Flytographer, a Victoria-based startup, is changing the way people remember their vacations.
The company's founder, Nicole Smith, came up with the idea while reuniting with her best friend for a girls’ weekend in Paris in 2011. After trying to take numerous "selfies" and asking strangers to capture a moment while passing by, the two met with a local friend who agreed to document their day as they wandered through the picturesque Paris streets.
That’s when Nicole first saw the opportunity to launch the innovative idea that would become Flytographer just a couple of years later.
The concept behind Flytographer is simple: it connects local photographers with visitors and tourists in their city. Clients can book a shoot with a professional photographer who spends their day capturing candid moments that would otherwise be nearly impossible to snap. The shoots vary in length, from 30 minutes to three hours. There is also a custom shoot available that includes one 60 minute shoot plus an additional 30 minute shoot in two city locations. Clients receive their digital photographs via email, ranging from 15 to 60 photos, depending on the length of the shoot, usually within just a few days.
Booking is easy and can be done quickly online, especially if all the details are already prepared (like where the shoot will take place, which day, and at what time). A meet-up spot is also required. Visitors that are brand new to a location can make use of the various options suggested on the site, or they can contact the Flytographer "shoot concierges" to find the perfect place for their day in the spotlight. Once a shoot is booked, the client receives a "shoot scoop" with all of the details, including the number of the photographer and a picture to make the connection easy.
Flytographer officially launched in 2013. Currently, there are over 75 photographers located in nearly 60 cities around the world available for booking. The company has seen steady growth since its launch in March. Bookings have increased month after month and many customers have booked multiple shoots. New cities and photographers are added regularly to Flytographer’s portfolio which can be viewed via their Pinterest page. The company’s rapid growth has been very customer driven, with clients suggesting new city locations on a weekly basis.
One of the top priorities, and bigger challenges, of Flytographer staff is to ensure that photographers are compatible with clients. Every photographer is evaluated before being hired to make sure that they can meet the high quality standards of Flytographer. They are checked for talent, personality, reliability, and English-language skills to ensure that communication will be smooth and effective. The hiring process includes interviews and screenings that will guarantee the experience is enjoyable and fun for everyone involved. Photographers wishing to join the Flytographer family can apply online.
Besides memorializing lovely family vacation shots, romantic couples’ getaways, and girlfriend excursions, Flytographer also offers a special “Fly on the wall: Capture the YES!” session that helps couples relive their perfect proposal moments over and over again. Shoots are currently available in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia in cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Rome, Copenhagen, New York, Maui, San Francisco, Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver, Toronto, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Bangkok, Saigon, Melbourne and much more.
With support from Victoria’s accelerator, VIATeC, and BCIC’s Venture Acceleration Program, the company is gaining more and more traction. It plans to expand to even more cities in 2014 in order to continue solving one of life’s little struggles by delivering frame-worthy pictures of special moments that can be treasured for years to come.