I have been working at Portrait Innovations full-time (More than a year)
This is a great job to gain experience in studio photography and one on one customer service. You're taking pictures of families from all backgrounds all day long, and helping them create portrait products.
Yes, this is a sales job. If you work hard, and just focus on getting better at every aspect of the job, you WILL advance. Be patient. Focus on customer service, take fantastic pictures, and sales will take care of itself. Learn the protocol and sales script first, then you can improvise when you're good enough. It is not a job for the faint of heart. This can be a career if you put the work in.
Depending on the location, the environment can be great. My manager and co-workers are amazing. I have visited other studios that were in disarray because of bad management and bad customer base. But, in general, your co-workers will become your best friends, and everyone is willing to help each other. We do get repeat customers that love what we do and it's great to watch their kids grow up.
This is a physical job, so be prepared to get whipped in shape. It is hard on the knees and back, but you get used to it.
Customers can be very rude, but that's the case with any customer service job. Some people think we're their babysitters.
Sales expectations can be difficult sometimes, especially when the company is running a low priced coupon. A lot of times it really feels like luck of the draw for getting good, high paying appointments.
Holidays are busy with appointments booked every ten minutes. Sometimes you don't get a lunch break until evening. It's hard to take good pictures when people feel like they're rushed. For me though, getting through the busy season is worth it for the rest of the year which is fairly relaxed.
Advice to Management
Please keep the new prices. Don't get scared if volume decreases a bit. People will pay for good portraits and good service, especially if we have the time to provide it. The low prices and coupons just bring in the worst customers and you're actually wasting labor and losing money catering to these people.
Be more careful about who you hire. Some managers I worked with we're terrible at hiring, which leads to high turnover. You either need better training when it comes to hiring, or only let upper management hire. At least for full time.
Please fix broken equipment! Stop delaying and making do. We can't take good pictures if the equipment is not working. I know you're trying to save money, but some studios really need help.
Put padding underneath the camera room floors. My knees are killing me! It's a nice thought...
I applied online. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Portrait Innovations (Reading, PA) in November 2017.
The interviewer mumbling asked questions, I had to keep asking her to repeat herself, very unprofessional. Not clean dressed unpolished. Told me she had A manager position open but when I got there she said they only hire managers from within the company. She only has weekend part time positions and I would need full availability for the rest off the year. She misleading me to get me there.
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