Foto-NG - Mechanizing Pop Up photography (PUP)

What is Foto-NG

Foto-ng is part of the side projects i will be working on this year. I will be going through the experience of creating a web app which allows “pop up” photographers to monitize photos they acquire at events after events are over. This project will be developed by a very small team. A team of one actually, i will highlight the tools i use to help realize a functioning demo and subsequently a full featured web application that fulfills the Mean Viable Requirements to make this project a reality.

Why create an app for photos

Nigerian cities have seen a large increase in the number of events held yearly. I tend to associate this increase to the lack of activities available in the more populated cities or just an avenue to temporarily forget the chaos of living in these highly competitive cities. A high percentage of these events are weddings. According to a bloomberg post, Nigerians spend an average of $17 Million dollars on weddings yearly. A wedding event may host thousands of attendees, therefore it has become a viable market for “Pop Up” Photographers.

I have mentioned “Pop Up” Photographers a couple of times, so let me try and explain what that means. “Pop Up” Photagraphers are photographers that just show up at events, take photo’s of attendees, duplicate these photos, and sell them back to the attendees at the same event.

In lagos, there are weddings at almost all event center’s every saturday. It is quite logical to just “Pop Up” at one of these event take some pictures and make some money. This is essentially what a “Pop Up” Photographer, or PUP for short, does and it has worked for years. However, advancement in mobile phone technologies and a new market for social photo sharing apps have threathened this business model.

The 21st century has seen an increase in the development of mobile phones that do more than just make phone calls. A typical mobile phone can let you know where to avoid on your usuall driving route as well as recommend new recipes to try out. One feature of mobile phones that seems to keep improving over time is the Camera. Mobile phone companies seem to be actively developing their products camera quality in response to the increase in users on social photo sharing services like instagram. This trend has a direct influence on the events PUP market in Nigeria. Attendees at events use these services because they are more convenient than existing PUP services. Services like instagram allow attendees to take photographs and immediately share them with friends and family almost instantantaneously. PUP vendors only allow you to get a single hard copy print of a photo with no possibilty of reproduction or distribution. PUP vendors have the option of keeping contact with the attendees only if they have enough time to exchange contact details but attendees are usually on a time schedule to leave events.

What if PUP vendors were social and also do more.

PUP vendors only sell to attendees they can reach within the duration of the event, and as a result, there will be losses incurred from photos duplicated but not sold. There needs to be a process or service which would link these PUP vendors to attendees long after an event is over. Attendees should be able to view, purchase and share images as easily as they would any other social photo service or web app.

This is where Foto-NG comes in, it will move PUP vendors into the future by providing a “near social” connection between photographers and attendees.

We live in a period of disruptions facilited by internet technologies, every business or profession would need to “Level Up” to “Keep Up”, including Pop Up photography, pun intended.