Lifetouch

208 reviews

About Lifetouch

When it is picture day at school, and the kids are all lined up with scrubbed faces, odds are that their grins are directed at someone from Lifetouch. One of the largest US portrait photographers, employee-owned Lifetouch runs about 700 photography studios in J. C. Penney and Target stores nationwide and some 15 stand-alone FLASH! Digital Portraits locations in half a dozen states. In addition, Lifetouch takes baby, family, business, sports, and special events portraits; publishes church directories, yearbooks, and memory books; and offers multimedia production services. The company acquired smaller rival Olan Mills late 2011. Founded in 1936 as National School Studios, Lifetouch operates in the US and Canada.

The takeover of Olan Mills (for an undisclosed amount) reflects Lifetouch's growth through acquisition strategy. However, the company has largely targeted regional operators; its purchase of Olan Mills unites the top two in the church photography business as well as strengthens both companies' financial footing. The deal follows Lifetouch's purchase of another family-owned church photographer, Busson Photography, in mid-2009. Based in Ohio, Busson Photography has operations in 25 states and customer roster rich in faith-based organizations.

Earlier in 2009 Lifetouch's school portrait business, Lifetouch National Schools Studios, acquired family-owned Bryn-Alan Studios. Tampa-based Bryn-Alan has operations in Florida, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Texas and specializes in photographing high school seniors. Its integration built upon Lifetouch's 2006 acquisition of the North American school photography operations of Jostens, which solidified Lifetouch's leadership in the school portrait market. Lifetouch reportedly takes about 30 million student photos a year.

Another driver of Lifetouch's strategy is technology. Shortly after purchasing Bryn-Alan, Lifetouch National Schools Studios shuttered a production facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma, resulting in the loss of some 130 jobs. The closure came as part of Lifetouch's switch to digital photography, which rendered the Tulsa plant redundant. The company has since boosted its production capabilities, adding digital printing presses to its operations.

With the advent of digital photography, Lifetouch has begun offering retouching services, such as erasing scars and acne, whitening teeth, and fixing a bad hair day. The school photographer says about 10% of its portraits are retouched for an additional fee. Beyond the cosmetic, the company's SmileSafe Kids Program allows authorities access to portraits and pictures of missing children, when needed, and when authorized by the children's parents, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Reviews

Overall

3.6
Based on 208 reviews
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goo company
Photographer, Chantilly VA - January 20, 2014
• Posed and photographed students and staff including Kindergarten through 12th graders, prom & dance, sporting events and special events.
• Proactviley enganed in giving clear direction and expectations for parents, school personnel, and student helpers regarding their role in Picture Day.
• Worked closely with staff to establish appropriate work flow of classrooms and effectively resolve any issues.
• Represented Lifetouch in a professdional manner at all times while adhering to all Company and school rules and policies.
• Displayed confidence and professionalism at all times.

Salaries

Claimed Profile
Headquarters
11000 Viking Dr.
Ste. 400
Eden Prairie MN, United States 55344
Revenue
$1B to $5B (USD)
Employees
10,000+
Industry
    Links
    Lifetouch website
    Lifetouch Culture (Video)