Stay Off the List

Exactly one year ago today, I started talking about our pending Christmas wait list.  It’s coming again as we approach Fall.  Last year, the list began in October.  This isn’t a list on paper but a database. We use this list to try to fit in those who would like us to take their pictures but we don’t have any appointments available.  You give us the days and times you are available and we call you if something opens up.

This year, we’ve added to our capacity by expanding the studio.  But, I still think we will have a list.  We’ve also added FotoFlyAway which will help us do more sessions.  However, we are actually going to be shutting down FotoFlyAway in November to do Santa. Between now and then, we have 179 available appointments at Thanksgiving Point.  That may sound like a lot, but those sessions are going to fill quickly.

It’s a downer to have a wait-list.  For the past two years, we have turned people away.  The worst are families who are coming together from long distances and new mothers.  It’s not fun for us but it’s really frustrating for the people wanting us to take their pictures.

So this year, again, I would like to help both you and I with this.  I would like to entice and encourage you to schedule an appointment before the crush of the Christmas season.  I am offering a free 11×14 to all customers who VISIT US in September.  This is good for those who schedule now or have an appointment already.

I’m hoping that this post doesn’t backfire and I’ve created a rush to schedule an appointment during November and December.  If you can, visit us this month.  You’ll have one less thing to do before the Christmas season!

It is also likely that we will have a small, permanent price increase in October for the studio only.  FotoFlyAway’s price will stay the same.  For those who have ALREADY scheduled a studio appointment after October 1st, we will honor the $79 price. This is another reason to see us in September.

When people talk about their ‘Christmas list,’ it is usually a positive thing.  It’s a list of things that they wish for.  Our Christmas list has nothing positive about it.  It represents frustration and anxiety.  This year, we want to serve every single family that wants to come to FotoFly.  This offer is hopefully a step in the right direction.  I appreciate anyone who can visit us early – you’ll open a spot up for someone who cannot.

School pictures are not very good.

My father was the Scott Adams in Scott Adams photography and probably took many of your school pictures.  Twenty years ago, I became one of his school photographers.  I liked it.  I thought it was fun and rewarding.  One day, I was rushing through my long line of students and feeling cool about how fast I was.  He came up behind me and said, “How many students have you photographed today?”  I answered proudly, “Almost three hundred!”  He pulled me aside and said, “To you, you’ve photographed three hundred.  But, to this child, he is the ONLY person you’ll photograph all day.  Put yourself in his shoes when you take his picture.”  After that conversation, I don’t think I have ever taken someone’s picture without thinking about what it was like from his or her perspective.

My father, grandfather, and great-grandfather all were school photographers – so I had something to live up to.  I was good.  I straightened hair and clothes.  I tried to be funny so I would get a real smile.  I made sure the lighting was perfect and consistent.

My father believed that EVERYONE deserved a good school picture.  Back then, we charged around ten dollars for a picture package.  Everyone could afford it and almost everyone bought a package.

Times have changed.  Prices have tripled.  Quality is poor.  School photographers appear largely untrained.  Picture packages are pre-set and manipulative.  If you have a few kids in school, you can easily spend over $100.

We offer a better way.  For $79, you can get all of your children photographed together and separately. You’ll get a variety of poses, expressions, lighting, and backgrounds.  We will work hard to capture all sides of your child’s personality.  We will spend 45 minutes with your children, not 45 seconds.  If your goal is to capture what your child is like every year – there’s no comparison.  If you need further convincing, we’re offering a free 11×14 if you come before the end of August.  Print this coupon and bring it with you. You have a little over a week to get their hair cut and some outfits bought.  It’s doable.  We have appointments available – I hope we see you.  :)  Go to fotofly.com and click on ‘SCHEDULE.’  Or, just call us at 801-727-FOTO.

