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Picture Me Portrait Studio (CPI) / Unprofessional, shady practices

1 1706 Washington aveSt Louis, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 1-888-742-6386

I have worked for this company for 5 years as an hourly studio manager. Let me enlighten you as to how this company works.

They advertise a $4.99 package for 30 portraits of one pose. Then we're suppose to sell you at least $80 more, or we're written up & fired for low numbers. It doesn't matter how loyal we are to the company, or how good we are. Money talks.

We're harassed via email, and voice mail on a daily basis. Our jobs are constantly threatened because YOU, the customer, can't afford to purchase more. When an employee argues that the economy is bad right now, people can't afford luxury items, we're told this is just an EXCUSE. Do whatever it takes to sell more, or lose your job.

I've spent thousands of dollars on props for my studio, to give the customer what they want. I've gone out of my way to keep things new and fresh, and quite frankly my customers are spoiled.

Corporate doesn't provide ANYTHING other then equipment, cheesy numbers, and a god-awful bear.

I spend a small fortune on lollypops for "My kids" as well as balloons for those who can't have them. I do this because I love my job, and I love what I do. As a result I have a solid clientele base in 3 states. I have people who travel up to 3 hrs or more just so that *I *can photograph their children. What an amazing compliment!!

I will miss you all.

You see, I won't pressure sell. I don't like it when it's done to me, so why would I do that to my customer? In fact I'll go out of my way to show them how to get what they want at a better value. It's why they always come back.

I've trained some of the best photographers in this region, without being paid to do so. I'm the one my Market Manager, and Market Director ask to cover their vacations. I've been offered both jobs at the laughable wage of $28, 000 -$35, 000 a year for either job is NOT incentive for advancement. Since turning down said positions, I've refused to do either training, or cover for them due to no raise in years. I've gone above and beyond, and have had no raise due to "Low Numbers" and yet I'm offered a promotion?

I've won their portrait competitions; I've worked when my doctor wanted me hospitalized, under the threat of losing my job if my studio is "Dark." (Closed) I've been vomiting in the studio and told point blank "You can't leave."

I've also been written up for insubordination when I walked out of the studio the day my 7 yr old daughter broke her arm at school, and my boss said I should be thankful I wasn't fired for leaving.

This is how this company treats US.

Recently we were all told we had to be on call 24/7. We have to work on our days off, even if it is "Just a phone call" - mind you I am an HOURLY manager. I do not get paid to do these things, so I refused.

I recently found my job posted as available online and they (my boss') won't respond to me. So I don't know if I'm fired, or what's going on. Very professional behavior, don't you think??

I emptied my studio yesterday, and it was a sad moment to realize all I've done, all I've accomplished, and what I've lost because THE CUSTOMER can't afford to buy what I shoot.

So for those of you complaining about horrible studio experiences, and how the photographer didn’t know what the hell they were doing, etc. This is why none of the good ones ever stay.

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  • Th
      22nd of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I work for CPI picture me studios as the assistant manager. If I didn't love the children, I'd never do it. Customers yell at me all the time over corporate policies I can't change. I so understand. I'm slowly going bankrupt for all the props that I buy and "they" just keep piling on more and more that they want done everyday. I do what I have to do. I run a $112 average most of the time, but that one day out of 30 that I don't, I get to hear about it...and then hear about it from someone higher up...and then again. Thanks you guys.

  • Ja
      24th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am DM for this company and have been here more than 3yrs. I have been told that I to will lose my job if my associates do not run the numbers I have 3weeks. I am to write up one week if does not get better we are told to recruit and rehire. We are verbally abused on a regular basis by our regionals and above. I am trying to hang in there until I can find something else. I have a family to support and can't just walk away, but if I can't bully people into buying then they will just fire me any way. No matter how many days in a row I work (6dy 7:00am to 8 or 9:00pm is a day)or the 5oo miles I travel for them a month on my dime. What was I thinking when I took this job? I am sorry to hear about your situation on feel for you since I agree this is a horrible abusive company.

  • Sl
      26th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    Yeah, well I can top all of you. I run $100+ averages every single day, and just found out that they're closing my studio due to not shooting the MINIMUM of 40 people a week. I get on average around 20-25 a week, but it is typical for this time of year, as it's slow season in a small town.

    Corporate doesn't care that I make more money then most studios that ARE shooting 40 a week. I am closed. I've lost my job without any warning, after 7 years with this f'ing company!! Betrayed doesn't even come close to what I'm feeling right now.

