The Challenges of Training

“So were you planning on buying any portraits today?” I say as I wrap up my poorly memorized sales pitch.  Before they can answer my Trainer pushes me out of the way and takes over. “Hi.” She says with a huge smile.  “What sizes portraits do you normally share?  Is 8×10 big enough or would […]


It Costs More, Because You Get More

“Why are these pictures so expensive?”  The outraged Subject says after she is told the price of two 5x7s.  “That’s ridiculous.” “Well.” The Passer says in his calm, monotone selling voice. “We are giving the Church a free directory and we also have to pay for our traveling expenses to come out here and take […]


My Fellow Underachievers

“I live in Ireland about half of the year.” The Subject says and smiles.  “It’s not really a part of Europe.” “Actually, it is.” The Old Timer Assembly Line Portrait Photographer pipes in, always eager to disagree with everyone he meets about virtually anything.  “They joined the European Union back in 1973.” The Subject looks […]


When The Student Is Ready

Photography workshops have been around pretty much as long as there have been cameras.  They are often held in cool places like Santa Fe, Maine, and Paris.  They are usually run by famous photographers.  Part of the fun of these workshops is going to cool places and meeting cool people.  The major drawback is the […]


Spam and Marketing

“We need to get emails from everyone that we take a portrait of.” The Manager says.  “We need to be able to remind our Nonbuyers that we still have copies of their pictures for sale.” “I get people complaining about spam from The Company.”  One of the Assembly Line Portrait Photographers says.  “What do I […]


And I Should Care, Why?

“We want all of our customers to feel special.” The Manager says in her stage voice.  “That way they will buy more.” I’m reminded of the old joke about the success to sales being Sincerity-once you can fake that, you’ve got it made. I’ve been taking portraits of old people for the better part of […]


What’s Worse Than Quarterly Meetings? Weekly Meetings

“You had a pretty good week last week.” The Manager says and nods in my direction.  “Why don’t you tell us what you did so we can all do better this week.” “I took a variety of poses, used a variety of props, and got a variety of expressions.” I say and smile at the […]


You Have A Bad Attitude

“You need to change your attitude.”  My Manager says.  “You’re not one of my better photographers and I’m not going to be working you.” After almost 17 years of taking Assembly Line Portraits it seems that the end is finally close at hand.  I still enjoy taking portraits and I’m still good at it.  My […]


Too Much Time On My Hands

“So what can I expect over the next month or so?” The New Assembly Line Photographer says as we work a shot in late November. “You might work the first week of December.” I say and shrug.  “Then you won’t go back to work until sometime in January, maybe sometime in February.” “I can’t go […]


It’s a Different World

“If you take the same kind of photo that the Subject can take at home.” The Manager said in her evangelist voice.  “Then you are limiting you sales potentials.  You need to be creative.” This comment was met with silence all around. Over the past 16, going on 17, years I have heard this speech […]