Sidenote:  There is a school photographer that is doing a good job.  The company is Capture Studio (capturestudio.com)  They have a similar approach to ours by focusing on the electronic image and allowing you to create your own package.  If we didn’t exist, they are who I would want taking my child’s school pictures.  They are the best in the state.  If your school uses some other national company, speak with your PTA President or Principal about why you should change.


I’m a FotoFly Customer Now…

I started FotoFly two years ago.  In that time, we have photographed thousands of families.  We have photographed families, seniors, engagements, bridals, newborns, babies, toddlers, extended families, and a blanket.


For two years, I’ve watched parents look at their pictures.  I see their eyes light up.  I see them smiling.  I see some tears.  I imagine what it’s like for them and crave seeing that reaction.  It really is the best part of doing this.


Ironically, I have never brought one of my children to the studio and had one of our photographers take pictures of them…until last week.  Last Saturday, my daughter scheduled an appointment at FotoFlyAway.  She has just turned 15 and she’s my youngest.  Michelle was the photographer.I expected the images to be fun and creative and beautiful and amazing.  Michelle is an astonishingly good photographer.  The images capture so many sides of her.  I see her curiosity and courage.  She looks adventurous.  You can tell she’s fun and thoughtful.  You can see her sense of humor and sense of style.  And, of course, she’s beautiful.  Looking at the images, you get a sense of who she is.

My daughter is growing up fast.  Like any father, I am upset at the thought of her leaving me someday.  I love watching her grow up but I would prefer that she stopped.  It makes me happy to see her progress into womanhood but it makes me very sad.  She’s actually sitting across the room and I’m glad she’s focusing on Tetris – she wouldn’t understand why her dad is crying over his computer.

Looking at these pictures, I’m feeling some things that I didn’t expect and I didn’t fully appreciate before.  I am very, very grateful for Michelle and her skill as a photographer.  She probably doesn’t even realize what she’s done for me.  She captured almost every side of my sweet, pure, only daughter the day before she turned 15.  In these pictures, she is frozen in time and I know I’ll spend the rest of my life, every once in a while, looking at these pictures.

The fact is, my daughter will get older.  She will start dating next year.  She will finally kiss a boy.  She’ll go away to college for a while.  Surely, she will find someone and get married and have children of her own.  Her life will have challenges and become more complicated as she gets older.
But, for now, she is with me and is mine.

I have a new appreciation for Michelle’s skill.  In just an hour, she delivered something priceless to me.  She perfectly captured my perfect daughter.  Michelle:  thank you, thank you.

I guess the point I want to make with this is that, finally, I understand how you feel.  I get why you cry.  For the first time, I am a FotoFly customer.


Christmas in July

Are we doing Santa pictures in July.  No.  But, we’ve decided to offer a future discount on Santa pictures and an opportunity to schedule an appointment before we open the schedule to the public.

Last year, we providing a new style of Santa.  Instead of the typical mall Santa photo where your petrified child is screaming on some stranger’s lap, we decided to go another direction.  We would provide Santa clothing to parents and then capture cute moments between them and their children.  The result was cool as we captured children interacting with their parents.  Our goal was to create an awesome image – most of the time, we did two.  We set up in a large tent at Thanksgiving Point and it worked out really well.

Last year, we asked our best photographers to come help with Santa.  We felt like having experienced photographers was important because of the challenge of photographing twelve families per hour.  I was one of those photographers.  I think that seasonal, briefly trained photographers is not a good match for the situation.

We also decided to provide appointments last year, rather than expect parents to wait in amazingly long lines.  Long lines + small children = bad pictures.

Let’s talk about price.  Instead of charging $35+ for a few printed pictures, we thought that charging less and providing the electronic image is what people really want.  We were right.

We thought it would be popular.  We didn’t fully expect what happened.  Last year, we had almost 500 families sign up in the first hour.  Needless to say, the appointments were filled within a matter of days and we had to turn away a lot of people.

We are doing the same thing this year.  In fact, we’re expanding.  We will start earlier in November and will be open more hours each day.  We are going to charge $25 for your images on a flash drive.  On top of the flash drive, you can also print sheets for $3.

