What's the company culture at Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc.?

Comments (23)


Every business has it's own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc.?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc.?

Ex-Lifetouch Employee in Scottsdale, Arizona

96 months ago

A friendly tip...

DO NOT EVER work for this company!!!

They are full of empty promises and EVERY SINGLE PERSON involved in upper management has nearly impossible expectations (I'm a hard worker and I worked my ass off to try to please them... hahahah what a joke) they want you to meet and/or exceed, but they would NEVER actually get down and dirty and help to accomplish these goals. And Christmas time? WHAT A JOKE. Understaffed, undertrained, and a MOB of people wanting photos... needless to say they want you to book the appointments but then when the studio is running 2 or more hours behind and customers start complaining, they want to know what happened... not to mention the fact that they make their employees work OFF THE CLOCK and never compensate them for it... I was promised a paycheck for the 100+ hours my district manager made me work, but haven't seen it yet and its been 6 months... hello, LABOR BOARD? Here I come...

Oh, and for those of you who take your kids to have photos taken at PV mall in AZ... the new manager is a crack head... straight up... we fired her 2 years ago and somehow, after she STOLE photos and we had security escort her out SEVERAL times for sneaking into the studio after hours, somehow the company overlooked all this and rehired her... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

ANOTHER ex employee in Scottsdale, Arizona

96 months ago

omg u r so right!!! she is weird, and they owe me for working off clock 2. its like expected or sumthin i dunno.

Exlifetouch in Wichita Falls, Texas

70 months ago

I had to comment on this. The studio you worked in and the one I worked in sound very very similar, to me it seems like Lifetouch studios everywhere is a piece of work. I worked in the studio that actually goes to the schools to take pictures, the majority of the people I worked with would screw around and rush through taking kids pictures and pretty much didn't give a crap about what the picture looked like. If you were a hard worker you got sent to schools 3 hours away and ended up working over 60 hours a week usually, during the summer when we went to do sr. pics the schools wouldn't turn on the AC (summer in Texas/Oklahoma is FREAKIN HOT!) so we'd work the entire day inside a gym or tiny classroom with a fan that we were smart enough to bring.

I have sooooooooo many complaints about this place, they're a ridiculous company and I don't reccommend anyone ever working for them.

wagnerb3 in Columbus, Ohio

67 months ago

I would have to agree with the comments that are stated above. I work for a large company in HR and I decided to get a part-time job for the holidays. The jobs sounded like it would be enjoyable and I thought that I would be worked with respectable individuals. That was definately not the case. The store manager is an embarrassment to the company as I was completely appalled to be apart of the company on a Saturday that I had worked. The manager had back-talked to customers and then came and complained about the customers to me in the waiting room with guest that were less than 15 feet away. Not only did the manager say that she doesn't need to handle an angry guests' attitudes, she also stated that she didn't care if they ever came back.

I also experienced that the manager and their assistant manager would ask their part-time associates to clock out early..... this would be against FLSA! Another big HR mistake with the store is that they openly talk about your hourly wage. When I had called in to speak to a manager about my paycheck - another associate (the manager's friend) told me that the store mgr was busy and she was to help me with my pay issue. Clearly there is a breach of confidentially when an hourly associate is explaining to a seasonal associate about their pay.

All in all - this was a horrible mistake to get a part-time job for such a joke of a company. I would not recommend anyone working for their portrait studio, as well as any guest getting their pictures taken there. I would spend a little extra money to get my pictures taken and be treated with respect.

