ShootProof started as a one-stop-shop solution that professional photographers can use to easily take customers from client contract to photo delivery without endless email exchanges, but company CEO Colin Breece sees a larger purpose for the Atlanta-based startup.
“Our vision is to be the global leader and online hub to help photographers run successful, sustainable businesses,” Breece tells Hypepotamus.
However, as Breece shared this past January, the solo-preneur photography business remains fragmented and, more often than not, photographers lose out to a significant percent on sales through the software solution they choose.
After raising a strategic investment earmarked for acceleration, the startup has made three acquisitions in 2019 so far, having finalized their third one last month. The startup currently serves 38 countries and has powered over $335 million in commission-free sales through their platform since 2010.
Breece tells Hypepotamus that offering tools to build, grow, and sustain a photography business at all stages lies at the core of the startup’s road map. These tools also help photographers save time and money for important things like business investment and client acquisition.
ShootProof’s first acquisition, software company Táve this past May, caters to the first part of the photography business owner’s journey — sales leads and business management.
After a lead comes in and the booking goes through Táve, the integrated CRM platform automatically pings ShootProof with the shoot date, session type, client questionnaires, and specifics on deliverables.
Their latest acquisition, design marketplace Design Aglow, closes the business loop by offering marketing and sales templates, photo layouts, wall galleries, welcome packets, posing guides for purchase, and more.
The platform helps photographers standardize their branding and provide better products to their clients.
“As new people get into photography, we see education as an opportunity to grow the company as a well, by supporting them,” says Breece. “They’re early in their photo career — they want to learn how to take a photo, they’re starting to make an income, and they need business help.”
Through Cole’s Classroom, ShootProof aims to educate photographers about how to take better photos, as well as technical aspects, financial advice, and more. The educational platform for photographers, acquired this past August, operates separately as a hub for training videos and a supportive community for beginning photographers.
Cole Classroom’s Backstage Pass series lets those beginners go behind the scenes in a “closed classroom” setting and follow a professional photographer through a photo session. The student can see how the pro uses lighting, camera settings, posing advice, and editing functions. Over half a million photographers have viewed more than 11 million minutes of these online videos.
“We expect to do more in education since we believe that to have a successful, sustainable business — you have to hone in your craft, have a community, and learn and grow,” says Breece.
To continue its growth, the SaaS startup has expanded its executive leadership team with two recent hires: VP of Customer Success James Scott and VP of product Josh Siegel. “Customer success for all products will now be streamlined under so we have one-view of the customer,” says Breece.
Breece shares that is not only about bringing in new products, but new people into the ShootProof culture. “We’ve always cared a tremendous amount about culture. It all starts with having the right people in your team. But sometimes you outgrow your own abilities from a team standpoint and that’s been an opportunity to bring in a head of people as we expand our team,” says Breece.
Breece says that ShootProof will continue to grow organically and through possible M&As that bring value to the core of who they serve — photographers.