Friday, October 10, 2008

6 poses and creativity

You will always get 6 poses [or in the case of some studios 9 poses] or be in trouble. You are to get six markedly different photos in your fifteen minutes. This job will be sold to you as a job where you can express your creativity, but in the end because of rules and constraints, you'll be doing the same poses every single time whenever possible for speed and efficiency. There are a number of required pose types that you must get each time no matter what. If you get a family that says they only want shots from the waist up from head on and you do that, you will be graded down on photo evaluations.

So once again you have to make the choice: do you make your customer happy or make your boss happy?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have to comment on this one...this is one of the worst parts of the job. Moms are sometimes dead set on one specific pose and they will not let you move on because they don't feel you've captured the right expression. You can see the child has little time left before a melt down, and you're REALLY trying to get through all of your required poses. Not to mention that "Connection" pose that is required. As a Manager, it was my job to sit on the phone quarterly with the rep from corporate who is in charge of evaluating the sessions and giving the studio 5-star rating. This was such a frustrating process because they claim it is random, but they ALWAYS picked out a session or two in which the kid was screaming and the photographer did not get all six sellable poses. They cannot know the hell you go through every day. You think this job will let you be creative, but instead, you become an uptight robot.

Anonymous said...

Every once in awhile you get that baby who is really agitated by laying on his stomach, but you are still required to shoot a tummy pose. My ex-boss used to tell us to just snap a picture of the baby on his tummy, crying, which I thought was really really terrible thing to do to the baby.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but for 5-star, they don't consider that pose "sellable".

SPS said...

True, it's not a sellable pose, but our grader would (I'm told) sometimes view a different session if there was a crying pose in there.

When our SM would grade, she would count crying as a pose. And yes, some people would buy the crying pose.

So yes, we often operated the same way. It was better to have crying pose than no pose.

syraphym said...

my district needs 9 to 15 emphasis on 15 poses. i started telling parents that our system will not send out the photos unless the sitting is complete and if they wish to come back another day i can move there appt immediatly. that usually backfires because either the parents will insist on finishing regardless of how many OTHER screaming children are in the waiting room or they go to another studio where they are told that the system explanation is BS

Anonymous said...

I need to leap in here...

I'm still trying to learn the 6 basic (to which they continuously tack on additional requirements: angle, connection, etc.), and I've come to the conclusion that they exist only to irritate both photographer and child.

Sometimes kids will happily take photos, just not in the sequence SPS dictates. If you choose to work with what you have to get great shots (i.e. go off SPS script), well never mind that the pictures are beautiful, and never mind that the parent buys a collection. You didn't follow sequence, ZERO stars for you!

Try to force a child to follow a sequence because you don't want the studio to be marked down, and you can have them go from cool and calm to screaming temper tantrum in under 3 seconds. Nothing encourages a parent to buy more than lousy photos of a crying child, who will most likely continue to scream and cry through the photo selection process.

Anonymous said...

So, what you all seem to be saying is that SPS's entire purpose is NOT to provide quality photos to happy clients, but to insure that employees and clients adhere to a strict set of stupid guidelines in order to insure a hellish ordeal for everyone involved. UCK! Sorry for all of you that have to deal with such.