The Polaris – A Reintroduction into Atlanta Eatery Royalty

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In 1967, when it first opened in Atlanta, the Polaris restaurant quickly became a symbol of our fast-growing city. The Hyatt Regency was the world’s first atrium-centered hotel with a glass enclosed elevator, and at a time when buildings were being built taller and even more elaborate, ads of the period touted Atlanta as a “New Kind of City” because of  John Portman’s distintive design of the Polaris.

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Described as a flying saucer-like structure, the Polaris Restaurant is perched high above the rooms of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Visitors of the time would enjoy unobstructed 360º panoramic views of the Atlanta skyline in a dining room that rotated every 45 minutes. Due to it’s unique shape, and iconic blue dome, the Polaris was featured on dozens of souvenirs and postcards.

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As time passed, and taller buildings were erected on either side of the Hyatt Regency, the panoramic views enjoyed by visitors of the Polaris Restaurant became increasingly constricted. Eventually, in 2004, the restaurant closed.

After a decade-long hiatus from the Atlanta food scene, the iconic blue domed Polaris Restaurant underwent a renovation/re-imagination, and reopened its doors in June of this year. Paying homage to the 1960s by decorating with white leather upholstered bar stools with chrome details, and lounge areas with art-deco inspired chairs, guests are transported to an updated, hip bar/lounge area that maintains its original vintage charm.

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Along with the stunning interior renovation, the outside of the dome was given a facelift by adding a Rooftop Bee Garden. Here, two hives of more than 10,000 honey bees busily produce honey that are used in Polaris’ delicate cuisines. Other features of the rooftop renovation include a rainwater irrigation system, solar lighting, and what might be the only peach tree on Peachtree.

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Although guests can enjoy original menu items such as Roasted Duck Medallions, Bacon Popcorn, and Steak Oscar, the updated menu transports guests straight to the 21st century with edible modern art conceptualized by food gurus of the 21st century. Its 12-item menu changes every two weeks in response to guest’s feedback and seasonality, and each is a carefully thought-out work of art that is sure make your taste buds sing.

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

What once stood as a symbol of economic and cultural growth now stands for a revival of downtown architecture and unprecedented tourism in Atlanta. The staff at PWP Studio feel particularly overwhelmed and honored to have been a part of the grand re-opening of the Polaris. A special thanks to Ben for capturing such amazing images, and ensuring that every Atlantan can appreciate the beauty of this iconic Atlanta establishment. Cheers to many more years!

And the Allie Goes To…

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As Atlanta grew into one of the shining stars in the event industry, Tim Lundy began to envision an award geared toward professionals who wanted to showcase their talents while driving them to produce events that became nationally and globally competetive. The name “Allies” represents all Atlanta-based “allied” event companies that collaborate to promote excellence in event design, planning and production.

Today, the Atlanta Allies presents awards in 30+ catagories including Best Lighting, Best Entertainment Production, Best Floral Design, and many more. For the first time since it’s inception, distinct and separate Allie’s for Corporate Events and Social Events were awarded to nominees chosen by board members of ISES and NACE.

This year, PWP Studio was thrilled to be nominated for Best Event Photography for the 2013 GaMPI Phoenix Awards : Aquatic Fusion. PWP Studio has been a long-time sponsor of GaMPI, and this particular event was held at the Georgia Aquarium – a long-time vendor partner of PWP Studio.

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Each year, the Allie Awards chooses a theme for the event, and this year’s theme was “Allies in Wonderland”. The Tablernacle stage was stylishly decorated in white leather and red velevet, eclectic seating and all highlighted with contrasting, purple uplighting.

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Costumed guests and guests dressed to the nines piled into the audience. Filled with anticipation, each hoping to win a prestigeous Allie which was certain to gain them notoriety and garner respect amongst their peers. A highlight of costumed guests was seeing my long-time friend, Bob Carignan, dressed as the Mad Hatter – complete with lipstick.

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With my wife Angel by my side, the time in the evening had finally come to announce the winners in each category. I couldn’t have been more thrilled to have my name called as a winner! With a quick kiss from my Angel, and a short walk to the stage, I found myself giving an epic acceptance speech. Of course, due to my excitement, I don’t remember one word! Trust me, it was awesome.

