- Online design marketplace Minted is launching a service where families can book professional photo sessions at the location of their choice.
- Sessions start at $100 and last 30 minutes.
- The service launched on November 22 and is available in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Family photos can be a pain, especially if they’re taken in a professional studio. Portrait photography sessions are often time-consuming, expensive, and involve embarrassing, matching outfits.
Minted CEO Mariam Naficy hopes to change that. Naficy founded Minted in 2007 as a digital marketplace where users vote on designs submitted by independent artists, the most popular of which are sold on clothing, stationery, framed prints, and other home decor items.
Now, the website is launching an on-demand portrait photography service where users can schedule 30-minute sessions with photographers who have been vetted and trained by the company. Sessions start at $100, and users can have the photos taken in their homes or at a location of their choice. Within three days, customers are sent 10 retouched photos from the shoot and given the option to purchase holiday cards that feature the photos.
For Naficy, the idea came from the recognition that consumers want convenience, a quality that is not common in the portrait photography industry.
“A lot of people don’t want to leave their homes, and they want both products and services to come to them. One of the hardest things to do, as a mom, is to get your kids to be willing to leave the house, get dressed up, and go somewhere for a long photo shoot,” she told Business Insider.
She added: “I thought of all the other parents struggling to get their kids bundled up and out the door for a picture and thought it would be way better if people could just stay in their pajamas if they wanted to and stay at home.”
Naficy said she realized the service wouldn’t work unless users could trust the photographers they would be letting into their homes, so she helped design an extensive vetting and training process where photographers are evaluated for their personal and technical skills.
But in order to expand the service to the level she desired, she would have to give photographers the opportunity to grow.
“One of the things we have to do as an organization is take emerging creatives and help them down their path of learning. In order to be able to develop a workforce at scale, you have to give people a chance,” she said.
The service, which launched on November 22, is only available in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles at the moment. For Naficy, the decision to debut the service in big cities was motivated by logistics.
“One of the reasons we went urban was just simply for density reasons … It’s much easier for us to have photographers traveling between locations if they’re traveling within a denser area,” she said.
The same applies to their clients, who are more likely to live near public spaces that would photograph well.
“It’s a little bit easier for an urban family to perhaps just stay at home and go for a walk on their street to get a photo at the local park. I think there is a big convenience upgrade for the urban client,” she said.
Naficy hopes she will soon be able to expand the service to other cities and suburbs. If the demand is sufficient, she might be able to make life a little easier for families, and make sure they’ll never have their pictures taken in a department-store photo studio again.