IU senior Nathan Guo and his team launched Lance, a freelance photography service which operates like Uber, in early October.
In order to book a photographer through Lance, people can open the website, request a photographer to their location and pay to take photos for a selected period of time.
The idea, Guo said, was to create a service to address the need for higher quality photos, specifically to use for social media, for a fair price.
“Freelance photography nowadays, you have to book weeks in advance and it’s hundreds of dollars an hour,” Nathan said.
With Lance, people can book a photographer the day of their event and the smallest amount of time people can purchase is five minutes for $8, Guo said. The price per hour is $60.
Although the app itself is not planned to launch for at least the next two weeks, the service is still available through their website, where people can book their photographer using the link to a Google form.
The website was created quickly so that Lance could begin booking events as soon as possible, said senior Logan Grim, who is developing the app and website.
“That was sort of our, ‘we just need to get something up’ so that if people were curious what we are, they could go look,” Grim said. “We’re trying our best to get the app out as soon as possible.”
Right now, Grim is working on several features for the app, including a map where users can search for a location or drop a pin where they want to meet the photographer, he said.
Something that will hopefully be improved in the released app is the booking flow, Guo said. Currently, when someone books a photographer on the site, Guo just texts any and all of his 15 photographers until he finds someone willing to go.
“I literally individually text them,” Guo said. “So, it’s not that easy and I’ve gotten pretty stressed out about getting bookings filled.”
Arianne Kelley, photographer and graphic designer for Lance, said she constantly gets phone calls from Nathan about going to events. When they first launched, the calls were more infrequent and she was informed weeks in advance, now the events are more impromptu, she said.
“He just constantly calls me on the phone,” Kelley said. “I’ll just be chillin’ and I’ll have three missed calls from Nathan.”
Guo said he always finds a photographer to fill an event, but he looks forward to when the app will immediately connect photographers to the gig.
Currently the photos taken at events are sent via email, but Logan said he plans to include a feature in the app where people can receive and look back at their photos within the app.
In the future, Guo sees the app spreading outside of IU to other campuses and eventually into the tourism market, he said.
“I hope in the future a lot of it is traveling,” Guo said. “Memories with your family, there is nothing more important than that.”
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