    To the DM... I feel your pain! I've watched mine get put into tears compliments of her regional's abuse. I've seen her have to drive 4 hrs to open a "Dark" studio for 10 min, just to say it was open. I've witnessed her rolling coins to scrounge enough money for gas to get to the next "Priority" studio, on day 7 straight with regional breathing down her neck as to why she isn't there yet. I've told her several times to record her Regional. The verbal abuse she puts up with blows my mind! It is illegal to treat your employee's in such a manner, but until enough of us stand up for ourselves, nothing will change. We're all replaceable.

    What the hell is wrong with this company?? Nothing has changed since CPI took over, in fact it's gotten worse with their micromanaging BS. With all the new reports and what not, it's like they're phasing out the Dm and MM jobs.

    I know a girl who was removed from the schedule for 3 weeks now. One of the best in the region. She hasn't been fired, but we were all told not to speak to her about company business as she is no longer with us. She Hasn't been written up. They just refuse to use her, and are waiting for her to quit, so they don't have to pay her unemployment. Boy are they in for a surprise! Do these ###s even know the labor laws??

    CPI is famous for taking over a company and wiping out everyone that dares to voice their opinion. My previous manager who was hourly mind you, was fired 2 months ago because she refused to train anymore for her market manager, aka training the District, which is not in her job description. When she was denied a raise again for the 4th year in a row, she refused to do any extra duties.

    She refused to work from home on her days off (confrence calls, scheduling, meetings) She refused to go to the mandatory meetings every single week, because we WILL NOT be reimbursed for traveling. She refused to spend a dime of her own money on balloons, or star bursts the company wants us to use to run a promotion. If they want it, they can provide it! Why go to a meeting you won't be paid for? Why spend our money because THEY want us to? Why should we be asked to work from home and not get paid for it? These people are unbelievable!

    So yeah, I feel your pain guys... this company sucks to work for. I love what I do, which is why I've stayed as long as I have. It's like an abusive relationship working for this company. Once your in it for any length of time, you just come to accept it as normal, no matter what they do to us.

  • Wo
      26th of Aug, 2008
    -1 Votes

    "It's like an abusive relationship working for this company. Once you're in it for any length of time, you just come to accept it as normal, no matter what they do to us."

    *Clapping* I couldn't of said it better myself!

    I use to run a studio in FL, (3 1/2 yrs) and you all know there is the 13 week rotating average, that allows for a few bad weeks, as long as your 13 week total average is at the min. $80. I had ONE BAD DAY, where no matter what I did, I couldn't get anyone to come in. We're in the middle of hurrican season, and it's been down right scary in my area lately, but that's just an "Excuse" as Mercy said.

    I got written up for shooting no one that day. I got a "written" 2 days later for having only a $74 average. A week after that I received my "Final" for running a $67 average. Then I was pulled from the schedule, and fired after not working for 2 weeks.

    What is the point of the 13 week rotating average then? I don't care who you are, NO ONE can hold an $80 EVERY SINGLE DAY. We all have bad days. It's a given. According to company policy it's what you have at the end of 13 weeks that counts, but apparently they don't have to play by their own rules.

  • Me
      26th of Aug, 2008
    -1 Votes

    Wow... I don't know weather to feel relieved or sad for all of you. It's nice to see I'm not alone.

    A note for the parents who happen to read these statements:

    1. CPI does NOT drug test prior to employment.

    2. I've seen a coke feloney on parole get hired without a GED or diploma. So you can safely assume the screening process is a joke.

    3. Background checks are simple, and basic. It's a pedophiles dream job.

    4. 9 times out of 10 refrences are NOT checked prior to employment.

    Basically if you can read, and write enough to fill out the application, you can get a job working with kids at this company.

  • Ca
      27th of Aug, 2008
    -1 Votes

    Welcome to my nightmare.

    I've been at the Sears Portrait Studio for 8 years. What you at Picture Me are experiencing is just the beginning with this company. Trust me, it WILL get worse.

    They won't phase out the DM/MM's - just lighten their workload, so that all they have to do is train, coach, and fire. Keep each District a fine tuned machine. All the other paperwork crap falls onto each studio manager.

