Lumio Lights the Path for Freelance Photographers

By Claire Adamson |

One of the many frustrations of being a freelancer is that there is never usually one single way to communicate with clients. Each company will have its own rules and regulations, and freelancers have to be flexible in how they deliver their work. This can obviously become messy, and a new Web platform is hoping to clean this up for photographers in particular.

Lumio works as a communication and collaboration tool for photographers who want to share their work with their clients and co-workers. After a shoot, the photographer can directly upload the pictures onto Lumio and give the client access to the project. The client is then able to comment, rate, group and even download the pictures.

The platform is specifically designed for professional photographers rather than amateurs and provides a uniform way to deal with clients without the endless to-ing and fro-ing of email communication. File transfer is easy and straightforward, and there is no need to mess around with CDs, FTP servers or huge email attachments. There is no software that needs to be installed – it works from any Web browser. And Lumio’s simple white interface means the photographer doesn’t have to worry about how the client physically sees the pictures.

Founder and CEO Mareen Fischinger is a freelance photographer who started the project as a way to interact with her own clients back in 2009. After a year or so, she realized that the platform was good enough to share with other photographers, and began to develop it with group of programmers. “It was nothing big – it looked like a collection of stamps when you saw the images. After a year of me using this, I thought I could just do this for everybody.”

Catering for the Pros

Three years later she has completed beta testing and opened Lumio up to the public, and and there is already a pool of paying customers. In these three years Mareen has seen few competitors in the same professional photo sharing space, except for an old version of Adobe Photoshop that offered a similar service, but only to certain customers. It was cancelled in the next version. While sites like flickr and Picasa are similar to Lumio, they are designed to cater more for amateur photographers who want exposure, and aren’t really suitable for commercial shoots where a degree of confidentiality is required.

Lumio offers a subscription-based model ranging from limited storage and project capacity to 150GB of storage and unlimited project capacity. There is a 30 day free trial period so photographers can try the service before they commit.

Mareen wants to take on more subscribers before she begins to grow the service, and is focusing on marketing through social media channels and word of mouth, as well as physical pamphlets and flyers in photography shops. She is excited about what the future holds for Lumio: “There are a couple of things on my wish list – it’s probably a full page long. It’s just little things but there’s always going to be more, we can always make things better.”

Lumio is the latest photography-related project to gain some traction in Berlin, alongside the likes of Picpack, eyeQuest and, in particular, EyeEm.