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Flat Freak

Overly aggressive Keyhole Photo employees

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I agree, they are way to aggressive. I'm tired of walking in and immediately being asked if I want my picture taken. For a first impression upon entering a park, it's got to put some people in a bad mood. Then they go on to Coney Mall, and then people with microphones yell and scream at individual people to try to throw a ball in an almost impossible hole for 3 dollars. Then they walk by Vortex, and get screamed at by two guys to score some three pointers. I realize that this is an amusement park, but it almost feels like a chore to ignore employees and that's not right.

This is something that I find to be annoying, but then I blow it off after it happens. But when you mention it, you are right. It's very annoying.

I can understand asking a group of 5 or more people, but not a pair of people and especially not single people... And when I'm running for the gold pass entry while carrying my card in hand and they stand in my way, that's the absolute worst. I'm there AT LEAST 2-3 times a year, they know this, and they still think it's important to ask. Ask larger groups who are standing around the entry plaza looking at maps, and even offer the guests some advice. Don't jump in front of two people in a mad sprint, just to scream in a high pitched voice "Stop, stop, stop. Never forget your memory at Kings Island. Smile!!!"

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As HTCO stated they are paid and probably get a write-up if they don't sell a set number. When I worked at the park I was told by a TL of Games that if a games worker does not const. talk and interact with the guests they will be written up the first time, the second they get a suspension 3rd Termanation so I assume that it might work the same way....

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And Keyhole is only in the park because the park ALLOWS them to be. See what happens if YOU stand up front, annoy the daylights out of guests, snap their photographs, then try to charge them for them. Keyhole pays to be there. If and when the COSTS of them being there exceed the revenue to the park, out they go. And the park cannot know some of those indirect costs if its guests don't tell them. Telling Keyhole, as can be seen here, is largely pointless. They think their business strategy works.

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I can't stand the photo ambush. It's the worst part of any day at KI. And it's the first thing that happens to one as they enter the park. Hell of a welcome wagon.

Whenever I go with friends, I tell everyone to split up and regroup by the theater on the other side of them. They're like paparazzi but at least the paparazzi take pictures of relevant people.

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I must say, the photo employees at Kings Island are the worst I've seen in any park. They're actually the only ones I can even remember, come to think of it. And that just goes to show how aggressive they are. That's not exactly something to be proud of, if you ask me.

Cedar Point's are really bad too. I think they're employed by Kodak or something?

Kaman's contact info:

Kaman's Art Shoppes, Inc.

16838 Park Circle Drive

Chagrin Falls, OH 44023

(possibly? I got it from this page: http://www.kamansart.com/job/job_parks/oh_cincinnati_jobs.htm)

440-708-1909 (from the website also)

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Speaking just for myself, I have never had any problems with agressive photo takers. Sure they attempt to take a photo but simply walking briskly by while giving a polite "no thank you" works fine for me. From a business stand point, I agree that it would be more prudent to place the photo takers by such areas as the Eiffel Tower and Planet Snoopy as you are more likely to find willing customers at those locations than at the front of the park at opening time when you have a bunch of coaster enthusiasts rushing to their fav rides.

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I think it would be more annoying if they were spread throughout the park. If they're just at the front gate, you only have to deal with them once. If they're at the Eiffel Tower, you have to deal with them every time you walk by the Eiffel Tower.

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Cedar Point's are really bad too. I think they're employed by Kodak or something?

Kaman's contact info:

Kaman's Art Shoppes, Inc.

16838 Park Circle Drive

Chagrin Falls, OH 44023

(possibly? I got it from this page: http://www.kamansart.com/job/job_parks/oh_cincinnati_jobs.htm)

440-708-1909 (from the website also)

CP's photographers are from Kaman's also. While in CP's Soak City Wednesday afternoon, I was floating around Renegade River, and near the end of the river, a woman in a bright yellow shirt that said "WATERPARK PHOTOGRAPHER" was wading through the river with what I assume was a waterproof camera. I had nothing better to do since the current was moving me along rather slowly, so I smiled and let her take my photo. She then gave me a waterproof wristband with a number that also said I could view my photo at www.kamansart.com (which I intend to do, but haven't yet). She wasn't aggressive at all, but rather very friendly and polite. I think this type of thing is what the KI paparazzi needs to do. Put a photographer in the lazy river or in the wavepool or at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Then see how many people let them take their photo and how many people buy photos. I'd be willing to bet that their photo count and sales figures would go up significantly.

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Perhaps what they could do is, have photographers walking around in front of the Royal Fountains with some kind of signage on their apperal indicating they take pictures. Then if you wanted pics taken of your group in front of the fountains with the tower in the background, or with Dino Rex, they would do it. Perhaps have one or two near the little Snoopy statue in PS, as well. Then if you wanted such pics, they would take them for you. That would seem more comfortable from a guest standpoint.