    Watch out for the "Realignment" it usually happens 6-8 months after digital conversion. You'll know it's coming when suddenly a lot of people are harassed to the point that they quit, get fired, or are just removed from the schedule. They'll start these "Mandatory Meetings" each week for like 5 weeks before the Realignment. This is your corporate Brainwashing. Those who argue any policy or demand are replaced. CPI is of the mind that YOU will do it our way, or someone else will. We're all replaceable.

    They're going to clean house, then hire idiots who know nothing at like $12 an hour, which if your like me, you'll be pissed off, and wondering WTF? But here's the thing. Corporate can mold these minions into what they want, and they will do it without question because of the money.

    Besides, there’s no one left who would voice an opinion.

    Stores will close. You’re going to get down to 1 person a studio, to absorb the strays, and not have to spend $$$ in training. Don’t panic, CPI will send in the suits to scare you into shooting and selling more, so you’ll learn to work together, or cut each other up. Either way they make money so they don’t care.

    If you’ve made it this far into their “selection” process, you’re job is secure until January.

    Why the hell do I stay here? LOL…. It’s gotta be that abusive relationship!

  • Do
      30th of Aug, 2008
    +1 Votes

    The sad part about all of this is the company has strayed away from actual photography to promote sales. A lot of the workers in the studios have a fundamental lack of knowledge concerning digital photography, yet are given very sophisticated cameras that they are given minimal training on. To top it off, a lot of studio managers are off on Sundays, and leave inexperienced reps there who largely have to fend for themselves. If knowledge and photography skills would be focused on instead of sales skills, high sales would not be an issue because that would happen naturally.

  • Ph
      31st of Aug, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I agree with you doe. My work sells itself, but I could sell more if I could move the lights, or actually adjust the settings according to the color of the subject.

    This company tries to make it "Idiot proof" since for the most part all they hire are "Idiots" (no offence to anyone) We all know about the bodies they hire.

    Plus they're into quantity, not quality. It would take time to adjust the settings, and lighting. We can't have that now can we? And that would leave more room for error for those "idiots" who know nothing.

    I've been here for 4 1/2 years. This would've been my 5th Christmas, but I've given my notice, and will be gone in 2 weeks. I honestly can't take the BS anymore.

    When I shoot one in the morning and I'm sitting on a $149 + average, and I feel the need to lie to customers, and tell them my camera is broken for the rest of the day, just so I can hold onto my average, there is something seriously wrong.

    When did sales become more important then the customer? This company has sucked the fun right out of this job.

    I feel bad for the customers I leave behind, and the newbies who will no doubt take the brunt of their anger, but I don't love it enough to take the abuse we deal with on a daily basis. When I feel I have to lie to the customer to save my job, I know I've reached my limit.

    It's the customer that signs our paychecks. It's the talent of the photographers that keep the customers coming back. Lose the talent, and you'll lose the customer.

    CPI will learn this the hard way.

  • Wa
      2nd of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am a relatively new DM. I’ve only been in this position for a year and a half, and quite honestly I don't know how the hell I've made it this far without going postal!

    I have 18 stores in my district, and out of the 18 only 14 were dependable. You’ll understand that “were” in a moment.

    Corporate solution is to fire everyone, legally or otherwise who cannot maintain the $80 PRS and 40 customers per week. Replace them all. I am forced to treat these employees like they’re a bunch of 2 yr olds. Ride them. Harass them. Basically treat them as I am being treated, which is not encouraging a productive work environment. CPI spent 92 Million dollars on THIS? One would think they’d want a return on their investment. Not a revolving door, but what do I know?

    I’ve had to let go some of my best photographers for voicing their opinions. They were aware of the labor laws, and weren’t afraid to inform others, I had to remove them from the schedule to stop the spread of information. Find something, anything on them that I could fire them for, and do so. And they wonder why revenue is DOWN? Why Volume is DOWN? Lets see GENIUS, you made me fire my BEST, and replace them with ###S! When you lose the talent, you LOSE THE CUSTOMERS. You can’t force people to work off the clock. You can’t with hold someone’s overtime. You cannot declare mandatory meetings and then say “No we’re not paying you.” And not expect a negative response. Basically you can’t treat people like ### and expect to get away with it.

    So out of the 14 that “were” dependable, I’m now down to 0. Out of 18 studios, I have 0 that are reliable, and I’ve had it. After the mass firing spree I was forced to go on, the rest walked. Regional makes a mess of our entire flipping district, blames ME for it all, and gives ME a time frame to clean up HIS MESS, or I’m fired. Yeah, I’m sure you all can guess what I think of that.