Here’s the deal for Christmas in July.  For any session completed Monday-Friday in July at the studio or at FotoFlyAway, you will receive a certificate for 50% the flash drive price for Santa pictures in November/December.  With this deal, you’ll only pay $12.50 for your flash drive and session!  You will also have the opportunity to schedule your session before we open appointments to the public. So, you will win three ways.  First, you’ll get awesome images right now.  Second, you get a great discount for Santa pictures.  Third, you’ll get a guaranteed time reserved.

How it will work is that you’ll get a numbered coupon during your weekday session.  Hang on to it and bring it with you for your Santa session in November or December.  As we get closer to Christmas, we will email you a link to schedule your appointment.  You’ll get this email prior to us opening up times to the general public.  This deal begins on 7/11!  Call the studio at 801-727-FOTO or call FotoFlyAway at 801-407-8111.  Or visit our website to schedule online.

The Evolution of FotoFly

When FotoFly was opened almost two years ago, we knew it would be a great concept.  We were going to create amazing images using a unique environment at a reasonable price.  On day one, however, we knew that it wouldn’t last if we didn’t evolve.

So, we have.  Beginning tomorrow, our expansion is open. We have grown into the adjacent location and have been building for the past three months.  The result is the next level of studio photography.

We're good at making new things look ancient...

We have created stairways and hallways, cozy rooms and expansive areas.  We’ve used brick, metal, concrete, wood, stucco.  You’ll see niches and alcoves, trapdoors and pocket doors.  Whether your taste is industrial or intimate, we deliver.

The primary difference in this studio from what we’ve had in the past is the the progression from ’2-D’ to ’3-D.’  Instead of simply having different walls, there is more structure to the new studio.  Instead of using furniture, we will photograph your family on the stairs, ledges, hallways, doorways, niches, and alcoves.

I went up and down these stairs a dozen times just because I could.

The materials and design of the studio is meant to make it easy for us to pose and photograph your family in a way that doesn’t take the focus off of your family.  The studio is cool and current and real – but it won’t be the focal point of any picture.  Your family will be and that’s how it should be.

Our photographers are creative people.  They have taken our existing studio and photographed your families in ways that I never imagined when we built the studio.  With the 3D nature of the expansion, I’m thinking that their brains will literally explode with creativity.  The magic of FotoFly actually has little to do with the building.  Rather, the magic is our people and how they feel about you and your kids.  They don’t view this as a customer/employee relationship.  They truly believe that you are just two humans who are working hard to create some amazing images.  This new building just made it easier for this to happen.

We hired new photographers months ago and have been training them full time in preparation for this day.  They have been on their own for some time and everyone is more than ready to create with the new studio.

There have been several attempts to duplicate our facility and pricing.  I believe this expansion will serve as the new target.  I hope that this concept will further distinguish us from our competition.  I love competition.  It makes me think, “If I wasn’t FotoFly, how would I beat Fotofly?”  Our first response to that question was to open FotoFlyAway because we didn’t offer outdoor photography.  Our second response is this expansion.  I think that, if I continue to answer that question with innovation, we will be one step ahead of other studios.  Competition makes us all better – which benefits everyone – especially the customer.

This is opposite our 'blue' door on the brick area of the existing studio.

How will we spend time among the three areas during a session? Simply, we will split the time evenly among all areas of our studio – new and old.  To do otherwise would effectively change our studio from a 3-camera studio to a single camera – which cannot happen.  The good news is that, now we are done with the expansion, our focus will now turn to innovating with our existing studio and updating some of the walls that are easily changed.

All sessions will include a combination of our existing and expansion areas and will have more variety than from any other studio in the world.  My family has been in this business for four generations, I’m familiar with the industry, and there’s nothing like this.  Anywhere.

This wall is an artistic piece designed around the Fibonacci sequence.

