The Worst Subjects are often people who are On Staff. These are Very Important People-who almost never buy portraits. These are The Minister, Secretary, Treasurer, Potentate, Grand PooBah, and others who think the world will stop turning if they look the other way.
These are often people who want a perfect portrait-for The Book-and look at you as if you are crazy when you ask if they want to buy anything. I am Important! aren’t you going to Give Me Everything?
Staff are also the School Teachers, Janitors, Security, Grounds Keepers, and anyone else who might work at the Shoot Location. These people show up wearing their Cafeteria Lady uniform or covered with grass clippings. They often don’t even belong to The Church, but someone in The Office decided they need to be in The Book. This usually has something to do with the Numbers. Every account has a certain Number they have to reach to get More Freebies-so they pad the sitting count with Staff.
Important People on Staff are often that rare mixture of Adolf Hitler and Mahatma Gandhi-they preach nonviolence while willing to kill anyone that gets in their way. They are the Big Fish in the Small Pond. Sometimes they are the Big Fish in the Big Pond. The People who have TV telecasts and a couple of dozen books under their belts are the ones that never pay for anything themselves. But we have to be nice to them-they Rule the Roost.
The rest of the Staff people are busy doing actual work and will tell you in no uncertain terms that they ARE BUSY and this a WASTE OF THEIR TIME. They like to hop up after one shot and run for the door, which is usually fine, except that they are also the ones who bitch and moan that they didn’t get a good shot for their freebie. But some of them don’t even want the freebie. Almost all Staff members are a WASTE of OUR time.
The problem, of course, is that these self important little tyrants are the ones that allow us into the Church in the first place. So while The Photographer and the Passers hate the Staff members and wish they would just stay home-The Company spends most of its time kissing the Staff Member’s Ass.
In the Best of All Worlds there would be a separate studio setup for Staff Members-one where we just take two or three shots and send them on their way. One where Our Average is not effected by the cheap High-and-Mightys, but they can still be in the bloody damned Book.
The Company will often have Gift Certificates for the Staff, since the only way we could get into the Shoot was to buy our way in. The people with Certificates are often the most demanding and want retake after retake because the pictures aren’t good enough. If they were paying for these portraits themselves the photos would likely be fine. But giving them something only serves to inflate their already bloated egos. The Minster’s Wife is usually the one with The Queen Victoria attitude-she is never amused-at least at those places where The Minster knows he is the most important person in the Church.
There are some Accounts where it seems that everyone who walks in the door is on Staff-that is never a good sign. On the other hand I have been in places where the only Staff photo is the Minister.
The Person in Charge of the Book is Our Most Important Staff person. The Coordinator can made our life on the Shoot good or bad-they can help with the Customers and encourage them to buy or they can sit there and tell everyone to Just Get The Freebie. Some Coordinators feed us, make sure the air or heat is on, call people who miss their appointments and joke around with us in between sittings. Other Book Coordinates are MIA, we never see them and just do the best that we can.
Ok, not all Staff are bad. Some Staff buy portraits.