    CPI needs to take a nice, long hard look at WHO they have in upper management, and then they’d learn the WHY.

    Why is volume down?
    Why is revenue down?
    Why is morale down?
    Why is there a revolving door?

  • Ma
      9th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes
    Picture Me Portrait Studio (CPI) - Horrible Service
    Picture Me Portrait Studio
    New Hampshire
    United States
    Phone: 603-672-0302

    I went to store #1796 in Amherst NH Sunday evening and had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting Stacy, the new manager. She was busy, which I understand. I have no problem waiting my turn, especially when I can clearly see this girl is doing her “best.” But when I have to wait 45 minutes to be acknowledged, and there is only ONE customer she is currently working with at the computers, then yes I am going to get annoyed.

    She knew I was there. She looked up several times, and not once did she say a word to me. Not once. I grabbed a magazine from Wal-Mart, and sat in the studio’s waiting area and read it. When I finished with that one, I got another.

    Finally I got sick of waiting, and said, "Excuse me" and Stacy came over and asked how she could help me. Customer service at it’s best right there.

    I explained how I was missing photos from my order, and I'd like them re-ordered. I had the envelope with me with the photos that did arrive, the paperwork showing the original order, and the receipt.

    Stacy looked everything over, looked back at her customer at the computer, then asked if I could go shopping, and come back in about 30 minutes or so? That she had to finish up with her sale, and then she could re-order my pictures.

    I told her politely that no, I can't do that. I've all ready waited an hour at this point, for something that should've been a 5 min fix. It's their mistake, and I'd like it fixed please. I'm trying to remain calm, and be civil, and Stacy actually ROLLED HER EYES AT ME! She told me that I could either wait for her to finish with her current customer, or come back at another time.

    I asked if I could have customer service’s phone number that maybe they could help me, and she said she didn’t know it. So I asked if I could speak to a manager, and she said she WAS the manager! This floored me. What manager doesn’t know how to contact customer service? A new one apparently. And a poorly trained one at that, but I digress.

    Stacy told me there was nothing more she could do for me, she gave me my options, wait, or come back, and she went back to her customer at the computer. Apologizing TO HER, for the wait! Can you believe that?

    I have been going to this studio for 5 years, and I don’t know what happened to the previous manager, but had she of been there, THIS wouldn’t have occurred.

    THEY made a mistake, and pictures are missing from my order. Stacy made me wait an hour was juvenile, then thought I’d wait longer, or come back to fix what shouldn’t have happened to begin with? No. That is not customer service.

    Once I have what is owed to me, I will never use their services again, and would strongly recommend everyone else do the same.

  • Sa
      9th of Sep, 2008
    -1 Votes

    If some of these CPI employees would look at where Picture Me was verses where they are now, it might help them understand somethings. First, if CPI hadn't purchased PCA(former owners) a year ago, none of us would have a job today. PCA would never have come out of Chapter 11 and would have been forced into bankruptcy. Second CPI has invested over 25 million to bring Pic Me current with Digital equipment. Not to mention what they spent to purchase PCA and the Debt service they took over. In fact CPI's stodk value went from $80 per share in April of 07 to under $20 a share now. They have to make Pic Me a money making concern. They have to ask for more then Pic Me's previous performance and sales average.
    As far as the addional work being placed on studio managers, each one got a $1.50 raise when they accepted the position in May. As far as hiring practices go, if the Studio Manager have not checked references before they turn the applicant over to the DM for approval, who is at fault?
    Yes CPI has made some misstakes. They have no clear idea of the Wal-Mart Customer's desires. They will learn, if we help them. Not run and complain the first time going gets tough. I've been in sales management for over 25 years and there is 2 kinds of employees, winners and complainers. In sales, that is what our business is, you, the sales person will achieve what you really really want to. It is up to you. By the way any sales managment position has a ton of reports and paper work.
    Yes I've been hurt, CPI eliminated my positon as a Trainer. A postion I really enjoyed, but now I am a studio manager and I enjoy it too. THINK POSITIVE!
    Let be positive and show CPI that it wasn't the fields fault that PCA had problems. DMS most are going to a meeting soon, voice your concerns!

  • Jc
      19th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Same exact story only in the Mesa, Az store, only worse. Where do they hire these rude, arrogant, flunkies???

