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There’s a new site in town called Snapsation that is trying to be the latest site to connect photographers and clients. Photographers set up profiles and list offers, and potential clients come in and browse the wares. Job booking and payment is done through the site, which allows it to offer buyer protection to the customer, something decidedly lacking in the traditional photographer/client relationship.

Of course, this kind of protection often favors the client at the cost of the service provider and I’m curious to see how the site handles it. On their Snapsation Guarantee page, they claim “Snapographers: This means you’ll always get paid” but I can’t find mention of it in the Handbook. If a client complains about the quality of the work and refuses to pay, does Snapsation pay the photographer out of their own pocket? Is there some sort of review panel that verifies the merits of claims? I’d love to know more about how it works.

The other thing I find myself wondering is if they can avoid becoming another Snapm, a short-lived site that offered the same “Connecting Photographers With Customers (for a cut)” role. It fell prey to two big issues: photographers were undercutting each other left and right, and those that were getting jobs we settling payment outside of the site (so Snapm never got a cut).

To its credit, Snapsation looks like it’s doing things smartly enough to avoid this. The site puts emphasis on “Tell us why your service is awesome and worth its price” rather than just “Tell us what you do and how much it costs” which will hopefully also educate consumers and help them see why we charge what we do. And so long as Snapsation offers payment protection, they’ll be a wise choice for consumers (Snapm offered no such protection). And if they draw clients, photographers are sure to list.

It’s still too early to really tell, but the site is off to a promising start and could be huge if they play their cards right. A capable suite of marketing, advertising, and publicity tools could go a long way to enticing photographers to join. Many (most, perhaps) of us are one-person operations without agents, managers, or accountants. A site that could serve that role, even to a minimal degree, would be well worth the price of admission.

And if you’re wondering, yes–I did set up an account. Fly or flop, I’m gonna see where this thing goes.

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