Aryanna in Florida

65 months ago

If you work for this company it really depends on your Studio Manager if it'll suck or not. 10 minutes in a camera room to capture 15-20 amazing pictures, all different, layering, different eye directions and expressions. Are you kidding me? Then when we're booked every 10 minutes at Christmas it's insane! Everyone is always complaining that we are running behind. Well here's the issue if a guest wants to do an outfit change or two that takes more than 5 minutes if it's a young child. Then if you say no, the guest gets pissed at us. One thing that pissed me off last Christmas was that my studio manager said no outfit changes on weekends but if someone screamed loud and long enough she'd let them. So then I have the people who were before yelling at me because they don't understand why someone else was allowed to do it. Oh and those stupid dial for sits where we have to call people who haven't come in on their own, some of them not for a few years and ask them if they want to schedule a sitting.. it's pointless. No one wants to. Why can't an auto email be sent out w/ a coupon? The training for this company also sucks! I had worked for another portrait studio before comming here so I knew what I was doing. Seriously though! 32 hours of training for highschool girls and ones that are barely out of highschool who have never held a camera. I get so sick of having customers yelling at me because body parts are missing (cut off), the posing is awful, or the ligting is bad. It would be a lot nicer if I they only hired people who know what they are doing. I will only allow my studio manager or myself to take pictuers of my kids. I don't trust any of the other employees. That's sad.

Brien in Quakertown, Pennsylvania

64 months ago

Host said: Every business has it's own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc.?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc.?

I went to work for Lifetouch Church Directories. This is a commission only position. You are usually sent out with with two other employees. You are supposed to take turns. Found myself in a situation with another employee whereby he would time his activity with his current customer so as to be able to pounce on a waiting customer who, by appearance, was there to buy. He was cherry picking. I brought this to the attention of my supervisor. He did nothing. So because of his lack of action pertaining to this matter, I had to confront the individual on my own. I mean, he was being allowed to steal money from me. Because I confronted him, because my supervisor had no backbone, the "ASS" reported me to Corporate as having threatened him and I was called to task. They could do nothing, as I had grounds to defend myself and I most certainly did not physically threaten him. They chose to handle the situation by not letting me work with him. Guess what, my stupidvisor gave him all the work and left me to starve. Predjudice, discrimination, favoritism.....and this guy claims to be a MINISTER. By the way, he still owes me $108.00 for the last job I did for him in November 2009.
So, because of this, I decided to try out Lifetouch National School Studios. I was interviewed by an older gentleman. This position paid by the hour. I was told it would be full-time. Well, that was a lie. Lucky to get three days a week. Also, wasn't told that the real boss was the son of the office manager. He also, has a little brother working there. The older gentleman's wife also worked there. Family Business.

Yet Another Ex Lifetouch Employee in Chattanooga, Tennessee

63 months ago

Host said: Every business has it's own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc.?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc.?

Best job I ever had while I was naive. Then John Love and Karen Bonse were sent in by headquarters in Minnesota. I didn't like John Love the moment I saw him and I sure didn't trust Karen 'cut throat' Bonse. Honestly if she saw the term 'cut throat' applied to her, I believe it would flatter her. I liken my experience at Lifetouch to being in an abusive relationship- The abuser threatens you, makes impossible demands, wants you to slip up, beats down your spirit, and blames you for it not working out. It was my first and last big company job. Lifetouch is failing now, because they sell you a nickle for five dollars. They have insulted the customers' intelligence by offering them point and shoot quality at Vogue prices. Granted there are some great photographers there but they are few and not permitted to help the other photographers do well too, simply because Lifetouch does not care about all of the things they promise on their website.
***Hard Facts***
That was my experience as a lab tech there. I would retouch senior portraits and my quota was 80% proficiency while another employee's was 110-130%. What does this mean? That I sucked? no. That I got threatened with loss of job by the leads and managers? yes.
Here's how to read those numbers-
We were required to retouch 12 senior portraits per hour via Photo Shop. I averaged 9-11 per hour, while 'Joe' averaged 15-16 per hour. Looks good for 'Joe' right? Well let's add more facts.
If a picture was half-assed retouched and a parent could see big zits on their kid's face, and the parent complained about it then the picture was.

Yet Another Ex Lifetouch Employee in Chattanooga, Tennessee

63 months ago

Host said: Every business has it's own style. What is the office environment and culture like at Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc.?

Are people dressed in business casual, jeans and t-shirts, or full-on suits? Do folks get together for Friday happy hours and friendly get-togethers?