  • Ap
      20th of Sep, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I highly agree with every complaint here. I myself work for PictureMe Studios and have been dealing with almost ALL of these issues lately. I was so shocked when I read all of these complaints because I thought the higher managers were just picking on my studio but it is good to know we are not alone in this. In my opinion this company has gotten alot worse since we went digital and I don't expect things to get any better.

    Some people say we should stop complaining but when you do your job and try your best and still get put down on a daily basis and your being threatened by upper management that your going to be written up or fired for the stupidest things its hard not to complain. The upper management in my district are a very unproffessional, unorganized, group of people who I wouldn't trust to hold a knife for me, it would be my luck they would stab me in the back with it. Its easy to say "don't complain" but I am being treated like dirt and I have let it go on way to long and I am not going to deal with it anymore. I have been made to work holidays without holiday pay, I never hear from upper management unless my average is too low, you know, there is no way they will have time to call or email me and say "Hey, your doing good, keep up the good work!" and the posing thing is making me nuts! I am constantly getting griped at because I can't "make" everybodys child stay on the table to take 7 poses.

    That is one of main problems, not every child is going to let you get the pictures that you are required to take, sometimes it is just impossible. I have been told to tell the customer that I cannot sell any pictures to them without taking 7 poses unless they just wanted to buy by the sheet, how ridiculous is that?! Back during Christmas of 07' I actually sold a $59.99 with only one single pose. There is no reason to tell a customer what they can and can't buy after their sitting.

    Our job description changes on a daily basis which is no way to run a successful business. They have associates doing things that are the responsibility of managers, I am in that situation right now and the way I see it, I didn't ask to be a manager so I should'nt be expected to do their job. I feel like this company went digital way too soon, they dont have their facts straight, they are constantly changing prices, they don't live up to their return policy and they don't care about their customers. Its all about money, money, and more money.

    There have been times that I have explained our return policy to customers and they get ill because they don't like it (I don't either, I agree with them 100%) and call customer service and what do they do? They tell the customer something totally different and then the customers get mad at you because they think you lied to them.

    I knew things were going to get bad the first day I met my digital trainer. All she did was brag about how the company chose her as a trainer and how proud she was to finally be a professional photographer. Sorry folks but thats a lie, some of us are awesome photographers but we are NOT professionals.If we were we would not be working in a chain store studio. She also had nothing good to say about anybody in the company except the managers she had to kiss up to and her friends that she works with. She targeted one associate in particular that worked in the studio I was training in. She had NOTHING good to say about this associate, she even went as far as to use her pictures as examples of "what not to do" when shooting a sitting. She was talking about her one day during lunch and she said "she runs her mouth about me all the time and I don't understand why", HELLO!!! I can't think of a reason why she would talk about you either you dummy!

    In my studio we get no praise for doing a good job, we only get put down when things are not going so good. We have no support at all. I feel like I have way to much to much talent to stay in a studio like this. I thought by working for PictureMe I could gain confidence and learn more about photography but thats not what I am getting out of it. I am more confident but the only thing working here has taught me is that sometimes in life, you just have to stand up for what is right. You can't let people walk all over you no matter how hard they try. I LOVE photography, I want it to be my career for the rest of my life but when I walk into my studio, I just don't feel it, I would much rather be doing something else. I hope that in some way this helps somebody else who is going through this and I want to thank all of the associates managers for being so honest about the way this company treats their employees.

    Gossip is "in style" in my district and that is something I have no use for. I don't care about my employers personal problems, this is work, leave all that mess at home. NOBODY cares!

  • Wa
      22nd of Sep, 2008
    -1 Votes

    Our District is falling apart. Everyone is either quitting, getting fired, or just plain doesn't care anymore.

    We are running a skeleton crew, with studios always needing coverage, which leaves OTHER studios with the same person working 24/7. These people are burning out, and their numbers reflect it. They will be on the "Recruit and Replace" list very soon, which sucks, because it's this type of dedication that we WANT in our company. Corporate doesn't see it that way though. All they see is the bottom line.

    When did hard work & loyalty cease to matter?

    Our own employees don't want to be there! Why then would the customer want to come in? We have GOT to do something to build morale!

    Threats have the opposite of the desired effect. Threats do not improve performance. Threats of the Regional being in the area, threats of write ups, or losing their jobs only make an associate miserable for the rest of the day. They take it out on their customers, which reflects in their sales. It's not rocket science, and yet this is the only tactic used why again??