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One of my friends works in keyhole. I know for a fact they do have a quota, and they are usually paid based on it. Also, the company that owns and manages keyhole is not Kings Island or Cedar Fair. If you plan on Making a complaint on them, I recommend you go to the company that can actually do something. Which in this case, is NOT Kings Island. While I do agree with all you have posted in this thread, I just didn't want your suggestion go out the window.

I feel bad for the people working in keyhole - it can't be fun. I hope their management hears what is being said and recognizes that a change is needed. As for the fact that the company that manages keyhole is not Kings Island - it doesn't really matter. They are representing Kings Island in the eyes of the guest - they wear KI nametags and they have an official location in the park. Ask 99/100 people and they would assume they are KI employees (my opinion) - their actions represent the park and I guarantee that the park has the ability to force a change in their actions if the park wanted to.

Really? Just let them take the picture. Honestly, I have been with groups several times this year. They ask us if they can get a picture, and it takes just a moment. Done! Now you just keep the pink paper or toss it. I can't explain that better. Just feel good knowing that made them a little happier. Hey, you might even go look at the photo, and want to buy it.

Really, most of the time I just don't want a picture taken. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't and I should be able to make that choice - "no thanks, not today" should be enough. The problem isn't the offer to have a picture taken, it is the harassment and intimidating approach that the keyhole management is obviously training and requiring.

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I usually don't have a problem with the photographers, but I have only been to KI once this year and we let the guy take our picture once, and then he kept trying to get us to do different poses, and we were like no thanks we going to get our early rides in and he followed us till almost the gold pass gate.

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I'm really glad ours aren't as bad as CP's have been sometimes. One of them actually insulted me because I was walking in by myself. Same thing with their games people. I think some are just better than others, I've never seen any really bad Kaman's employees at KI, but there obviously are some, but with the number of visits I take to the park, there can't be TOO many. I actually find the forced photos in Urgent Scare, Wolf Pack, and to some extent Dinosaurs Alive to be a lot worse. At least you aren't forced to take a front gate photo (with the infamous backdrop of the turnstiles, of course).

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Oh, I wonder why ours don't wear the yellow shirts then? More noticable.

My guess is so that people walking by know that she is authorized to 1) be standing in the (not-so-)lazy river without a tube (which is prohibited for guests) and 2) have a camera out taking pictures on a ride (also prohibited for guests).

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For what it's worth to you here, I sent a quick email to the park today and have already gotten a response phone call and had a very nice conversation on the topic with a guest relations agent who seemed very cooperative. She informed me that my message had already been forwarded to a few departments.

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I told one of the picture takers that wanted to take my picture that one of the other picture takers in the park died 3 hrs after he took my picture last weekend. She believed it. Lol.

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I wish I could find the picture, but I can't....anyways, we had a picture taken of us that was completely fogged over. All you could see was the whites of our shoes. Nothing else. Good thing we didn't want to buy.

On with my rant. I usually do not complain about the photographers. I understand they're only doing their job. We always ALWAYS pose for them, even if we've been there 3 days in a row. I have more pink slips than I care to admit. Almost all have been pleasant and quick experiences. This year, ugh....

...Our first trip this year, we decided to stop and let them take our picture. Family pic x2...Okay, no prob. Kid pics without parents, okay, again. Mom and Dad without kids...mmmk. Individual kid photos....this is getting redundant. Our first day, we arrived a little late, so we spread out to Action Zone first. Well, we were over there a while, and the girls decide they want a stroller. We get the stroller and walk through the front area over to Planet Snoopy. On our way to PS, we were stopped not once, but twice by photographers. Hello? We have a stroller from the park, and we came from that --------> direction. Leave us alone. After that, we decided to take a different route and avoid the front altogether.

Second day, more of the same...except we were there for ERT. Which only had 30 minutes left. What happens as we make a mad dash through the Gold Pass line? We get hit up by 2 photogs. They would not take no for an answer and did the family, kids, parents (thankfully no individuals). At this point, my husband is furious. For the first time ever, I did not grab a prtscn (don't judge me) of our photos. Everyone looked annoyed.

I understand they work off sales and what not...but being so in your face just makes you angry. And yes, I feel like a celeb being stalked. If I wanted that, I would have packed my bags and gone to Hollywood. But no, I want to enjoy a family outing without the hassle of flashing lights. Do I enjoy getting a photo of us? Absolutely. Do I feel like the tactics and amount of pictures are overkill? YES.

It would be nice if there were some sort of system in place out at the front gates, say...if you want a picture taken, take a brightly colored piece of paper and flash it as you walk in. Have a certain area for photographers to reside, and YOU make your way to them, not the other way around.

The rest of our trip was spent dodging the photographers....our trips usually consist of that as the season wears on. It gets old.

/off my soapbox.