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After the award ceremony wrapped, guests headed out for food, drinks, and a merry time.

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A merry time was had by all – especially by me – THE WINNER! In all seriousness, I couldn’t do what I love without the support of my wife, Angel, and all of my vendor partners. Much love to all who support PWP Studio and all of our ventures. A special thanks to Viridian Images, who provided the images from the Allie Awards.

Using Technology to “Make it Easy”

Posted by | Jobs with PWP, PWP-ism, Techie Talk | No Comments

When a daydream or happy event captivates us, we’re said to have “our head in the clouds”… the reality is, unaware as we may be, clouds are always around us. Businesses send out memorandums via email, students type and save research papers on laptops, and families use internet sites like Facebook and Photobucket to keep up with children and friends in faraway places. Documents, contacts, and images are all things that can now exist solely in the cloud, a technology safehouse. When we can trust that our emails will be sent, our papers saved, and our images are stored, our minds can rest easy that our work and memories are safe.

Everyone has heard of and likely dabbled in the could by now, but many are still curious – how can a business run in the clouds? Where are the workers, the product, the interaction? Why even go there? How does the cloud solve problems?

Having a business in the cloud is not as difficult as it seems. In fact, that is what PWP Studio strives to do to not only save on the green, but to make it easy for employees and clients alike. Here is an overview of what I have done with PWP Studio-and why!

A little background first: in 2010,  I was running a ‘typical studio’ (one man show with a couple of part-time helpers – struggling to manage cashflow and processes), I cut my business in half by leaving weddings, and my largest corporate client made internal/leadership changes that eliminated half of my remaining corporate business! By January of 2011, we were in serious trouble!! I was rebuilding and numbers were headed in the right direction, but not quickly enough – I needed waaaay more!

I was half-buried in the ground – my head in the clouds of “what could be” – dreaming of a better life, but not too sure how to get there.

The challenges:

1. I needed an easier way to do business when out of the office traveling + shooting.

2. It had to be as easy as possible for partners and planners to secure my studio’s services – no faxes, scans, or paper to send back and forth.

3. I had to have immediate + significant + sustained growth to replace the wedding business I intentionally left behind and the corporate business I lost.

4. I needed the model to scale – handle the load if/when the business grew as fast as I needed and as big as I wanted!

I needed a totally new way of operating, but we were in a bad place; there are only so many hours in the day and I couldn’t do it all or know it all myself. Oh, and I was broke. I brainstormed ways to streamline processes, make booking and service easy and consistent, enable remote access to documents and images, and in the process – gain labor hours with as little investment as possible. Interns were not the answer; short term help would not work for long term goals and gains. Hiring locally and custom coded software solutions were not an option because there was little to no budget.

I pulled my head out of the sand and looked up, way up. I envisioned how my business would look and operate if it satisfied all my requirements. The answer kept popping up: it was cloud time…

Piece by piece and solution by solution, we began moving to the cloud. It started with using the Google apps suite for email and document management (spreadsheets, user manuals, and tasks) and ShootQ for studio management (online paperless contracts, invoicing, calendar, and CRM) to solve #1 and #2. With the improved internal and client-facing cloud-based solutions in place, it was time to find (cheap) help for #3 and #4. I used Odesk to find remote contractors to help manage these solutions and implement the next cloud-based solutions: Quickbooks Online for the bookkeeping piece, Manymoon for project management, FTP for large data transfer, and Evernote for idea capture.

The studio’s continued use of the cloud not only enables efficiency between offices, but has also enabled speedy delivery and turnaround time for clients. By utilizing FTP, we can transfer images captured in Las Vegas last night to the production in the Atlanta studio today. With solutions like Dropbox and ShootProof, we upload images for clients to have in just minutes. We elminated the wait for that delivery truck that may or may not arrive in 3 to 5 business days (twice), and can revise a contract while someone 1000 miles away is watching!

With efficient processes and great contractors, the ‘move to the clouds’ also positively impacted the our core challenges of growth and scalability. In 2011 we were 90% overseas and 10% stateside – paying an average of $3.00 per hour for our ‘back of the house’ labor for everything from contract-writing to retouching – while I invested every dime we saved to grow the business. These days it looks much different – 75% stateside and 25% overseas with everyone making a fair wage. Our internal team ranges from its base in Atlanta to Philadelphia to the Philippines; more is getting done faster with lower overhead – which means I can afford to do less of the busy work and more development.