    When the Market Manager whines over voice mail how he/she may lose his/her job if the numbers don't come up, and you hear the desperation in their voice, do you think this "Scare tactic" is any more effective? No. Half the district is sitting down deliberately doing nothing hoping it's true.

    Common sense is seriously lacking in this corporation.

  • Wa
      23rd of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I had a similar situation in the same location (NH) with the same girl. She was extreemly rude, her photography was horrible, (Feet were cut off, off center, text was missing, mis spelt words, etc.) and when I pointed these obvious errors out, she actually asked me "Well do you want them or not?"

    That would be not.

    Then I had to wait 25 min while she tried to find someone who could help her do a refund, after she argued with me over policy, something about a 50% refund, to which I pointed out this was HER ERROR. Therefore according to the sign posted, I was entitled to a full refund. Then she tried to say I had to wait for a check from corporate, due to the amount, and I told her to call corporate now, as I wasn't waiting, and I wanted this resolved.

    Needless to say I got my money back, and I will never return to that studio, nor will I ever use Picture ME's services again. I'd rather pay more elsewhere, and know the product I'm getting is quality. Not to mention better customer service.

    I wasted 2 weeks, and $149. Now I have to wait 2 more weeks for that charge to be returned to my credit card, before I can go elsewhere, and I've lost my son's "First" pictures. I can't get that time back.

    It was frustrating, infuruating, and exhausting.

    Thank you for nothing Stacy.

  • We
      25th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    Oh My Gosh!! I am relieved yet saddend by how true my feelings were! I am an hourly associate who took the managers position at first but had to give it up (which I am reminded isn't how it works so I should be thankful to still have a job). They did not train us new managers for what they wanted done. We are now doing the work of our DM's so he can do what? Have a break? The other girl of 5 years quit and it's only me and a floater that is terrible. I have worked here a year (still haven't gotten my picture package...won't hold my breath) and I can't believe how long I have is like an abusive relationship, I actually feel terrible for not doing perfect. Our store has two other stores within reasonable distance and so our traffic is way down. Not sure how that's our fault that it's the economic depression that is causing people not to spend $300 on pictures..but that's just an "excuse"! People can't afford their homes or car payments but they can blow money on pictures. I am not the best sales person, I admit, but I will not force anyone to buy something they don't want!!

    Here's an idea, let's not sell the AO for 4.99!! Hike it up a bit so that we aren't giving pics away, or maybe reduce the package way down...DUH!! I had to deal with a light control box issue for TWO WEEKS!!! I was on the phone with tech everyday and they sent different parts and told me to do different things, ya, it works for now but it's just "patched". I asked the guy if they ever send someone to actually look at the equipment and he said, "The company doesn't really like to do that"!!! OMG!!

    So I am no longer manager but was asked to go to the mgr. meeting and I was shocked at what they are having to do...practically run their own "business" as it was put! Well, we make an hourly wage and have to be on call everyday and fix our own problems and budget our own money and etc...sheesh! And I was harrassed at least 3 times about coming back into the position. It's so secretive and shady now...I don't like it! Oh and I met our Regional and he's a sexual harrasment lawsuit waiting to happen...gotta love the quality of people that we work for! One of our bosses called me the night before to tell me to dress nice for our Regional because "he likes his girls looking nice"...yuck yuck yuck!!!

    I have never asked for a whole weekend off...I have worked when asked, done everything in my power, bought props, been great to customers, love being with the kids, but when I ask for a weekend off after a year on the job, I was told, "we'll see"!! No, it's like, "I'm going whether I gotta quit" They are pushing the good ones away and hiring any piece of crap to work there given they can sell!

    They don't care what you have to do to get to work, you better get there!!! A girl at another store broke her toe and they told her to take some extra strength tylenol and keep working, she needed to go to the doctor!! I had a blow out and almost wrecked and the first words out of my DM's mouth..."how long will it take you to cover the studio"!!

    It sickens me to know that they really don't care anything about you...they have sold their souls to work here and I won't!! When I was given the mgr. position, the other associate was manager and they never told her, they just slowly took her off the schedule until she was in tears wondering what was going on...I finally begged my DM to tell her since I wasn't allowed to. After she found out she went postal and was doing things wrong out of spite...they wouldn't fire her though, they waited until she quit so she couldn't get unemployment. I saw her the other day and she looked 10 years younger not being in this stressful job!!

