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luvmyfamily

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I don't care if this sounds silly, but I would like to know. So I was at WalMart today and as I was leaving, I passed the "portrait studio" on the way out, as I always do....saw their advertisement for a package for $7.99, 1 8x10, and some wallets or something like that. How is it that they can hire any John Doe off the street that knows nothing about photography to photograph people? Same with any portrait studio, JCPenny...etc. Back in the day, I had my kids pics taken in a studio like that, and the person taking the photo's didn't change settings or seem to know anything about photography. What are they doing? I am in Walmart about 3 times a week because we're always out of something. I thought about asking them, lol.....
 

analog.universe

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They shoot the same poses in the same lighting over and over again... it's like the McDonalds of photography. You don't need to be a master chef to cook a McDonalds burger.

The problem is when folks don't know that it's McDonalds, and they expect a gourmet meal.. for $7.99 :)
 
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luvmyfamily

luvmyfamily

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I am seriously going to walk in there and ask the photographer how much they know about the exposure triangle:lol: LOL, that still wouldn't seem to work, because you may be photographing a BIG man and then again a small baby...they must be shooting in auto.....
 

Bossy

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What?? What does the exposure triangle have to do with the size of your subject?
 

jake337

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I am seriously going to walk in there and ask the photographer how much they know about the exposure triangle:lol: LOL, that still wouldn't seem to work, because you may be photographing a BIG man and then again a small baby...they must be shooting in auto.....

I'm not sure if they are in auto or not. I wouldn't think so though. Everything is literally set up for them. They tell the subjects were to sit, and pose according to some "procedure" pamphlet, then press the shutter button.
 

Josh220

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It's WalMart. 'Nuff said.
 

jake337

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It's WalMart. 'Nuff said.

Don't forget about Craiglist, facebook, etc...


Although most of the craiglist, facebook, etc shooters would love to have Wallmart/JcPenny studio setup.
 

Bossy

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Honestly, I find it really immature to want to harass Walmart employees. I know thats forward, but the people who work there and other like studios, they make minimum wage, and aren't exactly paid to be a photo pro. Someone who actually knew lighting at some point told them where to put A B and C, set the settings up, and handed the employee a camera. You don't have to know much of anything for that situation, because it never changes.
 
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luvmyfamily

luvmyfamily

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Honestly, I find it really immature to want to harass Walmart employees. I know thats forward, but the people who work there and other like studios, they make minimum wage, and aren't exactly paid to be a photo pro. Someone who actually knew lighting at some point told them where to put A B and C, set the settings up, and handed the employee a camera. You don't have to know much of anything for that situation, because it never changes.

I won't do it :) Didn't realize they were paid so low.
 

MLeeK

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It's called a "Loss Leader." They take a loss on it to make a profit elsewhere.

The employee are trained in high pressure sales, not photography in any way. I have a student that I've been working with over about a year now who was a walmart photog. She thought "hey, this is easy!" and off on her own she went. When she got her camera she thought it was broken. Literally.
They cannot change anything in the studio. It's set up for them and they press the button. The only adjustment they can do to the camera is up and down and turning it a bit. That's it. Lighting is set up and they can move it a little, but that's it.
They're taught a bit about posing-the Wal Mart way and told to SELL the other things!!!
 

Bossy

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I won't do it :) Didn't realize they were paid so low.
Yeah its really not on par with what we do :) I always wanted to be one though when I was a teen, you certainly learn how to sell and people skills :D
 

Josh66

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It's called a "Loss Leader." They take a loss on it to make a profit elsewhere.
Exactly what I was going to say. The portrait studio inside Walmart likely loses money. They're hoping that you're going to go shopping while you're waiting for your turn, waiting for your prints, etc. Hell, even the film processing booth in Walmart is the same. Are you going to spend 15 minutes driving home, fart around at home for 15 minutes, spend 15 more minutes driving back to the store, and then get your film ... or are you just going to shop around for an hour? The original loss leader was razors. They lose money selling the handle so cheap - but they make it back (and then some) selling the blades.

From what I hear, the photographers in those places aren't allowed to change the settings, even if they knew how.
 

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I was at Disney World 2 years ago and we had our photo taken in front of the Castle at night when it was all lit up. A bit of a confusing lighting situation because you had to expose both for the Castle and you had to expose for the subjects (rear curtain sync). So, I went up to the fauxtog after the shot to "talk shop" and asked them what settings they were using and what type of camera. The guy shows me a sheet of paper with the detailed instructions on what settings to use (f/stop, shutter speed, WB, etc.) He had NO idea about photography. He was just the guy shooting the photos of the guests and was following directions given to him.
 

dxqcanada

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From my past experience (over 25 years ago)
The actually formula is this:

The employees are NOT hired as "photographers".
They are hired as Sales people. Photographic knowledge is NOT required.


Camera exposure, focus and lighting are preset.
Backgrounds preset.
Poses preset.

Flyers are sent out attracting people to the $7.99 14 piece photo spread.
People come in to get their photo's taken.

Backdrop is pulled down, subjects placed in the preset poses/positions.
Button is pressed to take image.
The next set of images are taken.
THEN ... a different background is used and possibly different poses are set.
Images taken.

When the people come back they are presented the $7.99 package of images ... then to the side there are the EXTRA images that were taken with the different background/poses ... which tend to look a lot better than the images from the $7.99 package ... the Sales people are expected to sell the additional images to gain greater commission.
These images ranged in price from $3.00 to $10.00 each.
In most cases the people will buy at least one of the additional images.

Don't look down at the people who operate these Photo Studio's ... it keeps someone employed ... and I found that people were happy with the images they got (not with the pressure sales of additional photo's).
 

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