This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Qikpix.

Illinois-based Qikpix has launched an on-demand photography service in Chicago, IL. The company serves as a two-sided marketplace for customers and photographers.

The company, described by its customers as the “Uber of Photography,” provides web, iOS, and Google Play access to photo shoots which can be booked in less than 60 seconds.

$99/hour Flat Rate Photography For Life’s Best Moments

Qikpix allows customers to book photo shoots in less than 60 seconds at a flat rate of $99/hour.

The company currently specializes in lifestyle type shoots. These include family photos, engagement sessions, headshots, small, medium, and large events, product shoots, fresh 48 photos, and various other special moments.

After a photographer claims the customer’s photo shoot and completes the work, all unedited photos are uploaded into the customer’s album within 24 hours.

Customers then choose which photos they would like edited for only $1.50/photo. The requested photos are then uploaded into their album within 12 hours.

Qikpix customers own a shared copyright for their photos and receive a print release form following each completed shoot. This part of the process allows customers to have their photos printed with any service of their choosing.

“We are adamant about not up-selling our customer base, we wanted to create a process that was sustainable for photographers while providing photo shoot and editing services for customers that cost 1/5th the national average,” Qikpix CEO Jarek Hamilton explained.

Highly-Vetted Photographers Are The Key To Qikpix’s Success

“We currently accept only 13% of photographers who apply to work with our platform,” Hamilton said.

The vetting process to become a Qikpix photographer is rigorous. Every single photographer must submit links to their portfolio and provide the company with the type of camera and lenses they use for their shoots.

A “board of photographers” examine each photographer’s work and then browse the web to find their Yelp, Google, Facebook, and other reviews. A majority vote determines if the photographer makes the cut.

Once onboard photographers work within their areas of specialty. “That ensures every single customer receives a highly qualified photographer who understands how to create the best possible photos for the type of work requested,” says co-founder and professional photographer Katie Hamilton.

Filling Unbooked Time For Professional Photographers

At the core of the Qikpix mission is helping ensure photographers fill the many unbooked hours in their weekly schedule. “The average photographer nationwide earns just $13/hour and 10% of photogs earn less than $9 per hour,” Jarek explains.

“With the Qikpix platform, our photographers earn $60/hour and are not asked to edit photos, market their business, or pay for leads like many of our competitors currently require,” he adds.

Indeed, the photography industry has experienced a lot of disruption from “iPhoneographers” and amateurs who have purchased capable cameras at discounted rates. Amateurs have undercut the rates of veteran photographers, causing a shift in the market.

According to Dane Sanders in his book Fast Track Photographer, in the first year of business 60% of photographers give up. Of the remaining 40%, another 25% will fail within the 2nd year. By the end of year three, 85% of photographers will go out of business.

“Qikpix photographers who complete 18 hours of photo shoots each week and work 50 weeks out of the year will earn $54,000,” notes CMO James Kosur.

“With no need to market their services, upsell customers, or spend hours editing photos, photographers are able to do what they love most, capture a moment in time and bring joy to the people they are helping,” he adds.

Photographers choose the radius they are willing to travel and only see photo shoots based on their current location.

“If a photographer in Chicago travels to Los Angeles and wants to find work outside of their home area, the moment they load the app and click on “claim photo shoot” they will see any available work within their current location’s radius,” explains CEO Hamilton.

Capturing the Chicago Market

So why Chicago? Jarek Hamilton says the company, which started in Bloomington, IL, recognized the need for a low-cost but high-quality photography service after conducting 1.5 years of market research.

Jarek is a Navy Veteran who earned his six sigma chops while helping save the military millions of dollars through lean business principles.

“We completed 200 photo shoots with nothing more than a WordPress landing page and a Paypal button. As we started running test advertising in Chicago with the launch of our web, iOS, and Android apps, we realized a high level of engagement among Chicagos,” Jarek explains. That realization led to the company’s decision to launch its first major market in the windy city.

“We recently declared our intent to raise an Angel round and have started discussions with Chicago-based VC’s. Our goal is to raise enough money to capture the Chicago market and further prove out our model,” Jarek told Business2Community.

Giving Back To Schools And Other NPOs

Photo Credit: reallyboring

While Qikpix is a for-profit company, CEO Hamilton says he immediately knew working with NPOs would be a large focus for the company.

“We built this really amazing platform for not-for-profits to benefit from the work of Qikpix photographers. We work with schools, youth organizations, and various other NPOs to give back.”

Qikpix’s NPO program allows organizations to earn 10% of the total cost of a photo shoot. The company makes a donation to the organization every quarter.

“Whether you’re sending out a newsletter to parents at schools, supporters of your organization, or using our services internally, you’ll earn 10% of the entire cost of each shoot,” Kosur explains.

“We launched the NPO program after witnessing the drastic budget cuts occurring throughout Illinois. We understand that many schools are suffering and many NPOs are drastically cutting back on their services or closing their doors. If we can help provide a little bit of sustainability to those organizations, it’s something we want to do and it’s a driving force behind our efforts,” Jarek added.

100 Photographers In Chicago And Growing

The company’s official web, iOS, and Android apps launched just 6 weeks ago but the company has already accepted 100 photographers in the Chicago land area.

“The outreach from photographers on an organic level has been mindblowing,” says Jarek.

With nearly 1,000 applications from area photographers and more flooding in every day, the company’s founder a and team of 14 have been working around the clock to develop a sustainable system that ensures every customer shoot is claimed.

“We’ve covered corporate events, a lacrosse match, family photos, headshots, and various other photo shoots in the Chicago and Chicago-land areas. We are always looking for new ways to challenge ourselves to develop more photo shoot types and expand our market share,” Jarek said.

You can learn more about Qikpix at Qikpix.io or by clicking HERE from your iPhone or Android devices.