    I don't quit because, one I do need a job and two I don't want to leave a mess, I do take pride in being a good employee and they force us to not be!

    I hate to agree with the statement about the lady saying she turned away customers when she had a good avg but that is how it's got to be done now...I hate when a AO blows my pkg plus 3 up sale!!!

    Oh, since I do actually have a day off...I am always so depressed when I am home, I get nothing done because I really dread going to work the next day!! I feel sick when I come to work, that's not good!

  • Ha
      27th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    According to the new handbook, you have to be with the company for 5 years before you get a free portrait package, so you've got another 4 yrs of hell before you see that, Pictureme Fed Up.

    I agree they should shrink the AO, or raise the price to reflect the amount of pictures, but they can't get people in now at $4.99, imagine what would happen if they raised it? LOL... I get a kick out of it now, as I've stolen most of my regular customers, hence their sudden drop in revenue. oopsie. And I can tell you I do not have some ridiculously low priced AO. But my people get what they pay for. That is where this company goes horribly wrong. But it works for me. *wink*

    I love what I do, and being fired for a "Violation of company Policy" via email (yeah, wasn't that nice? lol) will not stop me from doing what I love. It's actually made me get off my butt and get my own business started. It's great having creative freedom, and no rules other then my own. I made more money in one day, then I did in a week working for Picture Me.

    THAT is priceless.

    For those of you still stuck in that Picture ME rut... ask yourselves Why? We all have bills to pay, and any job will do that. Why are you staying where you're not appreciated, and abused on a daily basis? The christmas season is almost here, which means it's only going to get worse. But the upside to that is other places are now hiring like crazy.

    Get out while you can.

  • Ca
      27th of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am the former manager of that location, and can't believe how horribly wrong things have gone since my departure 2 months ago. I am soo sorry you guys! That studio was built on MY reputation, and to see what's being done to it hurts more then you will ever know.

    To my local angry customers, I hear your pain! Please feel free to email me. I am willing to shoot locally, and will come to you. My prices are reasonable, and I can do amazing portraiture you won't find anywhere else.

    I've been a photographer for 12 years. Had a brain cramp and gave corporate a try for 4 years (never again) and am now back to freelance photography. It is my passion. Let me show you what you've been missing!

  • Se
      5th of Oct, 2008
    -1 Votes

    I've gotta agree with everything above. Well, I guess I can't completely agree since I was over at SPS, but PictureMe sounds exactly the same. If you've got any stories, hop over to my website which my name may be a link to or just type in "Sears Portrait Studio Sucks" into google and you'll find me.

    What really got me is you get no recognition for doing well, but the moment your sales average went down you were in trouble. This is a job where you will get sales experience, not photography experience and it's sad that everyone goes in getting to think they'll get to, you know, be creative.

  • To
      7th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    How many of you are having issues with the online appointment scheduling? I had a group of 11 booked for 10am that must have booked after I closed, as it wasn't on the appt sheet when I printed it the night before. So I had NO TIME to call and warn these people that I can't fit 11 people in my tiny little studio.

    Needless to say they went up one side of me, and down the other, and will never return. All due to a computer that can't discern between studios and what we can and can't do. Not to mention the computer only allotted me 30 min for this group, which is impossible, and a newborn baby was booked right behind this.

    How hard would it be to have each studio in put the max they can photograph at one time? (Not hard at all) Why haven't they also included a spot for ages on the online appointment scheduler so that we know what is coming at us? It shouldn't matter my ###. Get two newborns back to back, which are not in the mood to be poked, and moved. Who need a feeding, change, etc. and then tell me you can shoot them, and sell in 30 min. YOU CAN'T. Not quality photographs anyways.

    Christmas is going to be a nightmare, and I plan on being gone wayyy before that happens. Can you imagine customers unwittingly booking online appts every 15 min. ?? They're going to be pissed when they show up for that mob. At least over the phone you can warn them, and it's their choice to brave it or not.

    I'm sick of coming home stressed out, and worried for my job after an 11 hr day, because my sales weren't what corporate wants. I'm tired of being yelled at, written up, and berated over voice mail due to "performance." It's not my fault everyone is broke. Deal with it. I was told to never turn someone away, so I end up at the studio until 8-9pm every single night. We close at 6pm!!

    I'm the only one who works at this studio. I'm lucky to get one day off every two weeks. I can't deal with this. Nothing I ever do is good enough.

    This is not worth $11 an hr.

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