to choose from who were available! Photos were ready the next day.’
Click here to read ’em all.
Snappr’s new Enterprise
Snappr has introduced Snappr For Enterprise, a service with its sights set on high volume photography with companies that require ’30 or more photoshoots per month’.
Snappr plans for this service to be adopted in commercial, real estate, product, and corporate photography sector.
In its pitch, Snappr highlights professional photography ‘was the primary driver of Airbnb’s growth’, and how real estate photos shot on a DSLR sell properties faster.
Snappr claims its photographers are in ‘the top 5 percent’. It’s not clear how Snappr came up with this statistic, or what it even means. The top five percent of what – talent? Sales? Cancellations?
It’s difficult to understand how this new platform works, with the pitch mostly littered with corporate tech jargon. For instance, ‘Manage bookings at scale with a custom branded photography portal. Permission different teammates to create bookings and curate your photography, all from one interface’.
And the Snappr API, which can ‘programmatically manage your entire photo operation’ to ‘trigger bookings automatically and get updates on shoots as they happen with the Snappr API’.
‘If photography needs to fit into an existing company workflow, you may already have all of the details for a shoot in your software or CRM. Rather than having someone copying details manually, you can send this directly to the Snappr API for us to book shoots for you instantly.’
Inside Imaging will provide an update once we figure out what this all means!
Snappr acquires Pretty Instant
Lastly in Snappr news, the company has acquired Pretty Instant, a US-based on-demand photography platform called Pretty Instant. This is Snappr’s third acquisition, following Australian directory, Photographers.com.au, in 2018 and photo sharing platform, Eversnap, in 2020.