Posted April 30, 2015 by Casey McCallister

As SmartShoot continues to grow, I receive many common questions from both creatives and customers about the nature of SmartShoot. Some are valuable (When do I get paid?) and others humorous (Is SmartShoot a scam?). To help out, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten questions I receive from SmartShoot users.

1. What does SmartShoot do?

SmartShoot’s aim is to connect brands like Yelp, BMW, and CBS who are looking for original photo and video content with the visual artists who best fit the criteria for performing the job. We seamlessly handle all initial communication, scheduling, and payment processing.

2. This sounds too good to be true. Is this a scam?

Fair question. It’s good that you’re cautious, however, there is no catch! SmartShoot is definitely not a scam. High quality photos and video can make a huge difference in marketing a business. Finding high quality artists to convey your message, however, can be difficult. We identified this problem within the creative industry and are aiming to make the process much more seamless.

3. What fees do you charge?

SmartShoot has two categories of jobs:

a. Direct Requests are jobs offered by our customers to one particular creative. Typically, a customer will find a creative portfolio through our Browse (LINK) feature that they feel fits their needs. They will offer a job to….. These jobs pay out 90% of the final amount.

b. Open Market jobs are shared to a selection of creatives in the SmartShoot networks. Creatives are given the opportunity to bid on the project given the customer’s budget. Once a creative is chosen and then job complete, these jobs pay out 80% of the final amount.

All credit card and processing fees are paid by SmartShoot, and both jobs pay the creative via direct deposit on the 3rd Friday after final delivery is confirmed.

4. Where do I sign up?

Photographer/filmmaker? Sign up here:
Need photos of video for your company? Sign up here:

5. What kind of jobs can I get?

It may sound cliche, but really the opportunities for jobs on SmartShoot are endless. Our most popular genre is real estate, headshots, kickstarter films, and business walkthrough films, but we have seen jobs posted that range from a photographer hiding in the bushes to photograph an engagement, photographing celebrities (Stephen King, Nicole Richie, The Bachelorette, Tiki Barber), to shooting music videos and Adidas ads for the Olympics.

6. Why am I only getting low priced jobs?

Job prices vary across the SmartShoot marketplace. Sometimes we receive requests from companies looking for budget-priced jobs – other times, we receive requests for high budget productions. Based on our algorithm, we send job notifications based on requests that we feel would be right for you. In the future, we hope to implement features to set a minimum price barrier for email alerts allowing creatives to ignore jobs that are not on par for their business model.

7. When do I get paid?

Both direct requests and jobs posted to the open market will pay by direct deposit on the 3rd Friday after final delivery is confirmed.

8. As a customer, what is a fair price to pay for photography/videography?

This is an ongoing question in the SmartShoot office. Each job is different and pricing creative work is never black and white. We ask our creatives to use their pitches to break down exactly what will be delivered and how much it will cost.

SmartShoot has conducted surveys of both filmmakers and photographers to determine current market pricing trends. This should give a good expectation of what to expect from certain price ranges.

9. Can I find an artist in my city?

Of course! We have creatives all across the U.S. and, albeit fewer, internationally, as well. Some of our biggest cities are San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, Miami, Denver, Dallas, and more. Use the City/Zip feature of the browse page to find a creative in your city.

10. How does SmartShoot vet creatives to make sure that the companies are being shown the most talented artists in their price range?

SmartShoot was built with the guiding principle that a good marketplace needs to work well for both sides — satisfying one side at the expense of the other doesn’t work for anyone in the long run. The majority of our jobs are direct requests to work with a particular creative and are offered exclusively to the creative the customer found on the SmartShoot website.

This model allows brands to actively review the previous work and portfolio of any photographer that fits their criteria. If a brand posts an “Open” project, we will only display that job to qualified creatives based on an algorithm we have developed. This algorithm weights hand-vetting/scoring by our production team, a high-quality profile page, proven skills, high reviews/ratings, on-time delivery percentage, and high conversion.

(Header photo by SmartShoot photographer, Jacob Schwartz.)

About Casey McCallister

I am an adventure and outdoor lifestyle photographer from San Francisco and the growth hacker at SmartShoot. I enjoy traveling and spending time in nature.

Keep in touch: @caseymac

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