At least, that's the plan according to Manhattan Beach cofounders Meghan and Ryan Quinn, whose company motto is "Don't be Selfie."
While on their honeymoon in 2018, the couple noticed how obsessed people are about capturing selfies to share on social media. The lighting had to be perfect. The wind blowing just so. The smile (or surprise open mouth) just right. And never mind the hassles of a selfie stick.
Now, for a flat $5 fee, you can request a registered iPhone photographer come capture that perfect Instagram moment for you.
PhotoFund, currently available only on Apple's iOS, connects users and photographers in real time.
The app takes care of transferring the photos from photographer to the posers. Then, you can share away on social media. And, with every PhotoFund exchange, 10% is donated to a local charity.
But why hire someone to take a photo, when you can easily just do it yourself?
Well, for one. It might save your life.
According to a 2018 study from India's Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, there were 259 selfie-related deaths worldwide in between 2011 and 2017. It's prompted some national parks and tourist areas near bodies of water, mountain peaks and over tall buildings to consider declaring "no-selfie" zones.
If you scoff at those statistics, consider how our selfie obsession has chipped away at our ability to "live in the moment."
Well, the Quinns want to help you save your vacation memories where they belong: in your brain's temporal lobe.
Trying for that ultimate selfie can take away from the experience, even blur the memories you have, and the Quinns want to change that.
“It’s sad to see people aren’t really living in the moment,” said Meghan. "We want people to stop worrying about getting a good photo and go back to living in the moment. Even better, we want to make it easier for people to support local charities, too.”
Meghan and husband Ryan are newly transplanted from the east coast. They recognize how popular Manhattan Beach is with tourists and locals. It made it easy to focus the launch of PhotoFund near the pier with the iconic Roundhouse Aquarium and colorful sunsets as back drops.
In fact, the test launch of their app currently only geo-fences in the area around the Manhattan Beach Pier. If your location is too far afield, you'll get an error message.
PhotoFund has partnered with Heal the Bay, which Meghan said was the perfect charity to team up with in the South Bay.
In addition to the charity tie, the company will be promoting local businesses through their app, according to Meghan.
“When users finish their exchange through the app, they will be given a coupon as a thanks for supporting a local charity. For the launch, we are partnering with the restaurant Homie, which is offering 20% off a user’s visit.”
She notes that for the targeted launch, the company is starting with one charity and one local business, but that will expand and change based upon where photos are taken.
Meghan wants PhotoFund to be a gig-economy opportunity for photographers. So far, just in the Manhattan Beach area, they have signed up more than 300 photographers.
“Our service allows for flexibility in working hours and creating an income from a short-term task," she said. "We have been actively marketing the ‘job listings’ on popular job sites."
For every PhotoFund $5 fee, the photographer receives 60%; 10% is donated to a local charity, and the remaining 30% goes to the new company.
After expanding in the Los Angeles area, the Quinn's want to grow into New York City.
“We are targeting higher traffic, tourist-heavy destinations, where we know people are actively traveling and trying to get photos," said Meghan. "As our company grows, we would like to be able to take it anywhere in the world.”
About that company motto: "Don’t Be Selfie."
For the Quinns, it means, don't take too many selfies, but live in the moment. And, of course, just "don't be selfish, give to charity."
"We should all be grateful and lucky to be living these experiences that we want to share, and we would love to build a community of people who want to give back through these experiences and photos,” said Meghan.
For more information, and to sign up to become a photographer, visit https://www.photofund.app/.