We have opened up our schedule so that we will start 3 sessions per hour.  The options are:  FLYCYCLE ONE, FLYCYLE TWO, AND FLYCYCLE THREE. There is no difference between these options in how we will photograph your session. The only differentiator is WHEN they start.  They start at :00, :30, and :15 respectively each hour.

We were going to paint this brick but we decided we liked it as is.

Our studio is almost twice as big.  We were tempted to create two additional camera rooms.  Instead of doing so, we created one large photography environment.  It was tempting to pack in two separate rooms and that would have allowed us to photograph another two sessions per hour.  Instead, we’ve doubled in size and only added one more session each hour.

There are a few elements of the studio that are more than just new things to photograph on and in front of.  For example, beyond the garage door that you see above, there is a small room that has a trap-door in the ceiling.  The idea is that we would be able to shoot straight down on someone inside.

The wood you see is actually the floor. Is your mind blown?

Another example of thinking differently is the addition of a Murphy Bed that is hidden in the wall.  Often, I would come across images of families, kids, and newborns on beds that I thought were very cool and fun.  I saw images of children snuggling with newborn babies and older kids jumping on the bed and families laying together.  So, I got it in my head that I wanted a bed in this studio.  So, we now have a bed.  I think it will also serve me well if I’m ever in dutch with the wife.

Yes, we have a bed at FotoFly.

In addition to the new photo area, we have expanded other elements of the studio.  We have an expanded children’s playroom, a larger reception area, and two additional sales stations.

We've almost doubled the space of our reception area.

We've added TWO additional sales rooms.

We are excited about growing and are grateful for this community that has supported us so well since we opened.  It was exactly two years ago this week that we got access to our new studio.  It feels like coming full circle to repeat this.  Thank you to everyone who has visited FotoFly in the past and this expansion is meant to deliver photography that is even more unique and inspiring.

We have expanded the appointment schedule to reflect the expansion.  Schedule at fotofly.com or call the studio at 801-727-FOTO.  We know many of you have been aware of the expansion and have been waiting to schedule.  The wait is over.

Again, the main purpose of this evolution is to be better able to create remarkable images that bring out the best in you and your family.  Come see for yourself.  :)

The FotoFly Bachelorette

We have some amazing people that work here.  We literally interview dozens of people to find that one special person.  They are each incredible….and lovable.  Without exception, each is kind, smart, positive, outgoing, funny, talented…and very, very attractive.  I have a rule to never hire anyone less attractive than I am so the bar is kinda high.

Most of our team is married but we have a few who are single.  We’ve decided that it is naturally our job to play matchmaker and attempt to find the perfect partner for our single coworkers.  Last year, we attempted to find someone for Daniel.  While that episode of The FotoFly Bachelor didn’t exactly work out, we are undeterred in finding true love for our employees.

In this season, we are trying to find someone for Raquel. Raquel is one of the newest and brightest stars in our company.  She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in history from BYU Hawaii last year.  This seems smart until you think about what you can do with a degree in history… She’s originally from Arizona.  She is 22 years old.  She loves to race ATV’s.  She loves scrapbooking even though she isn’t over 40.  She loves ‘beading’ even though she isn’t under 14.  She loves travel although she has decided to never travel again because she is so committed to her job.  She is interested in history and anything outdoors.  She completed a study abroad in the Middle East – she was even in Egypt during the revolution.  She has a very bright future.  She is beautiful and smart and fun.  If I had my way, she would just wait for my 16 year old to grow up a little more….

She is looking for someone who is adventurous.  He must have a good work ethic and be ambitious.  She loves a sense of humor.  She wants someone to take her to Disneyland – which I honestly don’t understand.  I’m anti-Disneyland.  Strangely, I’m pro-Lagoon.


Both sets of legs seem double-jointed.

She appears comfortable with little crawling things which I don't understand because that thing could jump up and bite her face at any time.

Clearly, she has some domestic skills. That looks pretty complicated and delicious.

