Monday, February 4, 2008

Dear Lifetouch Photographer,

I realize that you are probably not the greatest photographer in the world. If you were, you probably would not be working for a company that specializes in school portraits. However, I would expect that you could at least adhere to the minimum standards expected in a school portrait. You know, like making sure that every member of a group portrait can be seen.

Let's take a closer look here; Shall we? Do you see that lovely blond girl in the back row? Third from the right? No? Now, that's the problem I'm talking about. I can't see her either. At least, I can't see anything more than her forehead and her eyes. Would it really have been that difficult to have her change places with one of the taller girls to her left? Or maybe just shift her over a bit to where she wasn't hidden by some other kid's giant head?

I paid good money for this class portrait and I expected to be able to see my child's face somewhere in there. Thanks alot for wasting my money, F*cktard!


Holly said...

Oh, that stinks! I would ask for a refund!

Fred said...

I actually work for a nation wide school photography company. THe name is Kids at Heart PHotography and if you are interested we would love to take on the duty of servicing your childs school. Unforunately many schools are suffering with poor phtography companies who provide horrible pictures to the parents. Let me know if you are interested. Cant hurt to talk it out!

The Reader said...

You know, that was a pretty low blow to make that comment about the photographer. Have you ever tried to take a portrait of a bunch of kids? It's very nearly impossible to get them all to behave, to not have at least one stick out their tongue or close their eyes.

The photographer is looking at many different things, trying to get the best shot he can. Yes, he goofed in your daughter's case, but geez, give him a break. The reason he's working for a company like Lifetouch and not out on his own is because every Debbie soccer mom thinks she's a photographer because she has a digital camera and has destroyed his ability to earn a living.

And believe me, he's not earning a living with Lifetouch. He's barely surviving. He's just trying to find a way to keep taking pictures, which he loves, and having to do it taking school pictures, which he probably hates.

Melodie said...

Dear The Reader,
First of all, I don't have to justify anything I say on my blog because it's MY blog.
And yes, I have tried and been very successful at taking pictures of large groups of children. I know that you can't always get them all to smile or even look at the camera at the same time, but it's not difficult at all to set them up properly so that each face can be seen (no matter what it's doing).
Maybe Debbie Soccer Mom wouldn't need to use her own digital camera to take pictures of her children if she could get superior portraits for a reasonable price from these professional photographers.
I have also been involved in Picture Day at my daughter's school for several years, too. It's obvious which photographers enjoy their job and care about what they are doing. They are the ones who take the best pictures.
And of course these school photographers aren't earning a living with this jobs. They're mostly just SAHMs and college students who are trying to put a few extra bucks in their pockets. Trust me on this, because I talk to the photographers that come to the school. The ones who are trying to earn a living as a photographer also work in regular photography studios.
I could go on about this for days, but I won't because I've already wasted enough of my time on you.

Anonymous said...

I'm terribly sorry to hear about your daughters photos;however, as a parent of three children (two of which go here)I am disgusted with you. How could you put an entire class photo of children WHO AREN'T YOURS on the internet without permission from their parents? I know you didn't gain permission from the school because this is a protected image, and if I'm not mistaken you are committing a copyright infringement as well.

Thanks to you, some whack-a-do potentially now knows what school and class these children are in. You have no idea what harm you could be causing to these children and those families, and you didn't even consider it.

And for the record. Lifetouch took beautiful photos of both of my children's classes, and my oldest child's sports group photo who is in middle school. Did it ever occur to you that maybe your child moved? Everyone one else looks like they are set up pretty well in the class, and the only child I can't see is yours. I could understand wanting your money back since you can't see your child, and wanting to keep the photo for memories for your child, but I think you are really out of line here.

You are violating the privacy of those children, and for you can make a point to your avid readers? Why couldn't you just have called them and left everyone's child out of it?

Melodie said...

Dear "Anonymous,"
I just LOVE how people like to trash others and get all "holier than thou" but can't back it up with a name. It's awfully easy to be mean when you're "anonymous," isn't it?
If you know that your children attend my daughter's school, then you must know me, since there is nothing on my sight that indicates what schools my children attend, or even the towns the schools are located in. This "whack-a-do" who is supposedly stalking these children would have to try pretty damn hard to figure out who and where they are.
And don't even think about blaming my daughter for the photographer's poor job of setting up the children. My daughter did not move, as you are trying to claim, and not all of the other children are set up properly. The two girls to my daughter's left are also in the wrong spot, but because they are taller than the heads in front of them, it isn't a problem for them.
As for the copyright infringement, I think that if Lifetouch had a problem with my use of their photograph, they would have requested that I remove the images from MY blog in at least one of their correspondences with me. They did not.
And as for invading these children's privacy, I don't think that posting a random face with absolutely no identification whatsoever is exactly invading their privacy.
The reason I posted this on MY blog as opposed to requesting a refund from the company is because I did not want a refund. That was not the point of this post. I simply wanted to share with my friends and family so we could all have a good laugh. Which we did.

Anonymous said...

You go mom!!! Get a refund from Lifetouch. I have a photography company in Miami, Fl. and I know how hard it is to get an entire class to even look at the same location at one time, but there is NO excuse for any child to be hidden behind another. you are right, if the photographer enjoys the work it shows in the final product!!!

Anonymous said...

While I believe your post to be legit, I think your use of profanity sent you a bit over the edge. I did want to say however, that there is a fair use clause that allows copyrighted materials to be used when serving the following purposes: CRITICISM, education purposes, COMMENTING, and research. As a photo major, wedding photographer, as well as school portrait photographer, I can say this was a big boo-boo. BUT mistakes happen, and if you're going to take the time to register a complaint, it's only fair that you give the company a chance to make good on their mistake. Whether it be a refund or a retake, not allowing them to correct the problem only makes your complaint moot. Better luck next time.

Melodie said...

Dear Anonymous,
I did not register a complaint with the company because there was nothing they could do to correct this problem. Do you really think they were going to send a photographer with all of their equipment to my daughter's school, and also have the school waive the uniform policy for her class for that day, simply to recreate the photo for me? Because that would be the only way to correct this problem. There are no retakes with these group photos.
Also, if you had kept on reading my follow-up posts on this matter, you would see that I was contacted by someone at Lifetouch and offered a refund, even though I was planning to keep the photo so my daughter would at least have a decent photo of all of her classmates. So, even though I did not request it, the company still made good on their mistake, and I made sure to post about it as it was the right thing to do for a company that had done the right thing for me.

Michi said...

I found your blog because I am completely annoyed with Lifetouch. Not only do their photographers need some basic photo taking skills/training - their lab and customer service department needs a lesson too. They have not only screwed up my son's photo's once, but twice. They even accidentally sent me another child's photo - from another state to boot. The company is a mess and I truly hope the schools find another company to do the portraits because this company is horrible.

lisa78230 said...

Im a photographer for lifetouch and yea its not hard to get the kids in windows. Im sorry you got this horrible picture.
The thing is, is that we dont get graded, we dont get in trouble, nothing happens to us when we mess up. The company is in such bad shape they cant afford to fire anyone. We pretty much get away with anything.
Yes the photographers need more training but they dont wanna pay us for all that. So we get a little run down of how things are supposed to go and they throw us out into the world. The office is real good at trying to make everyone happy by giving them free stuff but it doesnt matter because they're always gonna mess up again.