I have always endeavored to find better, easier, and faster ways for my business WHILE being more of a planning asset to my partners. We have to make it easy because our target clients are always on the go – with lists of tasks a mile long for each program they are planning. We provide the easiest booking, the easiest delivery, and extremely consistent and reliable service.

The results speak volumes: PWP photographers captured more than 300 events in 2013 versus 70 in 2010 – with a 99.8% “arrive on time” rate and a 98% “deliver images on time” rate, and I can make that happen from a shoot in spain… or a beach chair in Panama City ;) We’ve become an incredible work force that proudly stands on the promise, “the only thing better than our images is our service.

I hope this post helps you in some way – understand who we are, how to tackle challenges in your own business, or just gain a glimmer of hope when ‘all seems lost’ because we have been there! There IS a happy ending when you start daydreaming in the clouds!!

A Love Affair with Château Élan

Posted by | Chateau Elan, Destinations, Event Industry | No Comments

Many of the recent events we’ve covered in the last several months kept taking us back to the wonderful Château Élan Winery and Resort. Each time we experienced a different facet of this gorgeous venue that we couldn’t help but fall in love with it over and over again!

We covered a diversity of events on separate occasions: driving, golf, business meeting, wine tasting, cooking and (of course) a string of parties, which were held in many of the indoor and outdoor spaces on the property. It’s easy to see how flexible this venue is, and how convenient it would be to work things out, should any changes in plans occur during an event.

If we must say, it would be an event organizers dream location. Listen, this is important. We’re not saying this just because of the picturesque views, variety of rooms, and the many activities and amenities available, but also because of the professionalism and pleasant Southern hospitality of the staff, who are truly happy to serve. Let’s just say, if you want to feel what it’s like to be treated as royalty, whether you’re a party of two or your party can fill two grand ballrooms, this is the place to be. You could say, in Château Élan  guests enjoy the convenience of having everything they would need in luxury, and get more than they expect at a resort, whether on vacation or on business. Château Élan does not disappoint, like a smitten suitor that knows what to do to make you smile. :)

We’ve seen that it is indeed North Atlanta’s Premier Resort and Conference Destination for a reason. So, when planning an event here, remember to warn guests to be prepared to be awed by the magnificent scenery of acres of lush vineyards, handsome French country architecture, luxurious rooms and suites, fully-equipped conference rooms, and gracious staff.

Take a look for yourself –

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

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PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

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PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

PWP Studio photographers specialize in corporate event photography, decor, details, incentive travel, conventions, and on-location photography in Atlanta, Georgia

 

JCN: Are Your Employees Informed and Involved?

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I had the extreme pleasure recently of shooting an event for the Job Creators Network. This organization, or initiative depending on how you want to look at it, was put together by one of my favorite people, Bernie Marcus and is led by Alfredo Ortiz, President of JCN. The concept is very simple: create a positive environment where employees can be educated on what legislation means to them within the framework of their personal lives and employment.

At least, that is what I took away from the meeting.

You see, there are many people (business leaders, political figures, etc.) whom are very concerned about the future of our country. The laws and taxes our government has been putting in place for years are the main concern. Now, this is not a political statement of any kind leaning one way or the other, it is merely an observation and assessment. There is a broad opinion amongst the “haves” that the future of our country is not as bright these days as it once was. I stood in the middle of a room full of people whom had more money than they should ever need; the fascinating part of it was the fact that they were all gathered with the intention of helping their employees gain a better future!

The common belief is that people are smart enough to do the right thing. Another common belief is that our government has made understanding the complicated legislation almost impossible. That puts a lot of people going to the polls with an unclear understanding of what they are voting for – outside of a personal brand, party affiliation, or campaign identity of the candidate.

