Monday, 9 May 2016

7 ways to get better photos - use Lamhaa app

In the previous post we discussed different ways the photographers can use the Lamhaa app. Let's now have a look at the variety of ways how the app can be used by everyone of us who want to preserve beautiful memories. 

1. Family photos: A few days ago i was in a workshop where we were asked to carry out an exercise - of talking to strangers and asking them about the top 3 things that made them happy. It was no surprise to find out that family came out at the top for most of the people. Photograph is an excellent medium to capture the moments we spend with our family members. Some people get the family pictures taken in a studio; the photographers have complete control of lighting leading to good exposures technically. But in recent times everyone is going for more outdoor, natural looking shots. I guess this way the photos look more 'real'; more about the way families interact with each other rather than a scheduled photoshoot in a studio where they would not visit otherwise. Lamhaa app takes this a bit further by allowing everyone to capture photos on a more real-time basis - while continuing to have a good time as a family instead of a 'scheduled' photo shoot. This way the photos they get would be more 'real' - and much better quality which you can put up on your wall. 

2. Corporate events: Either you are having a team building event, or just a lunch out with colleagues the app provides a quick way to find good photographers around to click great pictures.

3. Enjoying with friends: While having a good time with friends these days we usually take a quick selfie and share on the social media. I think this is an excellent way and smartphones provide great flexibility but this is still limiting in variety of ways. First thing is the composition element (someone has to hold the device), secondly the quality itself. The lamhaa app would be perfect to get a good photographer to click those precious moments while we continue to enjoy our time with friends. 

4. Travel/Vacation: Travelling to a different location is the perfect way to unwind, meet new people and see different cultures. While travelling we definitely want to take photos but it is important that we do not spend unnecessary time in handling the camera - time is the most precious bit in any travel after all. Another important point is to travel light (think baggage constraints on air travel!). This is the perfect scenario to use the app to find photographers who would have much better understanding of the local area and can take beautiful photographs to make your travel time more memorable.

5. Selfie alternate: There has been tremendous uptake of Selfies - specially with the improvement in quality of smartphones recently. They provide an easy way to take photos and share on various social media sites. But if we look at the physical limitation while taking a selfie the quality would never compare with someone else taking the photo. Face being so close to the camera lens will always show slightly distorted view, the background objects would look much smaller. Having said that, the Selfies are going to stay for years to come - but when you want a much better looking photograph just use the app to find a photographer who can take a nice photo of you along with the beautiful environment you are in. 

6. Citizen Journalism: More and more photos taken by general public is being used by the new agencies lately. The primary reason is the reach - any event occurring in the remotest place of the world can be captured by anyone using a phone or any camera. I have seen several such photos/videos but one thing i notice is the quality - can be much better. These days there are great photographers everywhere - the app would make it much easier for the new agencies to contact them and get a much better quality photos/videos. 

7. Sports: Sports is one of the most popular hobby for majority of people. The competitive spirit leads to variety of emotions among the players - it's a perfect opportunity to capture photos. Want some good moments of a game you are play? Just use the app to find photographers around and get on with the game!

These are just a few scenarios when we can use the app to find photographers to take better quality photos.

Get it on Google Play

Can you think of any other scenarios? Just write in as comments below - and more importantly use the app and start getting the beautiful moments captured -forever!

Lamhaa Team

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

7 ways to use Lamhaa app if you are a Photographer

The Lamhaa app has 2 main groups of consumers - first is the set of photographers (hobbyist and professionals) and the other group consists of various users who utilise photography services (free/paid). Here is a list of few scenarios which photographers can use the app for:
  • Real assignments: In this fast changing world the photographers have to keep improving their skills in multiple genres. Photographers spend time in several assignments which are either conceived by the photographer or given by various websites.  I believe real assignments provided by people who need photos (for lesser payment/free) would be more challenging and help in improving the skills faster.
  • Reduced travel time: As discussed in an earlier post I believe the demand for high quality photos will grow in the coming years. The Lamhaa app will make it easier for people to find more photographers closer to 'where' they are and 'when' they need the photographs - making it efficient for everyone. Photographers would be able to spend more time on what they love most - clicking.  
  • Reduced marketing effort: Currently the photographers  are having to spend a lot of effort on marketing: blogs, social media, business networking, SEO etc. The associated opportunity cost, as well as the costs associated in these activities end up pushing the professional photography prices up. 
  • Dabble with multiple genres: Even though photographers develop their skills in 1 or 2 genres a lot of times they find it useful to spend some time in trying out other genres. It provides them an opportunity to break the monotony - at the same time it gives them a fresh perspective. The app will give them a perfect opportunity to get such varied assignments without having to spend a lot of time. The assignments would also help in increasing the client base. 
  • Continuous quality/price range: As described in an earlier post the photography services currently on offer are not very flexible. With the increased choice of photographers locally the users can easily choose the photographers based on budget and expected quality. Ease and choice of flexibility would make it very easy for the users.
  • Photography as a hobby: I strongly believe that everyone should have at least one hobby. Lot of times people take up hobbies but are not able to pursue for the lack of opportunities. Learn the basics, do a bit of practice and get onto the app to be able to take on variety of engagements to pursue photography as a hobby - only downside is that you would not be able to find any excuse to drop this hobby once you get into it - unlimited opportunities!
  • Network with other photographers: The map view in the app provides an easy way to find other photographers with similar interests. It can be used to network with them, learn and share photography tips, carry out assignments together etc.  