Here’s how it’s going to work.  This will be a multi-step process:

Step #1:  Submit someone who you think is a good match by Sunday evening (April 21st).

Please consider your eligible male friends between 22 and 28 years old.  No kids.  Submit people by emailing a picture and vital information to eric@fotofly.com.  ’Vital information’ includes name, age, occupation and why you think he would be a good match for Raquel.  If YOUR bachelor ends up being THE bachelor, you will be given a FREE CD! Please only submit those who are willing to dedicate a few evenings to see if they are a good match for Raquel.

Step #2:  Vote to determine who will be on the show.

We will choose the finalists who will be included in the voting.  We will base our selections on who we think are the best matches for Raquel.  We will post our choices on Facebook by Monday evening (April 23rd).  You will then have until Wednesday evening to vote.  From your votes, the top ten bachelors will be invited to be on the show.

Step #3:  Watch the three episodes.  This will be a weekly show that we will broadcast each Wednesday.

  • Episode #1:  The initial party where 5 will be eliminated.
  • Episode #2:  Contest night where 3 more will leave the show.
  • Episode #3:  Final two date night and winner chosen.

Full disclosure:  this was my idea and Raquel is being very gracious by participating in this.  Having said that, she is optimistic about meeting someone.  This is going to be fun for everyone.  We are going to be putting in some serious effort to make this entertaining for you.  We thank you in advance for your participation.  Hopefully, there will be some excitement and drama and humor and, of course, LOVE!

We will PAY YOU for referring someone that we hire.

As we expand, our primary challenge is finding and training additional photographers.  The struggle is that we have a very, very, very specific type of person that we are looking for.  To be a successful FotoFly photographer, you must be energetic, patient, sincere, athletic, coordinated, outgoing, funny, creative, intelligent, dependable, flexible, and AWESOME.  Because of our hiring standards, we must interview literally hundreds of people to find a few.  One other thing, you must laugh at every joke or witty remark I make.

Daniel has been with us since we have opened and is a photographic genius!

We’ve been running ads in various places and have seen some success. I’ve decided that YOU may be our solution to finding the right people.  Many of you have been to the studio and have experienced firsthand what our photographers are like and have an idea about what is expected to be successful.  We believe that there is some of you out there that are reading this and know someone who is a likely match for our studio.  We want you to ask them to apply.  If we hire the person you’ve referred, I’ll give you a FREE SESSION to either FotoFlyAway or FotoFly!

Mike has been with us for one year now. When he was interviewed, he told us he would have the manager job in 6 months....it took him 8.

Here are some other specifics about who we are looking for:  A possible new hire for us must be willing to work 40+ hours per week.  This person must not have restrictions to his/her schedule.  For example, we will not consider someone who is in school where we must work around their class schedule.  We are not interested in those who are wanting a Summer job or view this as temporary in any way.  We hire those who are wanting to make this a career.

Kamp is the only photographer who we hired after a single interview. We just knew that she was perfect for this job. We were right.

Past experience as a photographer is not a requirement.  We will teach you everything you need to know.  We will spend about $4000 training you. Just like anything worthwhile, the training is difficult.

Our photographers are making $16-$18 per hour. However, it will take several weeks to get there.  Initially, during the training, a new photographer makes $10 per hour.  Once the photographer is fully trained, he/she will make $12 per hour.  Once the photographer is no longer supervised in each session, that new photographer will make tips on top of the hourly pay which amounts t0 an additional $4-6 per hour.  This entire training process usually lasts 8 weeks.

Michelle is unbelievably talented. Seriously. She was born to do this. She is a true artist.

Please give this some thought and consider anyone that you know who may be a good fit for us.  Ask that person, if he/she is interested, to email melinda@fotofly.com with a paragraph about why they think they would be a good fit for the job. Don’t refer someone you don’t believe in – we will give you a hard time next time we see you if you do….

Tia is perfect. Seriously. Have you ever met someone with no guile? She's that.

