Like many moms, Vish Dutt takes endless photos of her children. With the photos accumulating, Vish became overwhelmed with the images and decided to make a slideshow out of them. Little did she know, she just gave birth to another child — Smiling Snaps. Each beautifully crafted slideshow tells a story about its subject, and Vish is a master storyteller. Here is her story.
How did you actually go about starting Smiling Snaps?
From the very beginning, I treated this as a real business. I did market research to evaluate the demand for custom made slideshows and what are the best equipment and software available to create a great show. I talked to my accountant to see how I could start a business and went through the legal formalities. Once I did that, I started developing my website.
How does Smiling Snaps differ from other companies in the market?
Every element in a Smiling Snaps slideshow is completely customized. I take my client’s pictures and I tell a story. Essentially, it is a movie of their lives. I combine the photos with their favorite music and I show a story with the proper timeline and how things happen. The slideshow ends with a special message.
How is Smiling Snaps doing?
It’s been fabulous. My shows are very popular in Weddings, Birthdays and Anniversary celebrations. At the moment, it’s extremely hectic because of the holiday season. The Christmas DVD’s are a big hit. A lot of the families want to send the Christmas DVD’s to grandparents, aunts and family members who live in different parts of the country. I even work with international customers. It’s the perfect gift for your loved ones who don’t live near you!
What do you love about your work?
My work is really relaxing. Every time I work on my client’s pictures, I really feel like I know their families. They send me photos that are so important to them. When they play the show at their event or present it to a family member, they write back to me telling me they loved it and used a whole box of tissues—it’s touching. That’s when I give myself a big thumbs up! It’s a good feeling.
How does your family feel about Smiling Snaps?
I would have never been able to pursue my dream without my husband’s support. He is a big pillar in our household. He has been so supportive of all my plans and all my dreams since the very beginning. Once he’s home in the evening, he takes over with the kids and lets me do my work. My kids are very understanding, too. Even though my son is five and my daughter is two, they understand that if I need to make a phone call, they have to play quietly by themselves for a while. I feel that I will be a great model for them when they grow up and start understanding the way I manage home and work.
How do you balance work and family?
Basically, I don’t sleep much [laughs]. That’s the downside, but I enjoy my work. I love to give my kids my time, too. I volunteer often in their school—Halloween celebrations and things like that. My husband and I work together in a team. Both of us would not be able to do our work without helping each other out.
Where do you see Smiling Snaps going in the future?
I have a lot of dreams and plans. This is an untapped market. As long as people have digital cameras, they’re going to keep taking pictures and want to do stuff with them. My most current goal is to expand to an extent so that I can be a part of as many households as I can.