Zenfolio launches service connecting photographers with potential customers


posted Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 3:53 PM EDT


Among the problems faced by professional photographers -- especially those who're new to the game -- connecting with potential customers is probably one of the most important. For most people, hiring a photographer isn't a regular occurrence. That's a problem for both customer and photographer: The customer doesn't know where to turn when they need a pro, and the photographer faces a challenge in getting their name out there.

The folks at Zenfolio have stepped in to help with a new service they're hoping will resolve the problem. Zenfolio's Photographer Central is a very visual online directory that lets members of the public who're looking for a photographer do so with ease. You simply enter your location (or let the site detect it automatically), then enter the type of photographer you're looking for, and the site does the rest.

Alongside some examples from the photographer's portfolio to help catch the eye, you're shown a studio or photographer name, a brief introduction if the photographer has chosen to create one, and an indication of the price range for the photographer's work. Click thru to the profile, and you can see more samples from the portfolio, a more detailed introduction, and reviews from past customers, as well as details like time in the business, whether the photographer can travel, and so on.


It's certainly attractive and informative, but for the time being, a bit limited in the depth of the catalog. For example, we tried a search for portrait photographers around our area in Knoxville, TN, and the nearest result was four hours drive away in Kernersville, North Carolina. That, for the moment, limits the service's utility somewhat if you're not near a major city. And given pricing of US$400 annually (currently discounted to US$300) for a listing, Zenfolio may find itself with a chicken-and-the-egg situation, with photographers not wanting to sign up until the service is accepted by the public, and the public failing to find it useful without enough photographers having listings in their location.

If the site can get past that problem, though, it could be a great way to get your name and work in front of new customers, and to build your business. Here's hoping it can succeed!

(via dpreview)