Meet Jennifer Tsay & Jennifer Yeh, Cofounders of Shoott


Photo: Shoott

Ready for your close up, want to step up your business or social media game, or just want to top-notch family pics that look incredibly profesh? Than you definitely want to meet the cofounder of Shoott.

Shoott is a female-led company on a mission to make professional photography more affordable and accessible, while also empowering local professional photographers. They have thousands of beautiful and convenient locations in over 60 cities all across the country making them the perfect option for a family shoot! After your free 30-minute session, you’ll receive a digital gallery of 40+ high-res photos and you only pay for the ones you love!! Plus you won’t need to facetune after your session with Shoott, because they also have professional retouchers who specialize in natural and customizable image edits on any photos you provide them with! Whether you want to fix a stray hair, remove awkward elements, or choose beauty enhancements, you never have to get caught with a photoshop fail!

Ahead, I caught up with cofounders: Jennifer Tsay (CEO) and Jennifer Yeh (COO). They are best friends who met in college and reconnected later in life to start their company.

Tell me about Shoott! What is it and what problem does it solve?

Our overall goal for Shoott was to create a business model that democratizes access to professional photography while improving the gig economy for photographers.

The problems we’re solving for clients:

Finding trusted photographers can be a labor intensive process – vetting them, communicating to get pricing, a meeting time, location, permits, etc. Shoott provides a platform where you can quickly compare photographers and find a location and a time slot that works for your schedule!

Pricing is often cost-prohibitively high ($300-$500 an hour) for photos you might not even like but must pay upfront. Shoott’s pay-by-the-pic model gives clients the freedom of choice for which photos they want to buy!

The problems we’re solving for photographers:

Finding gigs and managing clients can be time consuming and expensive for solo photographers – Shoott provides all aspects of marketing, operations, sales, customer service, and platform support so photographers just have to show up and do what they love: photograph.

Photography is a gig-by-gig industry and steady work is not guaranteed. By providing their supplemental time to Shoott, they can find incremental revenue streams to stay in the game!

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Why did you decide to launch it?

From my time as an actor and creative, I saw firsthand how most artists struggle because their lives are gig to gig and they can’t find enough work to sustain a career. For photographers, we came up with the idea of consolidating demand at specific locations so photographers could enjoy multiple back-to-back clients; we then had the crazy idea of passing along the benefit to clients in the form of a free photoshoot where they only pay for the photos they want – so we’re helping both photographers and clients for a great win-win solution. 

 

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced getting your company off the ground and how did you overcome them?

Finding the right team members was the biggest challenge – startup life is very demanding and not for everyone! It requires people who really like working on something different every day, who are energized by nonstop issues, who like creating things from scratch. It requires people who put in extra time and like working in a team environment – this will inherently feel unfair to a lot of people, especially if that’s not your core passion. So, it was a slow build of incrementally adding the “right” people so you can really firm up the foundational elements from which you can continue to build your brand.

What would you say was your big breakthrough moment?

Originally at our time of launch in 2018, Instagram was booming so we had thought it might be a service more for younger solo folks and influencers who want photos; we then realized that once we advertised to moms in particular, our business really took off because families in particular really want and need photos to document their lives.

What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?

It’s so rewarding to take photos for our clients – when we’re busy running the nuts and bolts of our business, we can forget that our service is inherently about joy, love, and celebration. Our sessions capture moments and milestones for everyone’s unique journeys and it’s honestly such an honor to be part of that process for our clients.

It’s also so rewarding to be a supplemental and reliable source of income for artists, many of whom are talented multi-hyphenates. It’s a hard economy out there, especially for artists, and we love providing a platform that improves their quality of life. A lot of photographers think that we must be a scam – we totally understand the fear and hesitation of a platform like ours. But once they get to know us and work with us, they often tell us how much they enjoy what do, which is a nice feeling to know that what we’ve built is working for others!

What’s the most common misconception of photos from clients?

A lot of women share that they want photos, but they’ve been putting it off because they “don’t like how they look” – they want to lose some weight, or they feel insecure, etc. We totally understand that – but we’ve found that people will think this way, delay taking photos for years. I remember feeling “fat” and self-conscious at 25 and being in our 40s now, we just want to say: “GET IN THE DAMN PHOTO!!!! YOU LOOK GREAT!!!!” We know firsthand that it’s hard to have perspective in real time and hindsight is 20/20 – but we want women to honor themselves through photos because each part of your journey is valid no matter what size you are. You deserve those photos of you, your loved ones deserve those photos of you. Just get in the photo, we promise you won’t regret it <3 

What’s next? Anything new and exciting on the horizon?

Our brand has recently launched our team headshots offering because businesses deserve great headshots too! And we’re also expanding our services to Canada later this year! 2024 is also our year of giving back so we’re doing as many giveaways and community engagement as we can since we want to spread the gospel of affordable, beautiful photography to all!

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The post Meet Jennifer Tsay & Jennifer Yeh, Cofounders of Shoott first appeared on BEAUTIFY.TIPS.

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