Unfiltered Story #192482

, , | Unfiltered | April 27, 2020

I’m the manager of a portrait photography studio. We have a certain procedure we have to follow for every session, at least 4 backgrounds, 60+ shots. Our corporate policy won’t allow us to load the photos on the computers without the minimum required number of shots and backgrounds.

This story was from a couple weeks ago. I had a session where parents had me taking photos of their newborn baby girl. She was about two weeks old. The mother had called the day before to set up the appointment, and I let her know the policy on number of shots and backgrounds, as I do with everyone. She said that was fine, and that was that. The next day, she and her husband come in with the baby, and we get started. We get through two backgrounds and the baby starts to get fussy. Since we don’t have any other customers for at least 3 hours, I tell them to go ahead and feed the baby, change them if need be, and to take as long as they need, and then we’ll continue. At first they’re totally okay with it, and sit down with the child to feed her. The father leaves, and when he comes back, he’s carrying two Starbucks drinks. We don’t allow food or drink (aside from baby bottles) in the studio, and it’s clearly labeled on the door. My employee (we’ll call him Bob) notices first.

Bob: “I’m sorry sir, but we don’t allow any food or drink in the studio.”

Father: “What? Since when?”

Bob: “We’ve never allowed food or drink in here sir, it’s posted on the door.”

Father: “Well, what am I supposed to do with these then??”

Bob: “Look, we can make this exception – as long as you don’t go past the tiles, you can drink it.” (Most of the studio is carpeted, except for the entrance way, which is tiled)

Father: “I paid for these, they’re going to go to waste now! This is ridiculous. These drinks cost more than any of these photos!!”

All of us working there are having a hard time keeping a straight face at this statement – the cheapest our photos run is $20, for one pose. Other packages run from $70-$300.

Bob: “I’m sorry sir, but that’s company policy. You’re going to have to leave those here.”

Father: “So let me get this straight. You don’t allow food or drink in this studio, but you allow babies in, who p*ss and sh*t everywhere?”

At this point, I come back from the printer room, where I was finishing something up on the computer.

Bob: “Um…we can’t exactly tell people that they aren’t allowed to bring their babies into our studio, sir.”

Not to mention, babies make up at least 70% of the photos we take. At this point, the father turns to me and tells me he wants to just load up the photos now and look at what we’ve already got.

Me: “I’m sorry sir, but as I explained earlier, we have to take a certain number of photos before we can even load up.”

He gets annoyed and goes over to talk to his wife (leaving the drinks on the counter. A few minutes later, they pack up their stuff and come back to us, telling me they don’t want to continue.

Mother: “It’s just too many photos, she’s not going to sit through them all patiently, she’s a baby! No baby could go through all those photos with no problem!”

(Actually, babies go through them all the time with very few problems)

Me: “I understand ma’am, but that’s our company policy, and we do it for everyone.”

Mother: “Well, thanks anyway. We’re just going to go. It’s just too much.”

Father: “So you’re saying if it was a family of 5, they’d still have to go through at least 60 photos?”

Me: “Yes sir. We give everyone the same experience.”

Father: (shakes head) “That’s ridiculous.”

They leave after that, leaving Bob and I glancing at each other.

Bob: “So…they really think we’re going to tell people they have to leave their babies outside?”

The reason I’m posting this now, instead of when it happened, is because I put it out of my mind. Until I got a call from my corporate office, telling me that these people called them and complained. I wasn’t in trouble, they just wanted to get my side of the story and make sure I wasn’t being rude. When I told the guy what the father said about babies, he let out a disbelieving chuckle and said,
“Wait, did he want you to tell him his baby wasn’t allowed in?”

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The More You Read, The Worse It Gets

, , , , | Right | April 12, 2020

(It is the middle of the day and nothing is going on. A woman comes into our store in a panic.)

Customer: “Do you do passport pictures?”

Me: “Yes.”

Customer: “Okay, I need it done, and I need it done now.”

Me: “Okay. We can get you checked in and take you back.”

Customer: “No, I need it now.”

Me: “We can take you now.”

Customer: “And how long will it take for the pictures to be ready?”

Me: “About ten minutes, maximum fifteen. They’ll be at the front if you want to do other shopping and get them on your way out.”

Customer: “No, that’s not good enough. I need them now. Can’t you make it faster?”

Me: “With all due respect, ten to fifteen minutes is pretty fast. That’s the process from start to finish. All photos take five minutes to come through the printer, and that can’t be changed.”

Customer: “Okay, is there anyone else nearby who can do it quicker? I really need them now!”

Me: “[Store #1] and [Store #2] also do passports, but they’re on the other end of the mall. They’ll take about the same time to get it to you if not longer, and like I said, they’re on the other end of the mall.”

Customer: “Ugh, never mind! You don’t understand. I need it done now! My flight leaves in half an hour!”

(She storms away in a huff. My coworker and I look at each other trying to process what she said. A few minutes later, she returns.)

