Fotoley is a curated, free platform for visual media artistes
Who can undermine the importance of photos and videos, especially if the occasion at hand is a marriage, first baby, a birthday, anniversary, or graduation party. Fotoley, a fairly new kid in town, promises to find you the right set of hands to freeze your perfect moments. It is a curated online platform for visual media artistes, and has on board more than 500 photographers and videographers. Out of the lot, only 70-80 can be hired for shoots at the moment, as the others are awaiting evaluation of their sample work by the curation team.
There is no dearth of websites or apps to find either shutterbugs or cameramen around us, so what’s the USP of Fotoley, we ask its cofounder Deepankar Das. “It’s not a subscription-based site.That means, any photographer and cameraman can join it for free. This way, even amateur artistes can get visibility for their work. Simply upload your resume with 20-25 samples,” he says. Artistes can post the story behind each of their portfolio pieces, for a better perspective of their vision.
Being a forum for creative professionals, it throws up opportunities to network, and even win internships. Das, who likes making short videos and joined the startup bandwagon after a 14-year stint as a financial services consultant, says, “It’s not an organised segment on our portal. But professionals are always in need of extra hands to assist them, so they can look up others’ work, and offer them internships.”
Since the expertise available on the site varies, services range from `1,500 for two hours to `60,000 for a day. Customers can either go in for packages (based on popular search or demand) or negotiate with the service provider and get it customised as per their requirements. You also have the option of choosing between multiple service providers under a particular budget bracket. You can shortlist service providers, add them to the cart (similar to Flipkart or Amazon), and decide on the final name later.Das, who runs Fotoley along with his former colleague, Vijay Narayan, adds, “You need to pay 30 per cent of the final amount to confirm your booking. This is paid to the service provider only on successful completion of the assignment. If he fails to deliver the project, this money will be held back.”
The 37-year-old tells us that maternity shoots are the most popular, pointing out, “Due to social media, people are exposed to a whole range of concepts. So they come to us with unique requiremens. Some want to be shot at the backdrop of a lake, or in the middle of a forest, and even the artistes are ready to go to great lengths to fulfill these requests.”
In the coming months, the duo plans to roll out their services in Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata, and include other visual media artistes such as fashion designers, and food stylists under their fold.
— Barkha Kumari