Bonney Lake Photographer: The Truth Behind Franchise Portrait Studios

This last weekend I had the privilege to meet with a franchise portrait studio and witness for myself what horrible corporations these are! Ok, Let's be honest, photography hasn't kept me as busy as I would like and I need a second income. So I found myself looking for a studio, that was reputable,  that would allow me to shoot all the time (like I love). I found myself dragging myself to an interview (training) on saturday and as soon as I showed up, I knew I should have listened to my gut. I walked into a group of 6, one of whom being the 'boss.' everyone else was a hobbyist, an ex monk, or an old man stuck in a rut. I was the only one standing there who had actually had any formal training. The 'boss' talked about technical greatness, the way the company ran and most of all, MONEY! He sounded so greedy! Ok, ok, yes, your photography business needs to make money to survive and to be able to continue to do what you love however, he made it sound like the only thing that mattered. The customer didn't matter to him! WHAT! My favorite part of owning a photography business is that I get to make lasting relationships and watch someone get married, then photograph their maternity session, then their newborn, ect. ect.

When the client showed up, he told us that the client had no idea that we would be doing a training for their session. THEN, to make matters worse, didn't even introduce the group to the client. How would you feel if you walked onto a set expecting a professional to photograph you and you found out a monk was going to take your picture? Someone who has had no training what so ever!?

So the way the session ran was that the 'boss' would shoot for 5-10 min out of a 30 min portrait session and then have then walk around the park with 3 trainees and have those 'photographers' shoot 10 min each. I was selected to go in the first group (probably because he noticed me trying to inch my way towards the door and because I had the most experience out of everyone else) I was the only one who actually talked to the client like a friend. I shook their hand, introduced myself and told them that I would be shooting them.  Everyone else just acted like the client didn't matter or like they weren't real people. Throughout the whole thing, the 'boss' didn't do anything and we were expected to give up our images for free since it was a 'interview/training'...? To top it all off, they expect that you don't know anything about copy write laws. As an independent contractor (which is what they hire you to be) images that you shoot are yours. They told us that is not true and that our images are actually theirs. Over all, I would NEVER get my portrait taken by a franchise button-pushing-monkey. I rather have a relationship with a photographer and go to them again and again because we have developed a friendship through the years of using their service. I hope this was informative. It feels good to get that all off my chest! :) G'night all!

Tayler