Kodak quietly launched “Kodakit” in March of 2016, but the company didn’t really roll out the red carpet until today, announcing it’s available in 37 countries. I’m talking about Kodak’s new and easy-to-use service that connects consumers and businesses to photographers. The company claims it will “transform the photography market with an on-demand service that will change the way [clients] and photographers can connect. Have instant access to a network of photographers, wherever and whenever you need one.”
When I say that something will “Uber-ize” an industry, I mean it as a company or person disrupting it by introducing a new, more efficient and sometimes cheaper alternative to the status quo. That sounds exactly like what Kodak’s after, and it’s something I’m usually very wary of — remember Snappr? That company’s blatant focus on cheap photography is disgraceful, but Kodak luckily chose a different approach.
You can get started with “Kodakit” as a photographer or as a client (mostly companies and businesses), and it claims to solve pain points for both. For photographers, “Kodakit” offers connections to high quality, high volume global brands, while taking care of marketing, booking, pricing, scheduling, invoicing, and payments. For companies, “Kodakit” offers access to a pre-screened global network of local talent. Companies only need to indicate when, where and how they want a photo shoot to be conducted, and let “Kodakit” handle all other aspects of the process and deliver the images in a dedicated private cloud.
Back in March, “Kodakit” was launched as an app, but I couldn’t find it in the App Store today — as it is weirdly only available in Singapore, I guess? So I just went to the website, and I tried the whole thing out from a photographer’s point of view. A new profile was easy to make, for which I was asked to fill in a little bio, choose a genre, show my availability on a calendar and add some example shots. So far no bookings, but screenshots (below) show how photographers can set their own prices, and that’s a key element in maintaining the value of photography.
This is “Uber-izing” the right way. Even though Kodak was on the verge of total collapse just a few years ago, it seems to have found new meaning in life. And because it has such a long history of dealing with photography, everyone can now benefit from it.