Have you ever been at a birthday party or big event and thought to yourself how nice it would be not to worry about taking pictures, but rather to enjoy the experience while a professional photographer captured all the moments for you? And not just any professional photographer, but an affordable one at that. For this, you now have Jon Margalit to thank. Margalit created Togally, a website that enables users to locate and hire photographers, or "Togs," within minutes.
Customers can select from popular categories including family portraits, engagement shoots, small business needs and more, which have preset pricing. Then, each customer is matched with the nearest Togs.
In August 2015, Togally saw more than 250 photographer requests in San Diego alone and they continue to grow. Additionally, a Togally mobile app is set to launch in December.
Q: What inspired Togally?
A: My inspiration came from seeing my sister very frustrated and upset at her kid's birthday party. She was stuck behind the camera, not enjoying the party. She wished there was an easy way to find an affordable photographer, so she could live in the moment and let someone else capture it.
Q: Best part about doing business in San Diego?
A: The best part about doing business in San Diego is the weather. It's always beautiful outside for great family portraits or headshots. Since getting photos taken in a traditional studio setting can feel a bit rigid and "cookie cutter," outdoor settings like San Diego's beaches or parks create naturally awesome backdrops.
Q: If you could be a superhero who would it be and why?
A: Professor Charles Xavier of the X-Men because he is a telepath who can read minds. He's also a great leader. Being able to read our customers' minds would enable us to build the perfect product.
Q: Misconception people have about Togally?
A: People often wonder how we can offer such great prices on our photography packages. Sometimes prospective customers even ask if our photographers are pros. The awesome thing about photography is that it's a subjective art form. Most of our photographers are super talented, but lack the business acumen or desire to pursue full-time photography careers. Customers will discover mostly part-time photographers that are extremely passionate about their craft, and are happy to work at affordable rates.
Q: Who would play you in a movie and why?
A: It would definitely be Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm a big fan of his movies, especially "The Wolf of Wall Street." When it comes to business, I can get super intense and I think he's great in that role. Plus, we have the same swag and we both always get the girl.
Q: CEO or company that you admire and why?
A: I admire CEO Brian Chesky and his company, Airbnb. I admire the way Brian remained focused on raising funds after being denied by some of Silicon Valley's top investors. He held on strong to his vision and wouldn't let anyone cloud his judgment. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky could see the future when nobody else could.
Q: Where do you see Togally in five years?
A: In five years I see Togally being the national "go-to place" or brand for everyone that needs to book a photographer. Togally will grow the market for photography services 10-times, by making it easier and more affordable for everyday events, instead of just special occasions. It's exciting to know that in five years, every family will be able to afford great holiday portraits.
Q: Describe your most perfect day in San Diego.
A: Ironically my most perfect day in San Diego is indoors at the gym. I'm a big fitness guy, and the place I enjoy most is where I exercise. I also like being around other people that value health and wellness, so I tend to hang out after my workouts and socialize with my FitFam.