Lifetouch Reviews

Updated June 27, 2015
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2.7
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Lifetouch Chairman and CEO Paul Harmel
Paul Harmel
189 Ratings

Pros
  • If you love working with kids and taking picture this is the job for you (in 18 reviews)

  • The Employee Stock Ownership Program keeps all employees motivated to insure the company does well (in 10 reviews)

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

  • Very low pay - Management is struggling with technology changes - they need a better vision for the next phase of the company (in 20 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

438 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    School Photographer

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

    I worked at Lifetouch

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Working with kids is always fun and the benefits are great. It's a great company with great people and a solid working experience. Flexible schedules.

    Cons

    The pay is too low for the amount of time and driving that is spent.

    Advice to Management

    Higher wages and a little more organization would be great. Happier employees make more productivity and happier clients.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Photographer

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

    I worked at Lifetouch (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    close coworkers, fast-paced, always something new

    Cons

    highly unorganized, unstable hours, lots of travelling, poor compensation


  3. Helpful (1)

    Cold selling cookie cutter photos

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

    I worked at Lifetouch part-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Learning business of a professional studio.
    Getting studio experience as a recent college grad.
    Sales experience and learning job responsibility.
    Flexible hours.

    Cons

    Minimal training, they throw you to the sharks too quickly. Cold-selling to random customers as "pull-ins" from the attached unaffiliated retail store (terrifying and mentally taxing for someone with anxiety). Studio training itself was difficult to feel confident about--little practice with the equipment and photograph style expectations, memorizing a sales schpiel that cannot deviate in words, and focused more on sales then on the portraiture. Hardly any real chance to get accustomed to different styles and layouts in the post-process software. Expected a certain number of clients to be pulled in from the surrounding store if appointments weren't scheduled for a span of time--trolling the toy department asking parents if we could photograph their kids for free fees and three free prints. It's creepy and NO ONE goes out shopping dressed like they're expecting to have an impromptu photo shoot. Photo style is cookie cutter with little creative license. Part-time really meant "scheduled once a week and on call for the rest of the week," if you can't have photographers solidly scheduled, why do you hire them? Also, I've never known a store to have an opening/closing shift without a manager present--too much responsibility/room for error for a two-week-old associate.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time training in-studio, not just on the computer. Cold selling to parents in the toy aisles is creepy.
    Need solid work hours.
    Needs better management.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    Fun job but not enough pay. Good first job

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Lifetouch full-time (More than a year)

    Negative Outlook
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Working with kids is so much fun. The work isn't that hard. The environments are fun and laid back. Lots of overtime may be necessary. Reimbursement on gas mileage.

    Cons

    Not enough pay. Racking up miles on your car. Shifts can sometimes be unsure, from 8 to 12 hours.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to schedule the students accordingly so employees may know what the timeline of their schedule is. It is also only a seasonal position


  6. Okay, but depends on your local office staff

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Lifetouch

    Pros

    Office was small with friendly staff

    Cons

    Upper management for the territory was shortsighted. Low pay for the skills required. Most office employees focused on ESOP accounts for retirement, but that doesn't help pay the bills in the decade(s) beforehand.

    Advice to Management

    Embrace technology and allow flexibility to the the employees who've shown responsibility and accountability.


  7. Candid Photographer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Photographer in Bensalem, PA
    Current Employee - Photographer in Bensalem, PA

    I have been working at Lifetouch (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    You get to do a different jobs in different places so it's not so boring.

    Cons

    Travel. Pay isn't good enough for the amount of driving. Not always promised 40 hours yet some weeks you'll work 70. Inconsistent work.

    Advice to Management

    better pay. company cars.


  8. Helpful (1)

    School photographer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Photographer in Baltimore, MD
    Current Employee - Photographer in Baltimore, MD

    I have been working at Lifetouch (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Working with kids mileage reimbursement

    Cons

    Low pay crazy hours lots of driving


  9. Helpful (2)

    Former Portrait Studio Manager

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

    I worked at Lifetouch full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Preface to say Lifetouch has different divisions, portrait studios, schools, and church, (the field). They have employees in the labs that process,publishing, and the home office, (corporate environment). I can only speak about the portrait studio division and the home office connection with the studios.
    There are a lot of good people at Lifetouch Caring and dedicated to their customers and each other. Good place to learn photography skills, ( to develop a "good eye"for photography ), and to shoot well quickly,(don't expect to learn much else such as lighting, it is set to perform quick sittings)The rapport and memories you create for customers is so intrinsically valuable, it is in fact priceless. I believe it is the main reason people stay longer and work so very hard. There is a good sales process that has been revamped hundreds of times so it is easy to follow and customers don't feel they are pushed. Flexibility in hours to a certain degree. Good starting job for team members, and for that matter managers because there is not much room for advancement and the wages are ridiculously low which brings me to - Cons

    Cons

    In the field, the " front lines" of customer ( formally guests ), interaction, The expectations are far to high for the labor used. The pay for a manager running a retail operation is far below standard management pay. Team members(associates) newly hired are supposed to get minimum wage and only slightly higher with experience.
    In the photography market it is true profit margins are shrinking. Lifetouch has still made a profit. Recently, they initiated a 20% reduction in the work force in the field, laying off many, many employees in managerial positions in the field, I was one of them. Studio, territory, and regional management. Why? To keep the employee owned stock price stable. They sacrificed many dedicated individuals who truly cared and lived by the Lifetouch mission statement. The remaining portrait studio managers have dual studios to manage. Two studios instead of one with twice the work. Only higher volumes get an assistant manager.
    I am very thankful of all that this company has given me, but I can not in good conscience recommend a career path with this company(unless they CHANGE). Executives and upper management have forgone their own mission statement, wherein they say (not verbatim) "we respect our customers and our employees" The customer will feel an even deeper impact on labor reduction decreasing greatly their WOW experience. And, well, just total disrespect for your employees.

    Advice to Management

    As an employee owned company, executive and upper management should not get paid a salary in excess of a certain percentage over the lowest field manager. Think about Ben & Jerry's salary structure. There are also ways to minimize loss to your workforce while still maintaining profit. Review the Pro's and Con's closely here and figure it out. You still have time to reclaim your hearts. You have begun to go the way of your competitors. You've begun the writing on the wall, but you still have time to erase it. CHANGE


  10. Helpful (2)

    Sales Representative

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

    I worked at Lifetouch full-time (More than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits such as healthcare and retirement. Ability to have flexible work hours.

    Cons

    Pay is low and there is a definite inequity between compensation for men and women.

    Advice to Management

    Instead of trying to make more money by cutting pay and employees, show more respect for employees. Happy employees are more productive.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Sales/Service

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

    I worked at Lifetouch full-time

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

    Pros

    ESOP . Employee Stock Ownership Program

    Cons

    Management turnover, lots of broken promises, good old boys club

    Advice to Management

    Show appreciation, create a friendlier less hostile work environment, hold all employees accountable



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