What are the other uses of lamhaa app you can think of as a photographer? Would love to see your ideas in the comments below.

Team Lamhaa

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Saving moments, more of them...

Photograph as a medium of communication has gained a lot of importance in last few years. Social media is a top priority in big companies and so many of them run solely based on photos and video e.g. Instagram, Pinterest. People are sharing photos more than ever and looks like this trend is going to continue for a long time to come. 

Our expectations in terms of photo/video quality has also grown significantly. The camera industry's transition  to digital was swift with the advent of compact cameras and DSLRs, and more recently with the excellent camera within the smartphones. Still i wander at times, as to why do most of us use professional photography services only for specific, big occasions i.e. weddings, newborn baby portraits. Photos are an excellent medium to store beautiful moments which we can enjoy multiple times thereafter. And during the course of our life we certainly go through several instances where we would like to capture better quality photos. I am not just referring to the so called important events but lots of everyday life moments. It could be some special moment e.g. child playing in a sports tournament final for the first time, may be just a lunch out with close friends or watching a lovely sunset. 

 I see 2 main reasons why people do not use professional services for these day-to-day situations : 
  1. Pre-booking: We do not (cannot, in most situations) plan for lots of these occasions sufficiently in advance - for us to book a photographer to be present.
  2. Cost: It seems a costly affair!

So what do we usually end up doing?
  • Use our Smartphone which gives a decent output but nothing compared to what a professional  (or even an amateur photographer with much better skills) can provide
  • We use a DSLR to capture the moment assuming we will get a better result! What we get in reality is quite different though.

Lets have a relook at the 2 issues stated earlier. 

1. Pre-booking: This is a definite gap in the way the majority of photography industry currently operates. In order to get revenue stability the photographers try to get bookings much in advance, so are unlikely to be available on adhoc basis. Even if they are available, by the time they arrive, we may have lost the moment we wanted to capture in the first place. So what we need is a real-time availability of photographers around us who can reach out to us quickly. The Lamhaa App addresses this in an excellent way by providing a real-time map view of 'available' photographers around us where we need them.

2. Cost: 
    Mostly people have a feeling that professional photography service costs a lot. During any photoshoot what they experience is just a few minutes (or in some cases, few hours) effort when the photographer clicks the photos. Whats not apparent is the amount of time and cost associated with lots of other activities (preparation, editing, distribution, communication, equipment, insurance etc.). Having said that, from users perspective if we look at the options (comparing Photographer's skill/output with the Cost) they have currently the situation is something like this. 

It seems like there are big gaps in the cost if we move to the next skill levels (e.g. intermediate to advanced). Depending on the occasion the user would be willing to pay different amount. So let's assume we had photographers available as per the below chart - what this provides to the user is flexibility in terms of what kind of quality they expect and what is the price they are willing to pay.

You may have noticed an additional point in the 'ideal' scenario - the number of photographers have grown compared to the previous chart. To explain this let's take a look at the various choices the user has to find the photographer: get reference from friends, social media, search for blogs, websites etc. having done this a few times he/she may have a set of 'favourite' photographers in their phone contacts already. With these existing set of tools available they end up with very limited options. 

Looking at the exponential increase in the ease of learnability using various resources on the web the skill level of beginner/intermediate level photographers has grown. There are multiple Photography directories where they get registered to increase visibility. There are so many of them that the users easily get confused. 

The 'Lamhaa' app would be a great tool in this scenario. With a location based search the users would be able to check out lots of photographers within a single tool. With the easy filter-based search the user can quickly find the photographers around - the genre they are looking for (portrait, sports etc.) and for the price point they are willing to pay. They can very easily browse through the websites of the shortlisted photographers and make contact immediately. If they are happy with the service provided, they can save the photographer within their favourites - to make it faster next time. 

