Lifetouch Reviews

Updated September 27, 2014
Updated September 27, 2014
329 Reviews
2.9
329 Reviews
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Lifetouch Chairman and CEO Paul Harmel
Paul Harmel
157 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • working with kids and families, getting to do what I love (photography) (in 18 reviews)

  • Employee Stock Ownership Program, the people you work with, and making memories that people will remember for a lifetime (in 10 reviews)


Cons
  • Lots of wear and tear on your vehicle that could be better compensated for (in 13 reviews)

  • Taking 5% from peoples already low pay in order to buy other companies instead of taking stock in their employees (in 19 reviews)

More Highlights

71 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Lean Manufacturing - what a joke.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Lifetouch for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Time off away during the summer from all of the stress and from being overworked, underpaid and underappreciated.

    Cons

    Horrible pay. Raises are a joke. Work your butt off and still get the same compensation as people who talk and text all night. They've gone to lean manufacturing even though we're not a manufacturer. Have spent God knows how much money flying people back and forth from the home office to other labs plus making positions for new lean supervisors only to create an environment where it is difficult to work. They took down the partitions which made our cubicles which cut down on idle talk and the spread of germs from coughing and sneezing, now it's just one big hooting and hollering across the room at each other making it difficult to even concentrate on your job, it's one huge germfest and you get points and eventually fired if you're sick too much when they've created the nasty conditions to begin with. The chairs are old and give you back aches and some are so nasty you don't want to sit in them. They supposedly took down the partitions so that leadership can see what people are doing yet people sit and text all night, every night and still keep their jobs. It's horrible for new people trying to learn a job and then it's worse because when they make a mistake everyone knows about it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Go back to how it was and put the partitions back up or you try sitting out where we are for a week and do our jobs and try giving yourself points for being sick from the horrible conditions you've created for us, and get us some decent chairs to sit in. The place is filthy and very unsanitary. Someone should call OSHA for the health risks you're causing not to mention we can't even sit in the break room without the stench from people smoking outside of it which is illegal for that smoke to be entering the building.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Horrible Management!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Photographer
    Former Employee - Photographer

    I worked at Lifetouch part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Some people at schools are kind and appreciative of the work you do.
    There is paid training if you get a professional who knows how to do a good job.
    File for unemployment on the off season.

    Cons

    Not paid nearly enough, for both wages and mileage, for all the time and effort you put in. And it's grueling work to say the least.
    No room for growth. Seasonal position.
    Super long hours (10+), getting up really early (4am), and sometimes waiting at schools for someone to let you in and then having to move an entire room filled with desks and chairs because the school is not prepared for you to be there or didn't even know you were showing up.
    Angry parents and staff at equipment failure and you are there on the front lines to take the burden of it all or parents and staff giving you a difficult time to go faster than humanly possible to photograph each child and staff at that school.
    Equipment is faulty and/or not properly maintained.
    Managers who are incompetent and do not provide support, severe lack of communication with employees and schools.
    Sometimes told to do work that is out of your job description.
    Scheduling photographers are continuously changing so you never know what your schedule will look like until the day before or the day of.
    Management is not clear about how to fill out paperwork such as timesheets, mileage.
    Continuous turnover in employees, can't keep people to save their life.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Screen people better for positions in management. Get new management who are properly trained who will be fair and have excellent communication skills. Pay your photographers more so they will stay working for you and stop being so damn greedy! More training by a professional who has been trained properly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Do not waste your time

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Preschool Photographer  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Preschool Photographer in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Lifetouch full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Perfect for stay home mom looking for extra cash for a a year or two

    Cons

    Benefits are ridiculous , pay and compensation for using your own vehicle is a scam and the constant pressure to photograph as fast as possible so the company can pay as little as possible is a slap in the face to their schools and a lack of respect towards them and the parents .They expect photographers to be available for them during the season but have no compensation in place if a school cancel , so you'll be left with no income. You'll have to fill unemployment when the season is over if you want to make it for a few months , that is no a way to make a living . The idea is to get as much as possible from the photographers and inflate the retirement funds for those vested and after being treated like dirt for a couple of years , people quit before they are eligible and they go on hiring new people and doing the same thing . If you like photography , find somewhere else to work , you will end up hating taking pictures .

