Mom's with Cameras killing your business?

Started Feb 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
ranalli Senior Member • Posts: 1,016
Re: To Suntan

shooter2 wrote:

Look at the photographers side. We are trying to herd 6-15 ill behaved kids. We have to have the entire team to take a team photo. One is ALWAYS late and makes the whole team and every other team behind them. The late one has not filled out paper work. So we wait a little more or take another team that has actually showed up on time. Then the other parents on the team that is waiting get snotty at us. Then the mom (or dad) finally gets the paperwork filled out as gets mad because they are asked to pay. Sure, we will create a custom sculpture of your brat on spec. If you do not like it, we can sell it to another parent. Oh, I left my wallet 1) in the car 2) at home or 3) I aint gots no money. Can I pay later? So 1/2 hour late we finish with the team photo. 5 minutes later the coach comes back and says our star player just showed up, can we redo the team pic? OK. Sure. Round up the team and I will do it. He comes back in 20 minutes and 1/2 the team has aldeady left. Can you just photoshop him in? LOL. Or take the team pic with him and screw the other kids that showed up on time?

We used to allow parents to watch and take photos of the team with our pose. Not the individual on our background. We asked them to wait until we had our shots, so the little darlings would look at us while squirming. They would not even follow this simple rule. Or, they would yell the kids name right as you click and 1/2 the kids look. Or say SMILE and of course they all look to see what a$$hole said it. Now we do not allow parents in the entire area. And cameras are not allowed. But that does not stop them. They sneak behind you with their cellphone and want a free pic with our $200.00 background. Or the dad with a 400mm telephoto that thinks he is so cute. We now stop the entire team until the offending individuals leave the area. Of course the kid will not pay attention. I had one lady a few months ago demand to rub lotion in her soccer girls knees. Of course she was the late one and keeping 10 other munchkins posed while she rubbed lotion, then put ribbon in hair, then made her tie up jersyey on the side. She delayed to 30 other teams after her a good ten minutes and this gets compounded throughout the day.

So, why dont we hire more photographers? Most leagues in our area DEMAND 30-50% of the gross sales AND a participation medal for every kid, whether they buy pics or not. The profit per kid is razor thin. And you try and find 25 responsible competant photographers to show up at 6AM on a Saturday with gear that works and they know how to use. We have had shooters shoot an entire day and not record one photo number. What a nightmare to figure out who is what. I had a longtime lifetouch lady show up one day to shoot. She was illegally using her company camera. Since LT does not allow any creativity, their cameras are locked. They have a huge tumor on the side which locks it down. She had told us she was an experienced shooter with studio and on camera flash. She actually asked me how to put the flash on her camera and how to use it. It turns out, that camera was disabled for on camera flash and she had told us she had done this before and that it was her camera. Not hard to figure out with lifetouch bar codes all over it. Another lifetoucher showed up for indoor shoot, got all set up and asked me why her camera was blowing everything out. So. I came over, metered her liight for 125 F8 at iso 200. After shooting 3 teams, she came back over and told me it was still blowing out. I asked her what iso she had set. She looked at me funny like I was talking greek. She had her camera set to auto iso and did not know how to change it. So we ate a reshoot of those teams and end up giving free pics to irate parents.

Then we schedule photographers to shoot x amount of teams and a time schedule to shoot them. I have had days when 50% of the teams were no shows. And then they want to schedule special retake for just that team. It takes an hour to drive anywhere around here, set up shoot, break down and drive home. You have 4 hours at least to pay someone. Then the coach forgot to notify 1/2 the team, so they want to reschedule again. Or the coach is a no show. Or the team that was scheduled before their game. Everyone is so late, they come after the game. The teams that are there at their time get mad. The kids are all sweaty and the moms give the little ones pacifier suckers to shut them up. They cry when they cant have picture with sucker or they smila and teeth are green.

Walk a mile in our shoes before you whine. Not to mention the bad checks

Time to get in a new line of business.  This is a clear indication to do something else...photography related or not.  I can't think of a worse gig than what you're doing.  Your negotiating power is nil.

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