One of the core purposes of the Job Creators Network is to educate employees on what the laws mean in the real world: how it affects their job, their income taxes, their opportunities for lending, their opportunities for healthcare, and so many other topics that are personally significant to individuals. The belief is, if you are dealing with a group of people smart enough to make their own decisions and you give them the facts in terms they can actually understand, they will act/vote in positive manner for their/our future. So many employers are being ridiculed for how they treat their employees when it is the legislation that is driving the changes in the workplace. If employees were to understand that it isn’t the employer that is mandating the changes, but legislation that is binding the employers to take action – the belief is that employees would vote for their best interests, understand where the changes originate, and the workplace would be a more positive environment!

At the end of the day, many of these accomplished professionals have toiled for many years of their own lives to build or better an organization, they recognize that the people working for their companies are the greatest asset of the companies, and are all very much motivated to help these employees have a future. I have to be honest: most of my days are spent in long meetings were groups of people discuss how to make more money, how to market better, how to influence purchasing behaviors, how to gain market share, how to increase ROI, how to innovate, how to increase efficiency, and all of the other money-driven topics of big corporations. It was so refreshing to stand in the midst of a group of incredibly accomplished individuals whom were present with one singular interest in mind: making the future of our country better at all costs.

I support this group, if you happen to be in any position to do so, I would strongly suggest you look into becoming a participant in this organization!

*Please note, Bernie had to teleconference in due to a medical condition preventing him from flying. He probably apologized a dozen times for not being present! #lovethatguy

 

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PWP Studio 2013 Corporate Event Photographers

Value of Photography: Why Do People Pay for Photographers?

Posted by | Corporate Events, Destinations, Event Industry | No Comments

Sitting here on a plane returning from Spain and Portugal. No personal vacation – it was a shoot. Friends, guests of the events we capture, and most anyone unfamiliar with the ‘events industry’ are often shocked to find out we are paid for these trips… almost as shocked as I am that they would think a 40 year old man with a wife + kids + a pro photographer as a profession would do it non-stop for six days for free?

Usually the conversation goes something like this:

Them: Been anywhere cool with your photography lately??

Me: Yup. We have had some travel lately – was in Nevis/Cali/Portugal/Paris/London last week. (pick one you like – I have captured events in all of those amazing places.)

Them: WOW! Cool. So, does your client pay for you to go?

[I like to roll my eyes for effect]

Me: Yup.

Them: Wait, like they pay for your hotel?

Me: Yup.

Them: What about air?

Me: Yup. And I also get paid for my bags to travel, meals, expenses, and my regular hourly shooting rate. IF it is somewhere far away and exotic I will also ask for a travel fee.

Them: A what?

Me: A travel fee to cover my time – because that is time I can’t shoot elsewhere.

Usually wide eyes are looking at me with an open mouth at this point.

And it always makes me ponder – why do they react this way? Only logical answer is because so few people understand what we photographers do, SO I am writing this to help you understand a little more about what happens behind the scenes… and the value of our corporate event photography business in general.

First, some background. We specialize in corporate events of all kinds and my studio’s going rate is around $200/hr. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. On average we book 100 hours of shooting per month with a two or three hour minimum per event. Our average shoot length is 4 hours and I am personally the first to be booked. As I get older [coughs "bullsh*t!"], I am getting less and less interested in leaving the studio for less than a four hour shoot. I have a list of awesome photographers on the ready whom can usually cover events of any length when I am already booked or just feeling a little pressure not to leave my in-office workload. If I do the shorter event, it is usually for a handful of clients whom have been with me for a while, or it is for the promise of some amazing decor… which, BTW, I LOVE shooting. Could care less if I never see another award winner cross a stage, but give me a high creativity/design visually stunning event and I am a kid in a candy store!

So, back to the point – why do people pay for photographers at their events – seems kinda expensive and pointless, right??

Here are a few reasons:

1. Guest Experience

People think it cool to have their “picture made” professionally at events. (My great grandmother, Gran, always used that term, BTW- was a big deal to get your “picture made” by a real pro – like having a painting made… just quicker). Sometimes the guests look pretty – the only time they do between folks dying and getting hitched! Maybe it is people doing something unusual, or meeting someone unusual. The photo depicts the experience and translates to positive memories which supports the overall spend on the event.

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2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

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2. Recognition

People work hard and get things done. Whether they have sold the most on the team, closed the big deal of the decade, or finished a merit-worthy project, a photographer is almost always invited to catch the moment they are recognized so their recognition can go beyond the eyes in the room.