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None , I believe its a lost cause .........

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Management concerned mostly about money

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Photographer & Sales Associate  in  New York, NY
    Current Employee - Photographer & Sales Associate in New York, NY

    I have been working at Lifetouch full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Opportunity to pursue photography as a career, without the hassle of owning your own studio

    Cons

    compensation is exclusively commission; long hours, a lot of travel for low income; management more concerned with bringing money into the company than with the photographers; work is sporadic; quality of the photography and the photographic instruction is lower than they think it is - same level as mall studio photography

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    focus more on the photographers, less on the bottom line; treat employees as valuable parts of the business, not as replaceable cogs in a money-generating machine

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Bought my company out and then cut my pay and benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Portrait Consultant Church Division  in  Greenville, SC
    Former Employee - Portrait Consultant Church Division in Greenville, SC

    I worked at Lifetouch full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I do not have anything positive from my experience. Bad pay, Bad management, miserable coworkers. The benefits were awful. I was with a competitor of this company for 10 years and then my company was bought out, they cut our pay tremendously. I was one of the top performers and took about 40% less. I put my 2 week notice in in august and left mid august. In November they finally canceled my insurance leaving me with a large bill because they paid it through November.

    Cons

    The people that do all of the work get NONE of the reward. NEVER work for this company! The quality of their product is crap. The employees seem to all hate their jobs, at least the ones I met while I was with lifetouch.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think about the people who do all the work a little more. You might see more profit!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Run ..Dont walk away from this job!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Photographer/Sales Specialist
    Current Employee - Photographer/Sales Specialist

    I have been working at Lifetouch full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I like that we work independently and that we can take creative portraits.

    Cons

    Where do I begin? As a photographer/sales specialist we are sent to churches where you don't stand a chance of making money. Sometimes in the ghetto. The marketing rep in my area couldn't care less about our safety or if we make money. The company standard is that we set up at noon when arriving at a church. She will have us set up at ten am with the promise we will get done earlier but that never happens. She also has us start earlier than any other district nation wide on Saturdays. Complaining does no good.
    We have a minimum wage guarantee but wage adjustments are supposedly done quarterly. It is so confusing it is really difficult to know if you ever get minimum wage. The most frustrating thing for me is the company pays us according to our sales average. If we are sent to a poor area and our average drops below 75% we make 12% commission instead of 16%. Now we are not only having a bad day but are further penalized by making less commission. Then to top it off..if we go to a better church within the same week, we have to sell a lot more in order to get our average up to 16%. I am out of here as soon as I find a better job. I am sent hours away from home week after week even though there are many churches in the city where I live.
    Another problem is when you have co-workers who don't keep up. If we pick up extra sits to keep us on schedule it hurts our average. It is very unfair to get paid less for working harder.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Without photographers Lifetouch would not exist. Give us the respect and pay we deserve.
    Make the church consultants more accountable for the churches they enlist.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    bit of a nightmare, actually.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - PSS for Lifetouch Church Directories and Portraits  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - PSS for Lifetouch Church Directories and Portraits in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Lifetouch part-time for less than a year

    Pros

    It's fun to meet the different people at different churches. I don't mind travelling and staying at hotels. It's also nice to give people a product that they really like.

    Cons

    Where do I start?

