Lifetouch Reviews

Updated July 28, 2015
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458 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Sales Photographer

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Lifetouch

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

    Pros

    Seemed like a good job.

    Cons

    Turned out to be the Worst job I have ever had.


  2. Photographer

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

    I worked at Lifetouch

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

    Pros

    Fun place to work at!

    Cons

    Being on call several days a week

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within


  3. Sales Professional

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Professional in Allentown, GA
    Current Employee - Sales Professional in Allentown, GA

    I have been working at Lifetouch full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good work life balance, good benefits, school schedule, light summers and holidays

    Cons

    School picture business is seeing reduced participation, long sales cycle, depended on many other people to have successful accounts.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out a way to place a positive spin on the companies direction and overall busniess.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    Run fast in the other direction

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Esop. Paid training. That's about all.

    Cons

    Full time + hours & part time pay!! Management is a JOKE!! Favoritism, cliques, and feels like Junior High School. Management doesn't care about employees. Leave personal conversations out of the business.

    Advice to Management

    Check the local territories, see how they treat the employees. Change the "good old boy" mentality. Stop the favoritism.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Dual 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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They gave me a paycheck. Set lunches at 2pm on weekdays...that is if someone doesn't do a walk-in. You get a little extra commission based on the amount of sales you get.

    Cons

    Oh where do I begin? I was managing at another photography studio and wasn't really appreciating the hourly, pay and bonus cuts due to them not getting in line with the current trends, so I saw the dual studio manager position open up for JCPenney Portraits and went through the interview. I told them about my experiences at my other position and their rebuttal was, "We're not like them. You'll get bonuses, commission, a stock ownership program and a little higher pay." Ok cool, I'm in. This sounds like a place where I can settle down, move up in the company and expand my career. HA! WRONG! This by far has been THE WORST experience in employment that I have ever been through. First off, when I was going through my training process, in only a week's time, everyone got an e-mail saying that they would not be getting a raise at the end of the year. That was the first red-flag. TRAINING: Like I said earlier, my training was barely A WEEK for a management position. Actually, it wasn't really training at all. At first they told me that they would train me in one of the studios near me, but a day before my first day, they told me that I'd be traveling 80 miles to a studio to train. I nearly quit then because I was close to having several accidents due to the severe weather we were having that week. They don't pay you by the mile. When I got there, they just sat me down in front of a computer and made read through all this "WOW University" material. It was literally filled with hundreds of pages that you had to go through with a test and hands on tutorial (which we never did because the regional manager was too busy taking care of other studio issues.) I told them numerous times that I needed to be taught differently and need more hands on training. The regional told me to write everything down that I needed extra guidance on and that she'll be back to go over all of that. The next day she tells me, "Sorry I had to stay here at my studio." I then notified the DM that I needed extra help and she said that she would send one of her "best district trainers" to help. Did that happen? Nope. I even asked other associates from different studios and MANAGERS, but nobody seems to know what they're doing. After that, I was on my own, literally on-my-own. ENVIRONMENT: The entire staff is part-time. From what I've understood, they laid off a lot of photographers, I even read some reviews on here that say the same thing. What was once a single studio manager job is now a dual studio one. The number of people working at your studios is based on the number of appointments that you have. They have a formula that determines all of this. Basically, if you're over 14 sessions for an 8 hour period, you can bring one other employee on to help you I will get to the reason for all that later down this review. So here's what you do when you're on your own: Shoot, sell and check out sessions in 40 minutes. Seems easy, right? That's through phone calls that you HAVE to answer to schedule appointments, customers that are coming in to pick up their prints that has EXTRA prints to sell to them. That's if everything goes to plan, though it's not always the case. The prints that they send in come in flimsy paper envelopes that easily damage the prints during shipment, so you HAVE to do a reorder (keep in mind, this is with a customer that you're either in a session with or selling to that you walked away from) After a few complaints from customers from me leaving them and me falling 40 minutes to an hour behind, I stopped answering phones, left it to voicemail and listened to it when I had time. Due to the lack of training there were some issues that I simply didn't know how to resolve. There was one time the camera wasn't working due to their software glitch and the studio was totally inoperable. The RM didn't answer her phone, the DM didn't answer her phone and help desk never answered. I even tried asking my fellow co-workers who...oh wait, I was all alone without a team to back me up.... With you falling behind, you will not get a lunch...this is also based on how restrictive your state's labor laws are. Think about it, kids going crazy, phone ringing, software screwing up and missing shots, fixing damaged prints, not having a lunch break for hours, calling everyone to find solutions to issues, lather, rinse and repeat. EQUIPMENT: Their equipment is sub par. Seriously, it's outdated and stone-aged. Again, with toddlers that move a mile a minute, you need to have lights that sync up and charge quickly. Literally, time management is key here if you want to stay on time. I can't tell you the number of shots I missed because of the stupid lights! Not only that, but the software is idiotic, it limits you to the number of shots you have to take and if you're not paying attention due to you focusing on getting the right moment, it deletes your images. Yes, the biggest no-no in photography is allowed in this company. There's also a sensor that tracks motion, this allows if the camera will be able to shoot or not. This sensor NEVER works. When you're trying to get a shot, the lights don't fire and it beeps at you. Everyone disconnects this sensor anyway, BUT you have to connect it back when the District Manager comes in. BENEFITS: There's a stock ownership program, but it won't exist anymore. This company won't last. You do get a little commission from the sales you get. I got about $50 from last month. Cool, my gas is covered. Healthcare is mediocre. $175 per month with a $4k deductible with zero coverage on regular doctors visits and zero coverage on name brand medicine and 20% off on off brand. By the way, if you get sick, you have to pay your bill ($120 for me in one case) and they make you take a week off to make sure you're over your bug and get someone else to cover. Bonuses? What bonus? They are based off how much revenue BOTH studios make. If BOTH studios make at least 110% or over budget, you'll get paid, BUT you're also scored based on customer surveys. You could be doing the best you can, but because of the issues I mentioned above, customers can give you a bad score and you won't receive your bonus. Of course this is intentional so the company can save money. IN SUMMATION: When you look at the recent layoffs, the part-time underpaid staff, and raise cuts, it is obvious that this company, like all the other retail photography companies, are going under. Google CPI, they owned a plethora of studios: Sears, Wal-Mart, Picture Me, etc. They went bankrupt. Why? Technology is getting better and cheaper to the public. People can take their own, decent quality photos these days and NONE of these companies are doing anything to keep up. Like Lifetouch, they are only finding ways to hold on to their profits as long as they can, even at their employees expense. If you want to make a quick buck, go ahead and work here, but there isn't a career here in this field anymore.