What is a typical day in the life of an employee at Lifetouch Portrait Studios, Inc.?

sent back to Lifetouch to be done right the second time. This photo being sent back was not deducted from 'Joe's' quota. His 110% quota was safe. On average most retouchers got back 30-40% of their work and that's only because those parents demanded quality and sent the pics back. Some parents don't send them back and just accept that they paid $200-300 for crap. In three years I averaged 2-5 pictures a year coming back out of hundreds and hundreds. Everybody knew I had the lowest returns, which really if returns were counted since a return is as good as not having been done right in the first place my quota would've been well above Joe's. Finally the pressure became to much and I was given an ultimatum. A lead sat with me and watched me retouch and said just let them go to print if the pimples are small. I returned with, "what if the customer returns them? I don't want a picture like this if it were my kid" and the lead assured me with "Most parents are to afraid or lazy to return the photos. They've been waiting on them so long that they are just glad they have them. And the ones that do return them we just send to the CR dept. That's more work for them, they need the hours." Wow just wow!
So I took on the quantity over quality mindset out of fear for my job and my quota sky rocketed to 150%. I was getting pats on the back and approving 'good job's from superiors, as well as a flood of returns which none of them cared about.
They have closed two plants in the last year, cut out company holiday party, cut bonuses in half, high number of people fired, quit, retired just this winte

Honda in Indianapolis, Indiana

62 months ago

The thought of Lifetouch employees getting together outside of work is hilarious since they don't pay you enough to go out for cocktails.
I started working at a JCP Studio during the last holiday season about the same time as the new studio manager. At first, the job was fine. I came in as told and sold photographs throughout the holiday season. Then, because I was doing so well, was invited to stay on and learn the camera room. Very quickly after that I was also in charge of closing the store, but was told very clearly that I would not be receiving a pay raise until a year after my employment.
My particular store had a manger and an assistant manager who only worked during the day, at the same time, and most days left before 5 o'clock. This would leave me alone, newly trained, and closing the store. Often times I would be scheduled to leave at 7pm only to be told at the last minute that I needed to stay and close (around 8:20pm). Little things like that started escalating quickly and soon I was asked to clock out and keep working. Lifetouch has a very strict set of rules regarding how many hours employees can be on the clock vs. how many Guests they have. The rules are so stringent that managers feel pressure to ask you to clock out and keep working.
Lifetime adheres to what the call a 40 minute experience which leaves 10 minutes in the camera room to capture 2 different backdrops, 3 layers (or stories, basically props of various sorts), parent involvement, blah blah and 17 different angles. IMPOSSIBLE 95% of the time. Then they continually grade your photographs, expect you to not care about the grade, saying it is only a training tool. Yet, the grade is published for all corporate to see with no chance for you to explain why the sit went a certain way. You can have a high sale, a fantastic published review, and get 3 out of 17 on a grade?
Bottom line, too much stress for $9/hr.
Not a good fit if you work hard, sell high and know what you are worth.

Sick of the lifetouch games in Portsmouth, Virginia

57 months ago

I had been working for another photography company and had my own side photography website.
when the DM called and offered me a job with JCP studios i stated on the phone to look at my website and that i have had that for years they said that was not a problum. i was just going to be a photographer no longer a manager simple 40 hours a week where the other job i was about 60 plus phone and driving times. and i was to get more money. i was never trained on there old school way of things. money on paper #'s called in. camera not in the hand. then 30 hours in to the job offered management and double the pay. then 8 mos later my website is an issue. we need higher sales. $150 sales ave. i am asked to work off the cloce. i step down from managment. drive all over. more no lunch less pay i gave 2 days notice i was sick manager said she did not care to come in she had something to do.
i was asked to lie to guest. this whole company is sad. our district has went through meny DMs
scandals. not getting paid. even snopping in to the emplyees personal life. i was even told " your a military wife and a mom of a speical needs kid maybe working is not for you" WTH i have always worked even when my kids where sick. and hubby deplyed and i never told this studio manager or DM this, i was told i was racest ok i am fighting to adopt kids that are not the same race as me. and most of my family is not the same race as me. ok
i was told they cant afford to pay me what i am makeing i had already taken pay cuts.
that i push the limits of photography, i was writen up for a pose that was published?? then i go out of state and see others doin it. i was writen up for not takein a lunch becouse i had called the studio manager out befor for leaving for 3 hours and not letting any one take a lunch
they always change the times you work at the last min. even leave you to close or stay later with out even asking. hello if i am scheadled to leave a 2 you need to ask me if you need me to stay