Again, if we hire the person you refer, I’m giving you a free session.  We would like to interview and hire within the next week to don’t delay if you know someone!

Thanks for you help.  I feel confident that some of you know someone who would be a perfect fit for us.  :)

FotoFlyAway in January

Yesterday, we started accepting appointments for FotoFlyAway.  The available appointments will be limited initially as we begin – only a few per day.  We are also scheduling only a few weeks ahead.  These restrictions are to ensure that we are starting this in a controlled, quality-driven way.   We will be opening up the March and April schedule beginning February 1st.

During the month of January, we are going to have an introductory, Winter rate of $100.

Normally, we will be charging $125 for a CD with your images.  We will print sheets for $4.  We feel like this stays with our mission to be affordable for every family and covers the additional expense of photographing sessions at Thanksgiving Point.

Our studio limits on # of people and pets are lifted at FotoFlyAway.  I have to be honest about one thing, I am still concerned about the largest of extended families (20+ people).  It may be that we introduce an upper limit at some point.  I’m excited about photographing pets.  I can’t wait until our first pet-only session.  I hope that I can overcome the natural dislike animals have for me (ask me sometime about my deer, walrus, monkey, or lion story).

The only way to schedule appointments currently is through the website.

We we’re enjoying our partnership with Thanksgiving Point and appreciate all that they have done to make this happen.  We are excited to offer more variety.  Our photographers are also thrilled with this new concept.

I promise that we will deliver outdoors what we have been able to deliver indoors:  unique, fun, stylish – in other words FotoFlyish – photography.  Try us out in January – you will not regret it.  There are many, many great spots that are beautiful for photos.

What to Expect at FotoFly Santa

One thing that I learned a long time ago is that people always have expectations.  Whether it’s a movie or a marriage or dinner or a photography session – people form expectations about what the experience will be before it happens.  At FotoFly, we understand what your expectations are and try to pleasantly surprise you each time you visit.

With FotoFly Santa, you and I formed expectations.  I formed them when we developed the program.  You formed them when you made an appointment.  Now that we have done this for a week, I have made it through most of the learning curve and have reset my expectations on some things and want to be sure that you are clear about what the experience is going to be like before you enter our tent.

First, when we originally set the program, we were planning on shooting one pose per customer.  We felt we could easily do that in 5 minutes and scheduled appointments 5 minutes apart.  This past week, we evolved to attempting two poses per session when possible.  My reason for doing this was to increase the odds that you would like at least one image.  If we only did one pose, if you didn’t like it, you’re stuck.  There are some situations where we only do one pose:  a child is REALLY struggling or it’s a large group. If we can reasonably do two poses, we go for it.

Because of this desire to create two poses, we are finding that we are often running behind schedule – at times, we’ve been up to an hour behind schedule.  Those of you who have been to the Draper studio know that this is not normal for us.  Since the appointments are so short at FotoFly Santa, a few difficult children in a row have a compounding effect on the wait and suddenly we’re 30 minutes behind.

There are a few simple, unacceptable solutions to this problem:

•  Take only one pose. Again, I don’t like giving you one option.

•  Lower our quality standard to ‘good enough’ so we can move quicker. I can’t do that.

•  Schedule more time per session and still charge $20. If we allow more time for each session, we are going to have to charge more.

•  Add a camera. We tried that today, it didn’t work for a variety of reasons.

So, this is what you can expect.  When you arrive at our tent, you check in by giving us your name and a phone number where we can text you.  At that point, we can give you a pretty good idea of if we are on time or how far we are behind.  You can then choose to wait in our tent and be entertained by watching us do our thing – or, you can choose to explore Thanksgiving Point and we can text you when we’re about ready for you. We have a traditional Santa there.  He’s ready to talk with your children and give them a candy cane – either before or after your session.