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Even with them being as aggressive as they are, they DEFINITELY don't need 5 of them on each side of I street. -_-

I've always wondered if I just keep walking straight and just stand still if they step in my way, if one will still take my picture.

But it must really suck to have this job, I think I can see a quota being placed on them, that makes the most sense as to why they are the way they are.

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50 replies in one day; this seems to have struck a nerve. Obviously most of the people here are more in tune with the day-to-day operation of the parks than the average bear, and if we're annoyed by this, the average park visitor (once a year) is probably annoyed by it too. The difference with them is that they're willing to tolerate it as accepting it and moving on takes away less of their precious leisure time than stopping, arguing, and complaining about it in person, in writing, or on an internet forum. I still can't help but feel that the average park visitor feels they are being gouged from start to finish.

It's one thing to separate the park visitors from as much of their money as possible; it's another thing to make them feel like they are being put through a wringer. I like when park visitors spend lots of money; it helps pay for B&M hypers and subsidizes my $140 Platinum Pass that I will use 20 times this year.

I just can't help but think that there's a better way. Strong arming people into posing for a mediocre photo framed by turnstiles isn't the way. Put photographers in visually interesting spots around the park - the fountains, the floral clock, the carousel, next to Snoopy, on Coney Mall framed by WindSeeker, the dinosaurs, the Diamondback station, a Ride Warriors sign, the lazy river - and make them WANT to pose for you. Be bright, cheerful, and accommodating, rather than confrontational, intimidating, and aggressive. Offer a hook - a free wallet, a $2 4x6 glossy - that is likely to get them to stop at the keyhole booth later in the day, and offer them reasonable upsells on frames and keychains and mugs. Allow them to collect a dozen shots throughout the park and turn them into a calendar. Wouldn't you love to have your business' name plastered all over a calendar hanging in someone's kitchen that they look at 365 days a year? And they paid you for the privilege?

The aggressive photographers aren't the problem. They're the symptom.

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Like I said on another web page, I'm surprised one of them hasn't been belted yet. It's gonna happen. Throw in some alcohol, a person already agitated with the prices and uh oh.

A day at the park is supposed to help unwind from the daily stresses of life. The sales pitches and in your face attitude of the photographers just keep it going.

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I don't know what you're all complaining about to be honest.

You get asked to get a picture taken and its either yes or a no.

And YOU MIGHT get asked "Awe are you sure?" and they might put a big smile on their face and you might think hmm why not.

Boom picture taken, given the pink slip all in under 30 seconds.

(Usually If you say no thanks, they leave you alone)

now about the "aggressive" and get in your way picture takers, You might change your direction BUT their policy is that they have to say/offer you a picture photo then leave you alone if you say no.

You can't rely on your body language to show no, you have to say NO. That's not being aggressive, that's following a legal policy that was put in place for a reason.

Also who doesn't want their picture taken? usually my whole group goofs off and on we go.

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I don't know what you're all complaining about to be honest.

You get asked to get a picture taken and its either yes or a no.

And YOU MIGHT get asked "Awe are you sure?" and they might put a big smile on their face and you might think hmm why not.

Boom picture taken, given the pink slip all in under 30 seconds.

(Usually If you say no thanks, they leave you alone)

now about the "aggressive" and get in your way picture takers, You might change your direction BUT their policy is that they have to say/offer you a picture photo then leave you alone if you say no.

You can't rely on your body language to show no, you have to say NO. That's not being aggressive, that's following a legal policy that was put in place for a reason.

Also who doesn't want their picture taken? usually my whole group goofs off and on we go.

How many times have you been there this season?

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now about the "aggressive" and get in your way picture takers, You might change your direction BUT their policy is that they have to say/offer you a picture photo then leave you alone if you say no.

Then their policy is WRONG and not guest-friendly. The purpose of this thread is to gather ammo to complain to KI management and get the policy changed.

You can't rely on your body language to show no, you have to say NO.

I don't HAVE to do anything of the sort, and I strongly resent any such policy of some third party company that puts me in that situation. I didn't buy a season pass to Kaman Art Studios. I even more strongly resent the second party - Cedar Fair - that allows that to happen.

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And NO ONE has the right to physically stand in the way, begging, whining, harassing, humiliating, embarrassing, and cajoling Kings Island's guests to get their picture made or play a game. The guest should NOT have to affirmatively DEMAND to be left alone.

Isn't that harrassment??

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The vendor and/or the park would say the guest consented to such treatment unless and until the guest puts the pursuer on notice to leave the guest alone. Unfortunately for both, the guest has another remedy...to stop coming to a place that is supposed to be FUN.

I wonder, too, how a legal case for, say assault and battery, would end when, as as is likely to eventually happen, physical contact ends one of these commercial encounters. Some of these pursuers apparently don't like taking NO for an answer.

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