It all started with facing a problem personally in 2014 while getting married :)
Problem — Searching a good wedding photographer in given budget who will shoot in Kolhapur(wedding venue) while living in Mumbai. Asked google for help and to my surprise, it did not have a clue. All this when there are so many other things to take care of.
Solution back then — I just went with one of the referral from relative, without even seeing his portfolio. He turned out to be good, But I felt there is a real problem and is worth solving. I just added this to a list of problems I would like to solve if I ever start my own startup.
Quitting Job — Years gone by and around mid 2017 I did quit my job to pursue dream of starting a startup. Its not like I did not enjoy working for Morgan Stanley and Directi, rather they are the reason for having such a dream at first place.
BookMyShoot — Around April 2018 started to do research on current solutions to this problem and to my surprise there was only one covering Photographers for all categories. There were others, but some were focused on Wedding Planners and some were focusing on all professional services. Most of these were not even mobile ready on top of that. So I decided to go ahead with solving this problem and BookMyShoot was born!
Mission — To enable people preserve their precious memories in true to life quality.
Features — Currently users can Search, Shortlist, Book and Review photographer on BookMyShoot. PhotoStudios can register, add their info, albums and packages. Categories for photographers include Wedding, Pre Wedding, Babies & kids, Anniversary, Maternity, Commercial, Food, Corporate Events, Fashion & Portfolio, Nature, Travel. Most of the PhotoStudios listed today are crawled from internet and we aim to get them all on board. PhotoStudios can claim these existing listings by authenticating with their registered Mobile number on google maps listing. Booking feature today is as convenience for PhotoStudio owners and users to keep track of bookings. Users and PhotoStudio owners should communicate fees, advance fees, time slot, venue, refund conditions and any other terms and conditions clearly to each other while finalising bookings. We have given hook for contacting PhotoStudio on WhatsApp as convenience. As and when we get PhotoStudios onboard and add online payment functionality, this will change.
Learnings — From start I wanted this to be a new learning experience, both technically and for entrepreneurship. Was backend software developer for most of my 11 years experience in software development. In these 2 years used many new technologies — Angular, Kubernetes, MongoDB to name few. Used NodeJs before but used it extensively for BookMyShoot, including Hapi for both frontend and backend servers. Will cover technologies in more detail in future blogs.
Thanks — To my wife and parents for supporting me throughout this journey.