Portrait Innovations – Austin, TX
Portrait Innovations – Austin, TX
Portrait Innovations Photos
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- Comp & Benefits
- Work/Life Balance
- Senior Management
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
I worked at Portrait Innovations full-time (more than 5 years)Pros
if you're lucky enough to be at a slower studio (and corporate has not decided to shut you down yet), there is plenty of down time throughout the year. when you do have sessions, you can actually take your time to take amazing pictures and really impress your customer. if you're good at the job, you get to stay awhile and see so many families grow.Cons
things have changed the past couple years and not in a good way.
company expanded too abruptly and bit off more than it could chew with specialty products. stopped giving bonuses to reinvest the money back in to the company but instead they ended up closing numerous studios. (beware if specialty products start shipping to customers homes for free bc that's the sign the studio won't be there much longer) they apparently thought splurging on a Bahamas trip for managers was a good idea and an "acceptable" way to spend the money that could have gone to bonuses or jobs.
training used to be sufficient, but recent training agendas suggest the entire position takes 2-3 days to learn, which is most definitely not the case. it takes weeks, if not months to learn tips and tricks of entertainment for the kids in the camera room. if the company boasts about a professional studio, the staff, experience, and product should reflect that. in my opinion, the latest training does not accomplish this goal.
appointment booking doesn't make much sense. whether the session has 1 child or 30 people, the appointment slots are every ten minutes and doubled every so often too, so some literally get 5 minutes. plenty of time for that smiling 6 month old baby, but with a large group, that's barely enough time to get a group posed. let's not forget to mention the two year old tantrum that will happen in that group that will also eat up about majority of that ten minutes allotted. when you don't get an amazing shot, you're considered the idiot who overbooked the studio. sometimes I wish I could wear a sign that said "not my idea, here's the customer service number- get your frustrations out on someone who has time to hear about it and just ask for a gift certificate". so glad to hear they've now started online booking now too.
the sales aspect of the position is also disappointing. sometimes people don't have or don't want to spend a lot of money on pictures. that's why they go to portrait innovations because there's always some amazing ad that's dirt cheap. the company claims to be the McDonald's of portrait photography but expects it's employees to sell the customers the entire menu on the spot. I never had any issues with the sales average, but sometimes I felt pretty terrible about how the sales process had to go. I definitely ripped numerous people off and was actually congratulated for it.
working there can really suck you in and almost brainwash you into thinking that the policies and procedures are acceptable. there is zero work/life balance mostly around the holiday season. there's 14+ hour work days, constantly evolving schedules (you can literally walk in to work thinking it's a half day and then all of a sudden it's actually a 10 hour day). even non-seasonal schedules varied by the hour. last minute appointment booking can make you stay hours longer than you were supposed to. no one cared if you had plans already made after work. you had to of course cancel them and devote everything to the job. how people work there and manage to have a family of their own is beyond me. it was also a thing to enforce 2-3 hour "lunch" breaks because the studio had blocks of appointments in the morning and in the evening, but not much in the middle of the day. so this "lunch" was designed to keep you there all day, but not pay you for it. getting overtime when not approved was essentially the worst crime you could commit. it was actually beneficial to clock out on time and continue to work so you wouldn't have to hear it from the regional manager that would also dock you some hours the next week as "punishment" for this awful offense because you were indeed servicing customers.Advice to ManagementAdvice
listen to what not only employees/former employees are saying, but also majority of customers on appointment booking. try to allow for a better work/life balance to keep employees and avoid the extremely high turnoverDoesn't RecommendNegative OutlookDisapproves of CEO