Photography spurs online business growth in India

Rise of digital photography and opportunities around such content have led to an increase in associated online services in India. The cost and efficiency advantage beats traditional photo studios and labs hands down.

Photo: Abhishek Baxi
Interest in photography drives associated online business in India. (Credit: Abhishek Baxi)

The rise of digital photography and opportunities around related content has led to an increase in both amateur and professional photographers in India.

While there are several online businesses in the country catering to amateur photographers, the largely unorganized service segment of professional photography is now changing the way they do business--online.

Today, professional photographers run their own Web site, market themselves on social media, provide both electronic and printed products to clients, as well as spend a lot of time doing post-production work on images. While the opportunities have widened, so has the scope of ancillary work.

One example is Canvera. Founded in 2007, the online photography company provides mass customized printed products and recently launched (in beta) Vivyo, an e-commerce offering for professional photographers. I met Peeyush Rai, the co-founder and CTO of Canvera, at the Consumer Electronic Imaging Fair 2013 in New Delhi and he explained how a photographer can set up his Web site in as little as 15 minutes, without having to worry about the technical aspects of Web site designing, managing images, and ensuring privacy and security of client photos. Essentially, Vivyo acts as a platform to showcase and market a photographer's portfolio, and offer photos and printed products on sale.

For consumers like Harpreet Singh, a technology journalist at and photography enthusiast, ordering prints online is painless, quick, and saves a whole lot of energy. "Going to an offline store involves driving to one, waiting for your turn, and the results can never be consistent," Harpreet said. "Another thing I absolutely love is customization. You get to choose the paper, quality, size and everything [else]. You could do this with offline stores as well but the process is really painful, trust me."

Several services like iTasveer, ZoomIn, and Snapfish not only offer photo prints but also custom-printed products like shirts and coffee mugs. The cost and efficiency advantage beats the traditional photo studios and labs hands down.