    Advice to Management

    Don't EVER allow your software to LOSE images, period. I don't care if you "trained" your associates on the software...the ability should never exist in the first place. You have all this talk about "capturing the right moments" but your software says otherwise. I don't think you guys understand how critical this is. Update your equipment and get up with the current trends! When I'm in the middle of a time-sensitive session with a cranky 2-year-old where moments come and go in an instant, I'm not going to waste time by answering the phone, "Thank you for calling JCPenney portraits. I'm with customer can I take a message?" Get a TEAM at your studios and handle all those issues so everything can flow easily and remain on time. Fix your training regimen, not everyone learns the same way. Find new avenues and work with each associate's ability. (By the way, it even mentions that in your own manual, just pointing that out there.)


  7. Helpful (1)

    Lead Photographer

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

    I have been working at Lifetouch full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Laid back, fun environment with great people. Awesome product.

    Cons

    Company is not doing well enough financially to be able to pay what people deserve. Seasonal nature of business can mean really long hours

    Advice to Management

    Financially reward the people who are holding things together. Focus more on the quality of photography so we can sell more packages.


  8. Helpful (7)

    Wages are poor, but experience is amazing

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Photographer & Sales Associate in Grand Forks, ND
    Current Employee - Photographer & Sales Associate in Grand Forks, ND

    I have been working at Lifetouch

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    This job has been the best job I have ever had. I've worked in a wide variety of jobs, but I love it here. There are always things to complain about - that's part of any job. But I actually look forward to going to work each day - I will even come in on my days off sometimes just to see my co-workers or socialize with guests. The hours are perfect for students, parents, and high-school kids alike. It's not too early and its not too late. There is always time left in the day to come home and still have time for your personal needs. Management can vary from location to location, but for the most part every other studio manager I have worked with has been amazing. Each of them possess qualities that makes them unique and perfectly suited to be in the position they are in. The company has done a great job at promoting the right people. There is always something new and exciting going on. There are new faces, new stories, new images, and new experiences everyday. This is a great position for social butterflies. Pricing options - this goes both ways. While I think we offer some great deals on our products I also think our products are way over priced. Profit is great, but I think we would attract more customers if we lowered our prices and eliminated most coupons. Almost every order already uses a coupon (from the studio, not from outside sources) so why not save the money we are wasting printing coupons and lower the prices? I can bring in more customers with lower prices than I can with coupons Internal offerings such as Chairman's, Photoshare, and Focus are wonderful employee enhancements. Employees are able to help and communicate with each other easily. I have seen a lot of complaints about travel and compensation - I think a lot of people are forgetting that when we signed up for this job it was part of the job description. Being part of a dual studio or even crossing brands means that we are going to have to travel between locations. While it may not be true for some, travel has always been an optional choice at our studios.

