A new company called ElsiePic understands the mind of an influencer who needs a constant stream of fresh photos. The company's idea is simple. Whenever you need a photo taken, like when you're on vacation with your family and want a group pic in front of the Statue of Liberty, you can use ElsiePic to find photographers in the area who are available to take your photo. I'm not making up this use case; it's something ElsiePic directly says in a press release announcing the service.
This is the story that apparently prompted the app's creation:
"[Co-founder Tatiana Cooke] got the idea for ElsiePic two years ago when she was on vacation with her husband and his family. They were at the Alamo and ran into the problem of figuring out who gets to be in the picture and who gets to take it. Leery of handing their camera to a stranger, they opted to leave without the iconic photo of the whole group and instead splitting the picture into two groups."
I want to point out that Cooke wasn't inspired to create this app because she needed professional headshots or something else done. She literally just didn't trust another person at the Alamo to handle taking a group photograph. How important was this photograph, really?
The app, which is only available as a beta version on Android right now, shows a map of photographers and their portfolios, who can use either a DSLR or smartphone camera. I don't know how much a booking costs for users, or how much the photographers make, but I can't imagine it's a particularly lucrative arrangement.
I want to laugh at this service idea because the gig economy is already imploding, but I also, strangely, empathize with Cooke's initial problem.
I enjoy posting photos on Instagram, and every time I want one taken when I'm on vacation with my family, I have to hand the camera to my mom, who doesn't fully understand proper angles or framing. It's not her fault, but my Instagram requires a highly curated image, and she just can't provide it. I would never book a random person to come take my photo, because that's taking my Instagram way too seriously, but maybe a dedicated influencer would be willing. We already know they often rely on significant others, like their boyfriends, to capture their looks, so why not offload that job to a random freelancer?
Free the boyfriends from those influencer shackles. Or don't. Because they're also probably making great money from that influencer job and don't mind building a brand.