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12/1/09

She puts the $ in "Sale"

I hope that everyone had a happy, safe Thanksgiving weekend. We just had a quiet dinner with the five of us and my parents. There may or may not been a bit-o-drama that may or may not have been my fault. Jessica's boyfriend dropped by after we ate. The dogs tried to bite him.

He may have learned to keep his feelings about Michigan internal. At least when the dogs are in the room.

Being that both my mom and I work second jobs, this year we had to forgo the annual 4am trek to get the one item on everyone's list. As much as I hate going out into the crowd, I sort of missed it for some reason.

But I didn't realize my feelings until after I woke up at 7:30ish and was able to leisurely drink my coffee.
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So, the last you read, my second job involved serving country fresh breakfast or dinner. Well,
the move to the cash stand didn't work out so much. I was put on a "medical leave" which I may have taken the wrong way. I chose to find another avenue for revenue.

I am once again a "professional photographer."

Sure, at this time of year the stress is unbelievable, but it is different than making sure table 111 has their drinks, I put the order in for table 121, table 131 needs ketchup, the food for table 141 is up, and someone asked for something.....

::breathe::

Anyway, I have always missed the years I spent taking pictures. I was excited to go back. Until.

Isn't there always an until?

Times have changed in the six years I have been out of the biz. Mostly, the company I work for still wants and expects creative, top-notch photography.

(FYI, the company to which I am referring to starts with an S and ends in ears.)

It used to be that if you took phenomenal pictures, they would sell themselves. Today, it seems to be that it doesn't matter what shots you take, if you present the collections in the right way, folks will buy them. At least that is what our district manager who has never been a photographer and was hired when Hollywood Video went out of business would have us to believe.

Everything has turned into a numbers game. I decided that I would use my creativity and hope that would be enough to keep me in a job. I don't like the selling part, but it is essential and necessary. Or so it seems.

So, I have done my best work. I put on my big girl panties and accepted that sales was the task at hand.

On Saturday, our district manager decided to make an appearance. We were only booked every fifteen minutes, so that shouldn't be a problem, right?

::insert nervous laughter here::

He comes in and the place is packed, of course. I am finishing up a set and someone else is bringing the next group to be shot in. Things are going well.

Then, we fell behind. First it was thirty minutes, then it was an hour. He. Was. Not. Helping.

Lo and behold, the bottom fell out. He looked at our numbers for the last four weeks and it would seem that I have the highest sale per sitting in our studio. He congratulated me. Shook my hand even.

I tried to say that it wasn't fair to compare my sittings against the manager because she has twice as many sits as I do. His reply, "It doesn't matter. And the others are right in line with you and are way behind. Thank you for doing such a great job!"

Come to find out, he thinks that one person should stay in the camera room, and I should stay at the sales table. "She knows how to make the sale"

I don't think so.

See, if he'd listen to us, he'd understand that we sell the sitting we photographed. It's not my "technique" that is opening their pocketbooks. People don't buy photos because someone is running numbers like a car salesman. He looked at all of our pictures, so I am not sure when he got confused.

The next time you are at a studio to get photographs taken, don't get upset when s/he starts out with their top collection and it's $379.

Someone with a background other than photography has told them that pictures don't make money, words do.

I won't be changing careers anytime soon.

4 comments:

Sara said...

I totally feel you. Again, we've got the same life or something! This was me, 18 months ago.

Kathi said...

Im glad you are back into your profession...I still love all the pics you did for me when I was in TN. I hate the numbers game, I deal with it @ work too. :(
XO~
Kathi

Bridgett said...

How did I not know you were a photographer?

We went to S-ears last year for the kids photos. I wasn't at all impressed with the pictures, but seeing how difficult my kids are to photograph, I figured I'd take what I could get.

Anyway, they ended up using one of our photos on their wall. So my kids were famous. Heck, maybe they still are. I dunno. ;)

Heather said...

Bridgett, I've only mentioned it a couple of times; it was something I did in my other life, but I LOVE it.

The pictures you sent of your kids were adorable. What do you think you weren't impressed with?

If you ask me, we are too high, but what do I know, right?

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