When you go through a big event – say a big birthday for a parent or a wedding – there will probably be a lot of mini-events that happen before and after the big one. But you may not think of hiring a professional photographer for them and sticking to a few phone cameras, as it can be difficult to find these photographers.
So Minted, a long-standing and traditionally known business for cards and stationery, is now launching a service to streamline this process and make it easier to summon a qualified photographer to document events like these. Although the process may be closely related, say, to family portraits, it is quite easy to see how to get a photographer quickly ahead of a life event that there is a good chance at a level of higher competence than your iPhone. their wallets.
Users can pay about $ 100 to book a 30-minute session with a photographer on the Minted platform, allowing their photographers to make sure they can offer a certain level of quality . Photographers have more or less some creative freedom, but the important thing that the company insists is that they match what customers want. Users go through a little quiz or survey to ask what they might want as part of their photos – like what kind of poses, or the effects of the photo in the end – and then it goes from there. After that, they will receive retouched photos in a few days, as well as suggestions for things like greeting cards.
"What is surprising is that there are all these secondary wedding events, like bridesmaids coming out," said CEO Mariam Naficy. "There are things like," We went to the living room together. "There are all these mini-events under the wedding umbrella, they wanted to use the photo-op because it was cheap, they trusted our brand, which we found in general, it is that there are many events in the lives of people that they would like to have documented that they would use this service. "
Naficy said that Minted is able to take a slimmer margin on the process than a normal concert-based platform because it offers these customers a way to use the content that photographers create in other products. So, if you wanted to create maps, you could pass the photos that these photographers create in other types of stationery – the kind of things for which Minted is known to originate – in one and the same service. Although people may not want to go through Minted specifically, it can remove enough friction for people to stay on the platform.
"I take my shop in the house, we will come take your portrait and also buy your card," said Naficy. "In terms of the next step and innovation, I think it is necessary for us to really respond to today's hungry customer demand." I think this could potentially mean going out thinking about shopping and bringing someone to your home. That's how the conversation evolved. We started thinking about it in January or February, but we tend to get things started pretty quickly at Minted. We take an Amazon approach – we try and build it. "
This price point of about $ 100 (of which Naficy is intentionally a good figure because it helps to convince users that it is a product of high quality) is not necessarily engraved in marble because it says the exact price point. But to convince photographers to visit Minted when there are other platforms – especially because they have to go through a verification process, which may involve taking test shots – it's going to have to offer an interesting business opportunity.
"I think the price in general is one where we can pay the photographer fairly and attract enough people," she said. "It's an independent group of photographers – they're not typing employees – and we turn people who have free time into staff photographers, so we have to set a price where we can fairly compensate people to attract the workforce and make some room for us.It's really hard to test the price.If you ask consumers in a price discussion group, they are often not very precise. "
All this is part of obtaining independent photographers who could have a real set of skills and who are even better than those who are already paid professionals the opportunity to turn that habit into a real business . And the verification process, which guarantees a top-notch bar, is one of the reasons the company will be able to stand out from other fully open platforms, Naficy said. Although other platforms make sure to have high quality professionals (like Thumbtack, for example), Naficy has indicated that there is a top quality bar to ensure that Minted users who come already on the site for this kind of important events get what they pay. for.
That, and Minted will take odd requests like changing heads on different bodies.
"Our brand is really about design and quality," said Naficy. "That's what we're attached to, our customers trust us for that, and for years I think a lot of people who did not order from us do not realize that we've actually evolved." during the holidays with hundreds of designers.They join or season and help edit all their maps.We photoshop a lot of photos on request.They will be happy to do anything, we have been doing it for ten years. has an aesthetic sense and knows how to work and train large groups of professionals to give a modern design look. "
The pilot is launched in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. Minted is funded by Benchmark IDG Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures and other angel investors. The company has raised $ 90 million to date.