Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Young people are in a period of self expression. We now live in the midst of a social and cultural shift in consumer behavior, where documenting our personal history and generating high-quality content to share on social media has become intrinsic to our lives. For many of us, taking photographs on holiday posed with cocktails, in swimwear by the pool, or on a yacht out in the blue seas has become a distraction from actually experiencing our trips. While we try to decide on which Instagram filter looks best, we don’t stay in the moment to enjoy it and some even risk death for the vacation photo brags.
Instagram has revolutionised the way we vacation and now has more than a billion users, with 433 million posts captioned with the #travel hashtag, 130 million with #holiday and 105 million with #wanderlust. In a 2018 study by social currency exchange WeSwap, it was revealed that two thirds of millennials wanted to share beautiful or important holiday moments online. Alongside this, the rise of Instagram travel has set new standards for the medium, with amateurs seeking to appear more like the influencers they follow.
Enter Shoot My Travel (SMT) which pairs visitors with photographers in over 500 cities, across 106 countries, from Cartagena to Bali, so you don’t have to worry about documenting your holiday yourself. The $1B professional photography services industry was broken and hiring a professional photographer was time-consuming, expensive, and unreliable for any occasion and anywhere in the world. Shoot My Travel became the dominant player in the travel industry in just two years in the market. Apart from producing high-quality shots fit for an influencer, Shoot My Travel photographers lead customers to lesser-known Instagrammable locations, sharing local knowledge about the destination’s culture and history as well.
Shoot My Travel was able to achieve this due to its relentless focus on quality, authenticity of content and a platform that provides trust, loyalty and affordable pricing. The company provides customers with vetted professional photographers that have at least two years of experience. Editing is done by humans, which ensures the quality of what is delivered is superior to its competitors. And a global footprint allows them to provide photography services in every continent, except Antarctica. 😊
And then COVID-19 happened, which struck a death blow to the travel and tourism industry. Shoot My Travel being part of that ecosystem has also been hit by the pandemic like everyone else. While the company still believes in travel and has no doubt this industry will rise again, they also understand the current climate has called for them to innovate and look in other directions. The company is now focusing to expand and tackle the photography service needs of the B2B segment which is still using stock photos in most of their online presence, which do not resonate well with their audiences.
Shoot My Travel's robust photography platform, infrastructure, and community allows them to expand and dominate the B2B space as well as other photography verticals like weddings and honeymoons. Businesses of all sectors from Hotels, to Small-Medium businesses, Restaurants, and E-Commerce companies need to generate high-quality, authentic visuals to create deep connections with brands which in turn helps them increase their ROI.
Pic credit: B2BPhotographers
Competition comes in the form of Meero and Snappr, who are targeting the enterprise market focusing on the software side (stock photo) and generic mass-market photography. Competitors are applying a cost leadership strategy - the price points are very low, which creates a huge problem with quality. Shoot My Travel is well positioned to address this need and capture this segment with their global network of professional photographers and provide businesses with rich visuals and user-generated content for their marketing and sales needs.
Shoot My Travel has been founded by industry insiders and is led by its Co-Founder and CEO Valerie Lopez. They are not only experts in the photography space, but are reshaping the industry from within, and not as outsiders. This allows them to connect with their photographers on a personal level and create brand loyalty with their supply. The company is based in Miami, Florida and is backed by leading VC’s including Venture Republic, Trip Labs, LAUNCH Syndicate and Ludlow Ventures. I’m delighted to have added this wonderful company to my portfolio and excited about the possibilities that lie ahead.
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