When it’s your turn for pictures, one of our assistants with help you get dressed in a Santa costume.  Again, you can elect to have our Santa stand in for you if you think your kids will be okay with it.  Once you’re dressed and we start, you can expect that Mike and/or I will give you our full, complete attention for a reasonable amount of time to ensure that you get the absolute best Santa pictures within our power to create.  We will give everything we have for you and your children – whatever it takes. We really, really want you to like your Santa pictures – we want the images to be legendary.  There will be no question in your mind that we are giving it 100%.

This may take 5 minutes, it may take 10 minutes, it may take 2 minutes.  You may watch us work with a family for ten minutes and then be surprised when we are done with yours in two.  This does not equate to a difference in quality. We have the same standard of quality, it just takes longer sometimes.  We literally have done some of our best sessions in two minutes.

After your session, you can expect that we are going to spend 10-15 minutes editing your pictures.  Last week, this took us as long as 30-40 minutes – mostly due to Mike and I forgetting to take a picture of your ‘session identification card’ before your session and our editors had to figure out who you were.  We’ve gotten much better at doing that and the editing time is much, much quicker.  We will text you when your images are done being edited and you will go into the Emporium – just to the North of our tent.

We will quickly show you your images and load them on the flash drive and you can print prints up to an 8×10 in size – which we begin printing immediately and it takes about 2 minutes per sheet to print.

The main reason I wanted to write this was to communicate that there is sometimes a wait before your session.  I believe that, if you are expecting that and plan for it, it will be a more pleasant experience for all of us.  Thanksgiving Point has a deli and ice cream and shopping and reindeer and ice sculptures.  I suppose it’s entertaining watching Mike and I hit each other with squeaky toys.

It’s our goal to be on time and we reevaluate every day what we’re doing and where we can improve.  I’ve been stressed about this because I care about everyone that walks through those tent doors and I really want every one of those kids to be happy and get good pictures.  I sense when you are getting frustrated and I want everyone’s experience to be perfect.  We’re falling short on that and I’ve been amazed at how understanding everyone is.  We appreciate it.

Mike and I are photographing about 70 sessions each day in the six hours that we are open.  We’ve got a support team that are all working hard to greet, dress, edit, present, and print as good and quick as possible.  We commit that we will give as much effort into the last session as we did the first. Your pictures will be worth the wait – expect that.

Working at ‘corporate’ vs. working with children.

Last week, as I was sitting on the floor with a three year old debating whether Shrek or Cars was a better movie, I couldn’t help compare my life now with how I lived just a few years ago.  Three years ago, I was VP of Human Resources of a nationwide photography company.  Back then, I had almost no contact with the studios or our customers.  My work was with fellow professionals at the corporate office.  We had departments.  We had chains of command.  There were politics and unwritten rules.  I endured endless meetings.  There was sometimes backbiting and gossip.  We all had agendas…some hidden.  While I like adults in general, I think I prefer working with children.  Let me explain:

Adults remember your faults…children remember that you promised them fruit snacks.

Adults sometimes have ulterior motives…children act exactly how they feel.

Adults hold grudges…children forgive immediately.

Adults play political games…children just play games.

Adults can spit expletives…children spit up.

Adults care about position…children care about toys.

Adults are suspicious…children believe whatever you say and actually think I’m magic.

Adults talk behind your back…children don’t even know what that is.

Adults are sometimes hard to motivate…children will do anything for a treat.

Adults bend the truth…children are, often, too truthful (we hear some pretty good stories parents).

Adults carry baggage…children live in the moment.

Adults judge you…children read you.

Adults can be distracted and discouraged…children are focused and relentless.

Adults sometimes bring out the worst in you…children always bring out the best.

I probably sound cynical about working in the corporate world and maybe I am.  But the contrast from then and now is pretty huge.  As our company grows, I will never put myself in a corporate office again.

I speak for everyone on the staff when I say I love these kids we work with.  Parents often comment about our patience in our sessions.  I’m actually not sure we’re particularly patient.  But we do see children as they are and we respect them.  They are the very best kind of humans.  People also ask us how we stay so cheerful and energetic all day.  Well…how could we not?

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