Canon has just announced Image Connect, its new service for matching clients with professional photographers. It’s aimed to help people focus on the moment while a photographer takes care of the photos.
Image Connect uses Canon’s RAISE photo community platform, and here’s how it will work:
- Through the platform, customers can provide basic details for the job, such as event type, location, and date
- Once photographers are matched with the customer through the platform, customers review photographer profiles and invite those they like to bid on the job
- Photographers create an offer which allows them to set their own price (rather than adhering to standardized pricing) and allows them to communicate their rates and value to customers
- Once an offer is accepted, the job is booked through the platform
- Following the event, images are delivered electronically to the customers through a Canon customer portal
According to Canon, Image Connect will initially focus on family events. This includes newborn portraits, birthday parties, family portraits, religious events, and engagements, but it’s likely that the genres will expand with time.
It’s worth noting that the service will be “brand agnostic” as Canon puts it. In other words, you don’t have to be a Canon shooter to be able to use it.
Interestingly enough, it looks like Image Connect is aimed more towards clients looking for photographers than the other way around. If you’re a client, you can search for a photographer who will shoot your event. But if you’re a photographer, you can’t search for a gig. Even though I find photographer-client services to generally be a good idea (but not always), I see this as a major drawback.
The service is currently in beta version, and it will be available in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Another drawback is that the service will only be limited to the USA. Kodak’s on-demand photography service was available in 37 countries and focused on clients and photographers equally, yet it was still shut down after three years thanks to its insane terms.
I sure hope that Canon will learn from Kodak’s mistakes and not have the same fate as Kodakit. There’s currently no word on whether Image Connect will become available in other countries, but we have reached out to Canon and will update the article when/if we hear back.