Chris Crisman Photography

Three Years as a Studio Manager

chris crisman three years studio manager robert luessen

Taking a moment in our hectic schedule to stop, breathe, and reflect – I have to ask myself the question, what have I been doing for the past three years? The pace of what we do and the pace of my life doesn’t exactly allow much time for reflection, but as I’m sitting here on a tiny airplane next to Chris, in flight to Milwaukee, Wisconsin I’m forcing myself to stop, tune out and think about what this job entails.

I should mention that on a personal note, this three year “workiversary” coincides with an equally significant occasion; I’ll be turning 25 years old next week (no gifts necessary). With a rapidly upcoming quarter century under my feet, I can’t help but look backwards at the path my life has taken and simultaneously peer into the vast, wonderful uncertainty of the future. Of course, I could really be over thinking all of this and should just shut up and enjoy a piece of birthday cake and a tall glass of scotch next week to celebrate my birth. Either way, I’ve spent a lot of the last three years working – and I don’t often stop to think about it all.

chris crisman three years studio manager robert luessen

I find myself constantly remarking to acquaintances, friends, and family that I enjoy this job because “every day is different from the next.” Sparing the trite overtones of my phrasing, I can’t help but think that statement is true; proven truer and truer every day that I come in for work. The variety of photo-shoots and studio days aside, I’m finding that these days my plate stays full and my to-do list grows at a pace that outstrips the paper I’m writing it down on.This is a good thing. Specific to the last 365 days on the Crisman team, I’ve found myself digging deeper and growing skill sets that the greenhorn studio manager of a few years ago had no idea he’d be working on.

chris crisman three years studio manager robert luessen

The days, weeks, and months of the past year have truly flown by – whether it’s working on production in the studio while Chris is halfway across the country making photos, managing our ever-expanding archive of pictures, standing in for a light test for Sir Richard Branson, working feverishly on invoices and paperwork from an airport lounge, or carrying around generators and octabanks in a freak Arizona snowfall. Whatever the task, I don’t say no. If it needs to happen, we make it happen.

chris crisman three years studio manager robert luessen

Particularly in the last year, the notion of “we” has been evolving as well. The Crisman team keeps growing, adding talented assistants, photographers, stylists, producers, and friends to our rooster. Certainly we have a few core members that help us hold down the fort in Philadelphia, but we’re always trying to meet new faces and work with old friends and new in every city that we visit. In my opinion, quality begets quality and I can sleep a bit easier at night knowing the people we’re working with realize the value of hard work and are committed to making it happen.

chris crisman three years studio manager robert luessen

All of the dovetailed thoughts and ramblings aside, I keep coming back to my initial question: what have I been doing for the last three years?

I’ve been working my ass off – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve been lucky enough to have three years of learning, three years of laughs, three years of new experiences and three years of enjoying coming in to work each day. Thank you to everyone along the way.

5 comments
  1. Justin Garvin says: July 10, 20138:28 pm

    Congrats Robert! Awesome write up

  2. Robert Luessen says: July 11, 20139:20 am

    Thank you Justin!

  3. Juan says: July 14, 20133:56 pm

    Congratulations! Now if I can only switch my current job into that I will be happy too.

  4. […]  – I reflect on three years as a studio manager […]

  5. […] is true for so many reasons.  Thank you Robert Luesson and Chris Crisman for the reminder and the great post. To read more about what’s on […]

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