Please write in if you have any comments/suggestions.

Get it on Google Play

Lamhaa Team

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Lamhaa app, the origin story

Happy to announce that the 'Lamhaa' app has now been downloaded by over 350 people around the world, from more that 10 countries. The associated facebook page now has over 650 followers - all within few weeks of the Lamhaa app release.

Few people have enquired about the original idea behind the app and we have also discussed the various situations where this can be used. I will detail these out in these blog posts.

Lets get started then - i got into photography about 5 years ago, mostly learning from the various free tutorials on youtube/blogs. About 2 years ago i started taking photos of (footy and cricket) local sports action at a playground close to my home on weekends.

A simple thought came to my mind that there are several such games (local level) played all over the world; what if we had photographers available all over, to capture these sports action moments within the playgrounds near their home. The players would definitely enjoy the pictures, and at the same time the photographers will get to improve their skill as they would get lots of practice. This is where the Lamhaa app comes in. A player (or a parent for some kids sports) can simply use the app to find the photographers available nearby and request for some sports action photos, in real-time. This last bit is important, no advance planning is required. Just use the app to see who is around, available to take photos and contact them - then and there. Parents can simply enjoy the game instead of running around with a dslr.

2 conditions for this to work : availability of photographers and the cost of the photos. This is where we need to be a bit innovative and also a little bit flexible - the fact is we simply dont have so many professional photographers all over the world,  who would be willing to take photos on an adhoc basis, and even if they do, the cost could be a concern. But we have a solution - we all have seen the increase in number of hobbyist photographers who are passionate about photography and are willing to spend their extra time in practicing multiple genres of photography. They are eager to learn and have acquired skills by utilizing infinite resources on the web. The cost would not be a major factor either - as a lot of photographers may offer their services for free or at a very low cost : problem solved!

So sports was the subject that got me started and as i thought more about it, i became more and more convinced. Think of a family out for picnic at a park, or your office colleagues out for a lunch get together. We can use this in any scenario where we would like to capture moments that matter to us. Moments from every day life, which we can cherish for a long time to come. And more importantly we can be more 'present' in whatever we are doing, spending time with friends and family instead of moving around with a big camera and fiddling around with the lenses! Lets just leave that activity for the photographers who have spent time and effort in learning the light, composition and are much more passionate about the art and science of taking photos.

So there it is, how it all started. We have released the app on Android as of now, photographers are signing up from all over the world. So get on board (the App download is free) look out for the photographers around and get ur lifes beautiful moments  saved forever.

Have comments/queries/suggestions? Post it using the links below or drop us an email.

Get it on Google Play

Lamhaa team

note: iOS version coming soon. App is useful for both hobbyist and professional photographers - future blog posts will explain this further

Thursday, 10 March 2016

"Lamhaa" app launched on android! Calling all photographers

A big hellooo to everyone - from the "Lamhaa" Team. The "Lamhaa" App has been launched on the Android Play Store. Calling all Photographers to check it out and register. 

There are many reasons which pushed us to take a simple idea forward "having a Photographer available to take Pictures - right now". We had noticed a huge increase in sale of DSLR (and mirrorless now) Cameras, inspite of the increased quality of Picture quality from SmartPhones. This meant that people were looking to capture better quality Photos. At the same time we noticed that most of them were using it in Auto mode - which makes it pointless (not to mention the huge patience and effort needed in understanding Composition, light/shadows etc.). I mean why do we need to lug a heavy camera around and still get just a minor improvement in the Photo quality. Some people who can afford costly lenses just go for it - in the hope that it will give them better pictures. Of course a reality is a bit different. 

The flexibility that the Smartphone Camera provides simply cannot be matched by the combination of DSLR, Lenses, Flash and countless other accessories that we end up getting. So the simple question - what if we could simply find a photographer who can take much better Photos whenever we need it, wherever we need it (without forcing us on the path of bankruptcy!). 

This is where the 'Lamhaa" App comes in. As mentioned earlier there are lots of good Photographers who have been patient enough to learn all aspects of Photography and are keen to take Photos and improve their skills further. The App provides them a way to identify their location real-time as well as identify if they are available/non-available to take Photograph at the moment. They can also specify the type of Photography they prefer.

So with this background I would request all you Photographers to download and sign-on to the App (it's free!) and let us know if you have any feedback/suggestions. We would keep adding new functionality as we go along. Will also keep this blog updated with the latest happenings.

Here's the link for the App - go for it!!

see ya,
Lamhaa Team