Customer: “How do you get to [Airport about two hours away]?!”

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The Daughter Makes Silly Faces But The Mother Makes Ugly Ones

, , , , , | Right | March 30, 2020

(I am working at a retail portrait studio. I have a mother bringing her daughter in for modeling headshots. I explain to her ahead of her appointment that we do not do any editing or retouching, only cropping. She agrees that she can purchase the digital images to have them edited herself if she would like. As we start the session, the daughter, who is around eight or nine, is in the camera room with me and her mother is standing in the doorway glued to her phone.)

Me: “All right, sweetheart, let me see your model smile!”

(The daughter sticks out her tongue at me.)

Me: *laughs* “Cute, silly one for mommy. Let’s do a nice one now, big smile!”

(The daughter puts on an angry pout face. I try everything I can think of to get her to laugh or smile. She’ll pretend to agree to cooperate but will pull a mean face the second I go to take the picture, thinking it’s funny. I can’t even catch her laughing about it as she covers her face with her hands. Finally, after trying several times to signal her mom to ask for help, I put down my camera and go over to her.)

Me: “Mrs. [Mom], I seem to be having a hard time getting your daughter to smile. Would you mind giving me a hand?”

Mom: “She knows what she’s doing.”

Me: “Every time I go to take the picture she pulls a silly face. We’re not getting good headshot photos.”

Mom: “Have you ever modeled before? She knows what she’s been doing; she’s been modeling since she was five. Just take the picture.”

(I do my best. We end up with a small handful that I think might be okay, and a couple dozen silly or mean faces that I keep in the album to show the customer how her daughter was behaving. I begin to show her the album.)

Mom: “Very funny. I get that you’re trying to prove a point, but I just want the nice ones.”

Me: “Well, these few here were the best overall headshots where she didn’t pull a face.”

Mom: No! You’re not listening. I don’t want to see these garbage ones where you photoshopped her to look stupid so you could prove your point. I want the nice original ones that she took.”

Me: “These are all the originals. Like I explained to you on the phone, we don’t do editing or retouching. We don’t have Photoshop. These are the actual faces your daughter was making.”

Mom: “She would never!”

(Her daughter smirks from across the room where she’s playing on her mom’s cell phone.)

Me: “I didn’t edit them. These are all the original images.”

Mom: “You are full of bulls***! If you don’t give me the originals where you didn’t make my daughter look like a f****** [slur for people with disabilities], I will sue you for defamation of character!”

Me: *shocked* “Ma’am, I can’t control the faces your daughter makes. I tried to get her to cooperate and I asked for your help. I didn’t edit these; she was making those faces.”


(I know that a coworker around the corner has a special needs child and I don’t want her to hear this woman’s abuse.)

Me: “Ma’am, I need to ask you to lower your voice and watch your language or I’m going to have to ask you to leave the store.”


(I immediately called security and she ended up being escorted out while calling me every name in the book and insisting that she was going to sue me for making her daughter ugly. She called every customer service number she could find, no matter how loosely they were affiliated with us. It took weeks to sort out the numerous complaints she made, but thankfully, she never came back. Good riddance.)

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Let’s Make You A Nice Divorce Album!

, , , , | Right | February 28, 2020

I work in a photo studio. After pictures are taken I show them and try to sell extras to the parents. These pictures are of a not-quite-two-year-old girl.

“I don’t like any of these. They are all horrible.”

“I like that one, and that one, too.”

“No, God no, I hate those.”

“Well, you can always just get the few you like or reschedule and come back another day.”

“I don’t want to come back here.”

We finish and order some photos. The mom goes off shopping as the dad pays while holding the little girl.

“I’m sorry about my wife. She’s a f****** b****.”

“Uh… Oh, no, it’s fine.”

“She’s lucky I’m still around.” *Looks at his daughter* “You’d better not turn out like her.”

“…and here is your receipt. Have a nice day!”

I turned and looked at my coworker with an OHMIGAWD face.

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Unfiltered Story #159113

, , | Unfiltered | July 26, 2019

(I work in a small photo studio for new born babies and toddlers. On this particular day, we had just opened up the new studio, and were having a sort of ‘grand opening’ celebration that was open to the public. We had displays and food set out for any visitors- and any visitors that came usually had children with them, as they are what our business is centred around. I had been filing loose order forms in the office when my boss ran in from the studio.)

Boss: Quick! Where’s my camera?

Coworker: (Handing her the camera bag) Here! What’s happening?

Boss: I need to take a picture of the cake!

(We had a cake set out with the company name on it, and little decorative flowers all over. It was quite pretty.)

Coworker: But… We’ve only just opened up and there’s more displays to build. Weren’t you going to photograph it later?

Boss: Yes, but a woman just came in and asked for some cake.

(A woman from one of the other businesses in the village had walked in, asked for cake, and stood in absolute silence in the studio as she ate it, then immediately left. We still laugh about it now!)

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