Sick of the lifetouch games in Portsmouth, Virginia

57 months ago

there is a big diff. between getting of at 2 and 8. my kids get home a 4 so i dont have a sitter sitting there just in case i have to stay with out notice. now ask me so i can make a phone call. or dont email me asking me to come in in about an hour i may not get that for 2 days.
oh and the back up shifts that they expect you to sit around ready to go with up to 3 hours notice. ok yah then you better pay me to have a sitter for just in case. and to not leave the town just in case i am needed. the grading of the photography. ok with out a spot for the photographer to put in the notes about the session if a guest says i only want this back groun and all the kids together only this pose yah they are not going to get that i know as a guest. becouse that photographer MUST not have a douplacit pose MUST have 2-3 background 3-4 layers. 2 diff eye derection a side light yah well i may not want any of that stuff and need 15 diff poses or brake downs all on the same background and well that photographer will get a low score and possibly a write up. lifetouch does not care about the emplyees or there guest they only care about $$$$. it is sad and there is so much going on in the background of the company that they are going to loss everything. dont waise your time to work here.

nothing but the truth in North Andover, Massachusetts

54 months ago

I worked for LPS for 6 years. (prior to LPS I had 4 yrs studio exp) After 3 months of working for this company I was promoted to manager. First off no one ever came to my studio to train me, I was just thrown into a studio. But I made that studio jump a volume & because I did so well no one trained me...I basically trained myself. I was then transferred to a higher volume studio in 2006. I then turned that studio to be the 1st B volume studio ever in our district. I can say my 1st year as a manager I didn't know what to expect. Everyday/minute that studio was open I was working. At the time my kids were young and I missed out about a year of spending time with them, by the time I got home they were in bed.
I have bent over backwards for the company. I have worked off the clock as well, let alone promote the studio after it was closed with the mall during special event nights. My photography has been published on several coupons, Focus book two times in 1 year, posters, web sites, training material so much more. I even was selected as one of the top 15 photographers in the company winning one of the Chairman's awards.
This year I experienced an injury 7/2010 at work. I file workmans comp since I was still able to do 1/2 my job I was doing desk, sales work & getting ready to hire seasonal staff. I fly out in 9/2010 to accept my Chairman's award come back (ps- I'm still injured) and 2 days later my DM puts me on unpaid suspension for something that happened almost a year ago!! Then between my DM & HR it takes them 3 WKS to figure out if they are going to fire me or not. I don't know any company that takes 3 weeks to decide to let someone go. But they offer me 3 wks of severance pay as long as I sign a paper stating I won't sue them. Pffft...
They ruined my life! I had a great job that I loved it was my 2nd home. Then slap me in the face & take away my passion all because I'm injured. Now I have to worry each day how I'm going to keep the roof over my kids heads

nothing but the truth in North Andover, Massachusetts

54 months ago


lps sucks in Minor Hill, Tennessee

49 months ago

omg, how did this company obtain a license to screw so many people over? i have never met so many backstabbers in my life. i believe every word that is written about this company.

Me in Orlando, Florida

47 months ago

This is the worst f***ing company to work for. THey are only going to give you h**, 3-10 hours a week if your a lucky one. They are never going to be happy with your performance. And have wicked and unrealistic expectations.

I say that this employer is a jock, it is not a real job, and anyone looking for a job should run the other way.

