It’s not news that the advancements in technology have changed the way we do business. Beginning ten-or-so years ago, a concept called “the sharing economy” started taking off—a way of using technology to find what you need. From transportation services like Uber and Lyft to the insanely popular home rental community Airbnb, there seems to be an app for everything.
Enter another collaborative consumption product: WanderSnap—a company dedicated to connecting travelers with local photographers in order to capture “selfie-free holiday moments.” In fact, they even called dibs on the hashtag #FckSelfie.
Currently available in Asia and parts of Australia (with 200+ “snappers” and 30 destinations), founder Jen Loong says it’s because “this is the world’s most active photography and travel market,” stating “Thais and Filipinos are amongst some of the world’s most active Instagram nationalities.” Loong herself has more than 20,000 followers on her personal account, dedicated to her travel adventures.
We were intrigued by the idea. And despite not having any immediate travel plans, we decided to book a photographer in Shanghai, for an overdue engagement shoot. Our vision: getting some snaps of us dancing with the locals in Xiangyang Park. The result: Exactly what we hoped. Take a look at some of the pictures:
In a word: easy. The website was simple to use, with a user interface very similar to Airbnb. We liked the ability to choose between DSLR, mobile, drone/aerial, underwater and 360 photographers, and that each of their profiles included sample pictures from their portfolios. We went with DSLR photographer Maarten van der Meer, who charged $99USD (682RMB) per hour, and were very happy with the result. Within a day, he sent five photos as a "preview" from our shoot, asked about our editing preferences, then shared 100 images for us to pick from. We were allowed to select 12, as per our WanderSnap agreement (every photographer sets his/her own amount), then he delivered the edited album two days later.
A big thank you to WanderSnap for giving us affordable engagement pictures (even though they technically came after our impromptu wedding). As Loong puts it, "the photos cement a way that used to be, or a way you'd aspire to be." She says she "wants to help you do both, to remember a life worth living."
We've already put a few pictures in frames, so a job well done, Loong.