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Photo-Perfect Finish

, , , , , | Romantic | December 13, 2017

(My boyfriend has recently won a fairly prestigious contest for a short story he wrote. As a result, the organization running the contest needs a picture of him for publicity purposes. In spite of being a very lovely person, my boyfriend has what can only be described as “resting b**** face” and doesn’t smile much, to the point that he often has to reassure people who have just met him that he doesn’t dislike them, but that’s just the set of his face. He also absolutely hates pictures of himself.)

Me: “Umm… Okay, just stand by the those trees, I guess.”

Boyfriend: “Okay.”

Me: *snapping a few photos that honestly aren’t terribly good* “Erm… Here, let me try this.”

(I hold my camera way above my head, as my boyfriend is more than a foot taller than I am. This is an improvement, but the photos are still “meh” at best.)

Me: “You know, you could try to smile.”

Boyfriend: “No.” *tries to look even more serious*

Me: “Yeah, yeah, because you’ve got to look like a harda**, even when you’re accepting an award!”

(He starts to laugh, and I manage to snap a photo of it.)

Me: “HA! I did it! I got a picture of you smiling!”

Boyfriend: “D*** it.”

(That was the picture he sent off, and one of the better ones I’ve managed to take of him!)

A Perfect Picture Of A Bad Attitude

, , , , , , , | Working | November 6, 2017

(I am being trained for a management position in a photography studio, and the manager training me decides to do a session on interviewing potential candidates. We pull up a few applications from online, and I start calling. My first call goes like this:)

Applicant: *sleepily* “Hello?”

Me: “Hello, this is [My Name] from [Studio]. I am looking for [Applicant] to inquire about a position.”

Applicant: “Yeah, that would be me.”

(I’m slightly put off by the tone, but since it is about ten in the morning, I figure maybe they’re still getting ready for the day and are just not themselves yet. So, I launch into a spiel about the job requirements, position, and what we’re looking for in terms of hours and work.)

Applicant: “Yeah, I can’t work earlier than noon because I need my sleep, and I need to be gone by four. I also don’t really like to deal with people, so I want to be the photographer, not the seller people.”

Me: “Um… Well, being the photographer, you would have to engage with the clients, telling them where to stand or sit, and how to pose. And our photographers are also studio sales associates and often sell their own photographs with the client. Is that something you’re willing to do?”

Applicant: *sighs* “Yeah, whatever. When do I start?”

Me: “Well, I’d like to set up an interview with you first. Will today at one o’clock work for you?”

Applicant: “Are you serious? I have to come in, in order to see if I got the job?!”

Me: “That’s how we like to do things.” *starting to get a little frustrated with this applicant, but still willing to give them a shot*

Applicant: “Well, I had plans today, so I’ll call you back about a better time.” *click*

(I just looked at the trainer, a little shocked. The manager shook her head, crossed the name off, and told me to move on to the next one. Three days later, the applicant called back wanting to schedule an interview in fifteen minutes. I was in a session, but my training manager told her the job had been filled. I’m used to demanding clients, especially when it comes to their photographs, but for someone seeking a job, their attitude took me by surprise.)

Doesn’t Smile For The Photo

, , , , | Right | September 27, 2017

(I’m alone in the one-hour photo lab during senior photo season, covering the counter, cutting prints, and managing the machines. Several hours in with nonstop customers, I’m keeping up, but you can tell I’ve been getting slammed and not enjoying it. A teenage customer has just requested his photos…)

Customer’s Friend: *whispering to the customer* “And a smile would be nice.”

(I stare him down when I return to the counter, before holding the package out to the customer. He clearly looks uncomfortable as I do this, avoiding my eye contact.)

Me: “Please. Go on. I’d love to hear more of what you think.”

(Both lowered their heads and scurried off without another word.)

The Picture Of Stupid

| Right | December 25, 2015

(Christmas is our busiest season and our most popular item is a calendar with your own pictures. We have several different ones; you can choose the size, paper, and if it has name days or room for taking notes. A young woman in her 20s walks in with a USB.)

Customer: “What kind of calendars do you have? I have my pictures here.”

(I show her all our calendars and she takes good 30 minutes trying to decide. I have to stand next to her during that time because she asks lots of questions and finds something wrong with EVERY calendar we have. One has too big pictures, one too small etc… Finally she makes a decision and we start making the calendar with our computer.)

Customer: “Uh, why is my picture so small? In that calendar it’s much bigger.”

Me: “We can make it bigger but you have a vertical photo and this picture area is horizontal, so something is going to get cut out if we do that.”

Customer: “What?! No, I don’t want anything cut out! Just put it in there, but bigger!”

(I patiently explain to her that she needs a horizontal picture if she wants it bigger; this picture won’t work. She just doesn’t get it.)

Customer: “I’m just going to go somewhere else! You clearly don’t know what you are doing.”

(Thanks for wasting my time! It is not my fault you don’t understand the difference between vertical and horizontal!)

Losing Him In Multiple Translations

, | Right | April 29, 2015

(I am an entrance photographer at a theme park.)

Me: “Hello, folks. Welcome to [Theme Park]. I need you to please stop for two quick pictures.”

Adult Male Park Attendee: *in obvious Texan Drawl and slightly bad Spanish* “No hablos English.” *yes, he said English, not Ingles*

(Trying to do my job, be polite, and not jump to conclusions I switch to Spanish, which, while I’m not a native speaker, I’m relatively fluent in, and have practiced specifically for Spanish-speaking park attendees so they’re not left out of the full experience.)

Me: “No hay problema, señor. Necesito que dejes de para dos fotos rápidas, por favor.”

Adult Male Park Attendee: *still in obvious Texan Drawl and now broken French* “Polly View Frances?”

(Again, he said, “view,” not “vous,” and while I could do the entire spiel in French, thanks to learning it from my Louisianan coworker, just in case, I’m certain at this point the guy is bluffing, plus he doesn’t actually ask me to say it in French, so…)

Me: “Oui, monsieur.”

(Got to give the guy credit for persistence, because he takes one more shot to avoid the inconvenience of having his photo taken.)

Adult Male Park Attendee: *not even really trying to speak in the language* “German?”

(Yup, he says, “German,” not “Deutsch.” At this point, I’m bluffing his bluff. I never learned the spiel in German, but I do know enough to say…)

Me: “Ja, mein herr.”

Adult Male Park Attendee: “Ah, dang nabbit, just take our god-d*** pictures.”

(The family poses and everyone smiles except him. I smile and hand the man the slip with his roll number and finish my duty with them with a cheerful final comment.)

Me: “Your pictures will be ready any time after four pm. Thank you for your time and consideration. Hope you all enjoy this wonderful day.”

(Epilogue: The guy’s wife and kids dragged him to check out the pictures. They bought several framed, a few key chains, and both mini viewers… totaling enough for me to get $40 of commission off just them… They were my only sales that day!)


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