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Minted rolls out an on-demand photography service for around $100 per session

Minted rolls out an on-demand photography service for around $100 per session
From TechCrunch - November 22, 2017

When you go through a big life eventsay a milestone birthday for a parent or a weddingthere are probably going to be a lot of mini-events that happen before and after the big one. But you might not think to hire a professional photographer for them and stick with a couple phone cameras because it can be tough to find those photographers.

So Minted, a company thats been around for quite a while and traditionally known for cards and stationery, is now launching a service to streamline that process and make it easy to summon a skilled photographer to document events like those. Though the process might be tied closely with, say, family portraits, its pretty easy to see how getting a photographer quickly ahead of a life event that theres a good chance has a higher level of skill than you with your iPhone could convince people to pull out their wallets.

Minted users can pay around $100 to book a 30-minute session with a photographer on Minteds platform, which vets its photographers to make sure they can deliver a certain level of quality. The photographers more or less have some creative freedom, but the important thing the company stresses is that they fit what the customers want. Users go through a short quiz or survey to ask what they might want as part of their photoslike what kinds of poses, or the photo effects at the endand then it goes from there. After that, theyll get retouched photos within a few days, as well as suggestions for things like holiday cards.

Whats surprising is there are all these ancillary wedding events, like bridesmaids going out, CEO Mariam Naficy said. There are all things like, we went to the salon together. There are all these mini-events under the wedding umbrella. They wanted to use photo-op because it wasnt expensive. They trusted our brand. What we found, in general, was that there are lots of events in peoples lives that theyd like to have documented that they would use this service for.

Naficy said Minted is able to take a slimmer margin on the process than a normal gig-focused platform might take because it offers those customers a way to use the content the photographers create in other products. So, if you wanted to create cards, you could pass the photos that these photographers create into other kinds of stationerythe kinds of things Minted is originally known forall within a single service. Though people might not want to go through Minted specifically, it may remove enough friction to get people to stick around on the platform.

Im taking my store into the house, well come take your portrait and also buy your card, Naficy said. In terms of where we go next and the innovation, I think its necessary for us to really meet the demand for todays time-starved customer. I think it potentially could mean get out of thinking about stores and getting someone to your house. Thats how the conversation evolved. We started thinking about it in January or February, but we tend to launch things pretty quickly at Minted. We take an Amazon approachwe try it out and build it.

That roughly $100 price point (which Naficy is intentionally a nice round number because it helps convince users that its a high-quality product) isnt necessarily set in stone, as she says the company is still figuring out the exact price point. But in order to convince photographers to get onto Minted when there are other platforms out thereespecially as they have to go through a vetting process, which may involve taking test photosits going to have to offer some kind of a compelling business opportunity.

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