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Studio Ninja CRM

4 Front End Developer
3Back End Developer
1Project Manager

5+ years, still ongoing

Angular 5, Ionic 3, Cordova, NgRx, RxJs, AngularJS, Angular 9, NxWorkspaces, NgRx, RxJs, D3.js, Quill.js, Dragula.js

Studio Management Software Streamlining Workflow for Photographers and Videographers

Our client - Chris Garbacz, an Australian photographer with over 10 years of experience. He knew from experience that photographers spend much time managing routine tasks and CRMs presented on the market didn't offer enough functionality to deal with the problem. Chris came to us with the idea of creating a service that will focus on a photographer's workflow and together we developed a CRM system that automates administrative tasks. The system helps photographers make more money, create custom payment plans, and accept credit cards. It also helps them be more organized and keep track of clients, payments, and jobs, as well as helping the business grow.

Our goal

The main goal was to optimize the time photographers spend on administrative errands. We wanted to create not a regular CRM for everyone, but a custom product for the target audience - photographers. Also, since a visual part is essential in the industry, we have to pay an extra accent on UI development.

Studio Ninja is a commercial project which Cris intended to sell as a service to freelance photographers and photo studios. Therefore, we were tasked to build an integrated system considering all specifics of the work process and translate them in clear functionality. CRM should address photographers' pains and offer clear values for potential users.

Studio Ninja CRM

Solution delivered

As a long-time partner of Studio Ninja, Sombra was engaged in building a CRM system, setting up an invoicing system, developing mobile application and more. Over five years of collaboration, we have grown the development team to 15 specialists working on different aspects of our client’s business.

Our team delivered end-to-end client management software which enables photographers to manage orders, make invoices, create appointments, integrate with third-party services and manage leads. We also ensure system-wide integration with third-party software such as Xero, Shootproof, Quickbooks, Fundy and others.

The system allows photographers to manage clients from the request to checkout. Using the product, photographers can schedule photoshoots, do bookkeeping and track client conversion. It made the process of managing and selling photography services fast and simple digital experience.

Studio Ninja CRM

Currently, the system has such features: 

Client Portal 

At first Studio Ninja was used exclusively by photographers. On the client request, our team designed Client Portal, a website aimed to provide access for photographers clients. Photographers can set up their own branded Client Portal where clients are able to accept quotes, sign contracts, fill in questionnaires and pay invoices. 

 Pick and Choose Quote

Recently, we have developed a new function called peak and choose quotes, allowing photographers to form and send invoice preview to the client. Photographer form quote offering clients several plans to choose. After receiving a preview customer can choose a set of services that suit him/her best and system will form a new invoice based on clients choice. This adds variability and flexibility to invoice formation. 

Form Builder 

CRM enables users to create simple contact forms, which can be used as a landing page or can be integrated on users websites to collect leads. We improved this feature and created a flexible form builder, which allows users to create custom contact forms and questionnaires for their needs. Users can choose content, configuration,  sequence, style and format of the form. 


The system allows the photographer to manage several companies under one account, for example, photo studio and personal freelance projects. Such account will display separate information on statistics and income and delimited entire functionality. 

Mobile application 

Over time we developed a mobile app with limited functionality. Such simplification allows users to get quick access to vital functions of the Studio Ninja software using just phone. Mobile application inherits all information from the web and interprets end to end flow that clients use on an everyday basis. It includes such functions as:

  • Invoicing 
  • Job creation 
  • Payments management 
  • Clients management
  • Leads management
  • Calendar (weekly and monthly preview)

Studio Ninja project is dynamic and flexible, for 5 years we’ve been constantly improving the system. Our team adopt a user-centric approach and based on users feedback we implement new functionality and improve existing ones.


Technical Challenges 

  1. Multibranding was a challenging task for our team. The feature envisioned the availability of more expensive and cheaper plans. So, the client could use multi branding feature in the case of buying a more expensive plan. To implement multibranding we had to demolish the old subscription structure because it could not be scaled. Our team developed new stable and scalable subscription functionality considering previous financial information (subscription plans, user roles, discounts) of all existing users.
  2. Also, application of multibranding required a change of system architecture since initially, “Сompany” and “Account” were equivalent concepts. We had to change hierarchy and take the “Account” to the highest level and make “Company” as lower structure, under “Account”. 
  3. We were tasked to build flexible and customizable Form Builder, which the user can set up to their wishes. The main problem was to create business logic of interaction between user and system. The system had to display momentary changes in preview mode and in Builder.  NxWorkspaces helped us develop multiple full-stack applications holistically and share code between them all in the same workspace. Ngrx allowed us to create clear flow, where all users’ changes properly stored, processed and displayed.  

Value Delivered

Sombra delivered the platform that increased the amount of photo service sales by simplifying the routine workflow like customer care and accounting. Using the new product, photographers could schedule photoshoots, do bookkeeping and track client conversion. It made the process of managing and selling photography services a fast and simple digital experience.

During our cooperation project become a successful business in Australia and outside. Company expands the USA and Canada studio management software market. For the last three years, a number of users in the system have grown in 975%. In 2019, after we launched the mobile application number of users rise by 40%.

Studio Ninja CRM
  • Studio Ninja CRM
    Chris Garbacz
    Co-founder, StudioNinja


    It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and the team at Sombra for the last 12 months. You guys have done an exceptional job bringing Studio Ninja to life and we couldn’t be happier with the results. There have been times when we had strict deadlines and you always managed to deliver on time, we have been really impressed. There were even times when external circumstances took our servers offline and you guys were on it and quick to fix everything asap – even on weekends!We look forward to growing our relationship with Sombra as our software and business grow. Thanks for being so available for us and always going above and beyond for the Studio Ninja project.