    Cons

    Wages are meager. For the amount of work you put into this job it does not pay well enough. Incentives and extra perks are not enough to balance out the almost minimum wage most of the employees are living off of. Reviews are great - but the pay increase needs to be more. Guests can be demanding, mean, and downright vile at times. This is always true of any customer service position, but it seems that we really get looked down on for things that may not be in our control (can't make a child smile, you only have a limited amount of time in the camera room, guest was not prepared, etc.). You must be prepared for this and know how to handle guests at their worst or you will hate your self and your job. Faced-paced with little down time. The studios get hot and sometimes there is little time for you to take a minute to just relax. I sweat at work everyday. I also know when I need to excuse myself to "go to the bathroom" so I can have a minute of peace and quiet. If you cannot pace yourself you will burn out quickly. Sometimes there are no one to cover your shift. During off-peak seasons some studios only run with 2 or even 1 employee. If you get sick, tough. You may still need to come in and work through it. The company offers benefits only to full-time employees. While they are good benefits the future of the funds available concerns me.

    Advice to Management

    Update the enhancing and media options - we don't live in the 90's anymore, yet we are still pushing 90's products. CD's - need to go as soon as possible. Flash drives or digital downloads need to be available now. The same goes for the multi-image enhancements. This is something that people can do by themselves on their cellphones with a free app. If you want to stay ahead of the game you need to give your employees access to software that the everyday consumer does not have. No, we don't need Photoshop - but aspects of it would be nice. We need more time in the camera room. Some sessions can be done in 10 minutes or less. But our main customer base is newborns, infants, children, and families - getting the best quality images can take more time than we are allotted. This is the biggest customer complaint as well. No, we don't need an hour per session, but 20 minutes to half an hour from start to finish would help reduce customer complaints and help the employees not feel rushed or burned out. Eliminate on-call positions. I'm not saying get rid of employees, just on-call positions. Employees need job security and when some are only getting an hour or two of work per week it brings down morale and eventually you lose an employee that was willing to work with you. While this may not work well with low volume studios, higher volume studios can easily absorb offering even one full shift per week to part time employees. Another option could be to eliminate all full-time positions and only employ part-time. Having a variety of photographers available helps bring in a variety of consumers. Get involved in the local communities. While Lifetouch does do some amazing things on the corporate level, the brand name is barely recognized locally. Send your teams to the local animal shelter to take pictures of the animals for adoption, get involved with colleges and major employers to offer badge identification services, work with social services and families who may never be able to afford our services - give back to the local communities. In multi studio locations I believe that each location should offer something the others do not. While we want consistency we also need diversity to grow. Passport services, Pet portraits, special events, or even offering different packages/pricing could help ensure the longevity of the company. Get a new phone system. Revamp the entire thing. We need to give options for pressing one to leave a message rather than having to listen to the entire message every time we get sent to voicemail. This is irritating for guests and employees alike. The long distance services we are currently receiving are poor. In our area we get dropped calls or calls that cannot be connected because the provider is rerouting the call from our studio along the cheapest path. So a call from our location to a guest 10 miles away could be routed to Texas, Illinois, even New York before it is return to the phone line just minutes away from us. This was never an issue with the previous carrier. Also, ease up on the answering of the phone. While it is necessary to be accessible to all guests it is quite distracting and rude to guests we already have in the studio. A lot of calls do not need to be directed to the studio itself: setting up appointments, questions about an order, what to bring in to an appointment, prices, suggested clothing options, I can go on and on. I believe utilization of the call center is under used. Minimal training at the call center would allow photographers more uninterrupted sessions and get the guests in immediate contact with someone. This is a position that could even be worked from home - opening up and entire new area of employment within the company. Last thing I can think of off the top of my head - Get someone in charge of the Your Community site. It has turned into a place where all anyone ever does is complain about their day. It used to be a wonderful place for the employees to share their ideas, thoughts, and creativity, but now to read through the posts is just depressing. This is just a personal request, I don't think it benefits or hurts the company in either way. Lastly, please listen to and acknowledge your employees concerns, complaints, and ideas. We want to know we are actually being heard and not just brushed under the rug. With any company there are always going to be things that can be improved on. Don't forget to remember all the things that are working well.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Good Stepping Stone

    Current Employee - Production Assistant in Charlotte, NC
    Current Employee - Production Assistant in Charlotte, NC

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

    Pros

    Meet some interesting people and learn new skills when manipulating photos.

    Cons

    There is a sense of panic when there is an influx of work which leads to extreme overtime and no work life balance. There are also layoffs.


  10. Helpful (1)

    Photographer

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

    I worked at Lifetouch full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Awesome people fun work enviroment but everything is what you make of it.

    Cons

    Have to drive your own car around to 4 different counties it gets expensive and the pay is ok.

    Advice to Management

    Help employees more with working closer to there houses.


  11. 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 full-time

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    They pay for your gas and travel time.

    Cons

    You have alot of equipment to keep in car.



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