Top it off they are racist, pricks working for this company! File an EEOC complaint if they do cross the line, they are crude and calus and could careless about the law. They even have you work off the clock, and oh yeah, will cut your hours just because. They start employees at 7.25 -8.00 bucks and Hour.

If people want to be customershere. well- I recommend going to a more upscale studio- cause here they are going to give you the shaft- no customers do not come first here- it is profits of the company that matter to Target Portrait Studios, JCPennies Portrait Studios and Lifetouch Portrait Studios.

They are a piece of s**t company!

Malonzo in Monterey, California

31 months ago

I do not work for this company but I do have a complaint on religious basis. A woman in Salinas took my family's photo and subtly ridiculed me about my religion. I happen to be Catholic and she tried to verbally back me into a corner about my beliefs. Do any of you know how to contact her regional manager?

sick of lifetouch in Virginia

31 months ago

call the 1-800-95-smile ( it should be on there website, and your photo package,
also right a formal letter mailing to the home office, in eden prare, MN
also go online www.lifetouch.com/contact-us here
mail a letter to the studio to address it to "district manager" and complain to the host store,
there are alot of people that should not be working with people that have costomer servic jobs,
hope this helps
that was un called for, no matter what your religian, your sexuality, your race, non of that matters, you should have been treated with 100% respect, i am so sorry you had to deal with that.

Malonzo in Salinas, California

31 months ago

Thank you much, I was appalled having to sit my family down with her. I understand english but my accent is heavy, she may have thought I wouldn’t understand the questions as being mean. Many people do not speak very good english here, a lot of us are mexican and Catholic and I can just imagine her asking these questions to people who don't understand then laughing about it. There are things I do and I don't agree with about being a Catholic and I shouldn't be made to feel silly about how someone else views my religion. Again, thank you, it is helpful.

Don'tbelieveit in Phoenix, Arizona

31 months ago

Sounds like that place is trying to rake in as much as they can, cheaply, because they won't be there tomorrow.

Seems like all of the schools send their pupils there for school pics and grad pics. There should be options, for competition.

Positive in Aurora, Colorado

29 months ago

I enjoy working for Lifetouch. I have never been abused in any way by Lifetouch. I suggest working for the preschool division if you have a child or like woking the same schedule as schools (ie. summers and winter breaks off). The preschool division can get a little repetitive doing the same pose child after child, however there has been a big push in the last couple of years to get the photographers to be more creative through posing and even light manipulation. Biggest benefit however is learning how to interact with children. I photograph a few hundred of children a week, and that is a lot of practice on getting kid to smile and pose which I use in the off-season for my own personal photography.

Also I have read a lot of negative comments about Lifetouch in this thread that I have not experienced. Take into consideration that there are over 10,000 employees that work for Lifetouch. Any company would love to be able to employ anybody let alone that many and have all of them be professional. Just remember that when you apply and interview for a job you are interviewing that job as well to make sure you and the job will make a good fit.

Uprooted in Charlotte, North Carolina

24 months ago

Lifetouch is a snowball juggernaut of a company that eats smaller fish in the photo industry, mostly for the volume and sales leads. They acquire, then spit out the acquired people and tie them up with non-compete clauses.

They underpay employees by HUGE margins, 40% to 60% less than the companies they buy. That's why they keep going... They make their employees work for pennies on the dollars their competitors pay.

Culture is cutthroat. Quality is a joke. They demand excellence, but don't provide the resources to get it. They use the word Wow! a lot. It falls with a thud.

While its true there are many dedicated people there, I didn't meet one who was secure in what they were doing, happy with their management, or thought their chances for advancement and long term growth were good. I saw a lot of fat and thuggish managers and a lot more overworked, underpaid women whining about their workloads.

Drew in Detroit, Michigan

23 months ago

Hi ex-Lifetouch employee,
Did you ever go to the labor board? What happened? Because they are indeed the worst company to ever work for. They Stewart you out of you're break and luck times and hours if you don't watch then closely. What ever happened in your case?

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.