    --This job was not as advertised. I was told I could make 'up to $40,000' at this position. He was very careful not to lie to me directly, but that's what I was told. I have worked there 8 months and made about 6 grand.
    --whenever i contacted my boss with a complaint, he gave me a boilerplate 'salesman' answer. I could not get an answer from ANYONE when I asked what the average earnings was for salespeople. I heard a rumor that the average pay for the whole company (ceo and president included) was $18,000.
    --I'm told that we have to make 'at least' minimum wage, but they pay structure is impossible to understand, and the pay stub with accompanying report is even worse. When I asked people to explain it to me, I was given the runaround. I once worked 7 days, and received a check for 100 dollars.
    --the job is very physical, and it wears you down. Within a few months, I had symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, and the thumb on my left hand popped out of its socket several times a week. I was too exhausted to do anything else during the day (including look for better employment). I will admit that I have RA and fibro, so this may not be the case with everyone.
    --the wear on your car is awful. The per mile they pay, while higher than the national average, is barely enough to cover gas and oil changes.
    --there are no lunch breaks. You can bring something and eat it if there's time, but you never know if there is a place to store/reheat it
    --they determine if you qualify for health benefits, and if your hours dip below the minimum requirement, they will drop you. I'm told it is much too expensive and inadequate service anyway.
    --there is no room for advancement. My boss once said 'in a conference call to 'give yourself a raise'. Basically, to sell more, That's not how a raise works.
    --When you sell more, you get sent to the better accounts. But if you're in a poor area, you can't sell more, so you are sent to more poor areas SO YOU CAN'T SELL MORE.
    --I have worked in churches where I do not feel safe. I was sent to an area in gary where a woman was attacked and beaten less than a mile away from me. I am very small and could not defend myself if I needed to. I have been in other unsafe conditions as well, exposed to damp, cold environments, uncomfortable chairs (that led to pain and numbness in my body)
    --Schedule can change drastically without notice.
    --my church coordinator was terrible. She would do anything to sign on a church, even if there was no money to be made. She would schedule sits before and after our scheduled hours. If there wasn't enough sits to make it worth our effort, she would LIE and say their were enough. She would change the schedules without notice, and then not inform the correct people.
    --worst of all, I once walked in on our coordinator telling a volunteer "it only costs us 8 cents to make a print, you don't have to buy anything, we're just here to make friends with you". That was the same church in the area where the girl was attacked, and where she lied about the number of sits.
    --they expect you to go on unemployment during the off time which is January-May, even though they will tell you it's jan-feb and treat it like it's a great perk. Because of the time I signed on, I didn't qualify, so I was left to fend for myself.

    I will admit that I am the wrong person for this job. I'm a good photographer, but a terrible salesperson. I don't handle the pressure and the constant rejection. But there were things genuinely, seriously wrong with this job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    RESPECT YOUR EMPLOYEES. The customer is always right, but any proper companies know that in the long run, it's your employees that make a business work. Treat them properly, pay them fairly,offer better benefits, give them a chance to advance within the company, listen to them when they have complaints. Have a proper pay structure, and change the upper management so that bad managers can more easily be spotted and removed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Barely any hours. Low pay. Awful customers. Awful Management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Lifetouch

    Pros

    Slightly higher than minimum wage pay, Great co workers

    Cons

    Awful management, less than 10 hours a week, business is constantly declining, not always given enough training.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Disappoint with the company not wanting to keep people, just hires monkeys....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Photographer  in  Tampa, FL
    Former Employee - Photographer in Tampa, FL

    I worked at Lifetouch part-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Was a good learning experience, took a lot from it, but was highly disappointed in the end

    Cons

    The pay honestly sucks, the same person working 20 years made the same as someone working 7 years, very unfair. Taking 5% from peoples already low pay in order to buy other companies instead of taking stock in their employees. Unless you can kiss butt and brown nose, you will get nowhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take better stock in your employees and do not let HR nightmare managers get away with whatever they want because you just want to turn your head on the situation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Under-paid and over-worked

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Studio Associate  in  Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Studio Associate in Orlando, FL

    I have been working at Lifetouch part-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You can perfect your skills in lighting and studio setup. You are free to be as creative as you want in the perimeters of the studio.

    Cons

    Very faced paced environment during the holiday season. No bonus or incentive for sales. The continuous 'discounts' make it impossible to maintain sales goals during 'off' season

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give you employees incentives. We work hard and sometimes never stop! I shot for 4 hours straight once and then turned around and sold. Never saw any gratitude for keeping the team in line when the manager was off.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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