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

3. Documentation of People

Guess what happens when the leaders of Coca Cola’s business units from all over the globe are having a meeting? All of those fine folks in one place at one time for the only time this year usually means a group photo will be made. Guess who takes that photo?

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

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4. Documentation of Branding

When big money is spent to brand an event (think custom EVERYTHING, from branded drinking cups to 20′ wall treatments and structures), we spend time making sure it is documented. “Decor, production, and details” are key when the home office five states away needs to see where the money went, or when the venue wants to show the brands with whom they have worked. “Interaction” shots are requested when the production company wants to prove to their client that people were actively engaged with the brand.

PWP Studio 2013 Corporate Event Photographers

PWP Studio 2013 Corporate Event Photographers

PWP Studio 2013 Corporate Event Photographers

5. Documentation for Portfolio

You show what you want to sell and many planners need images to understand what can be done with a space, a type of light, or food set-ups. My industry hires us to capture WOW! shots of WOW! set-ups so those set-ups can be sold again, used for promotion when the mags/blogs want to feature an event, images for award entries, or when any of the vendors might want to have catalog or ‘portfolio’ images of what they can do.

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2013 PWP Studio - Corporate Event Photographers

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2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

PWP Studio 2013 Corporate Event Photographers

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4. Luxury Service

I have toted a camera in some amazing places just so guests of the event didn’t have to lift a finger to do it themselves. Don’t carry that heavy old 4oz whiz bang point and shoot you just spent $1000 on – that is what I am here to do for you!! We will capture that bird, that boat, and anything else you want – just ask! We have provided those images on a USB, an online gallery, or even in print form DURING and after the event. Usually these experiences are for high-rollers, and that is what the Spain + Portugal trip was. While in Portugal and Spain, my team of three captured thousands of images, led private photo tours, cleaned the cameras of the guests, and provided everyone prints at the end of each day to include in their branded photo albums provided by the host.

PWP Studio 2013 Corporate Event Photographers

PWP Studio 2013 Corporate Event Photographers

PWP Studio 2013 Corporate Event Photographers

PWP Studio 2013 Corporate Event Photographers

Now, you may think that a photographer is a photographer and anyone with a camera, lens, and a flash can do it – so why spend the potentially thousands of dollars we demand when you have 10 friends willing to do it for FREE? First off, despite the fact your photog friend can take an amazing photo of his daughter in the garden out back and has a great camera and lens – photography ‘on demand’ in ever-changing indoor/outdoor environments would likely blow their mind. It is NOT easy. I could spend the rest of my life shooting and never know it all! Photography on the fly is, well, a great way to make most shooters cry; the shot/weather/moment happens whether you are ready or not. On this trip we captured people dancing in a dark theater, touring a cave, on a kayak tour, posed on a cliff, backlit over the ocean at noon, backlit at sunset, in a big group photo assembled in the ruins of an ancient theater, and we had a fun group captured in pitch black at midnight – none of it came with more than a moment’s notice. We dealt with more reflective brass and mirrored walls than I would EVER like to see again!! The technical aspect is crucial – we are paid because we are expected to get the shot… every time without exception.

And on that ‘on the fly’ topic – let’s talk the correlation between pressure and value. Often we are dealing with executives, leaders, political figures, celebs, and their handlers…. no pressure when the person standing in front of you makes more in the tick of a second on the clock than you do in a day!! No pressure to get multiple good shots the first time because waiting around for you to fiddle with settings and cuss your batteries WILL be a big deal! We are trusted to get the shot in ANY environment, and get it QUICKLY.

Events are like fireflies – they pop up, shine bright, and then stop shining to fly out of sight. My images drive revenue for my industry because I capture events and guests during that split second they are shining bright!

It is what we do.

 

PWP Studio is hiring!

Posted by | Jobs with PWP, PWP-ism | No Comments

It is true – we are looking for a new studio manager! Want to travel the world, meet interesting people, and work in a creative industry?? GREAT – we can help you out with at last two of those! ;)

PWP Studio is a media company with an emphasis on corporate event photography. We are at the top end of event service providers in our market and provide photography services to a stellar list of clients including: Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Cox Media, and many many more. We provide excellent service to our clients whom are split equally between event industry professionals (event designers, production companies, etc.) and corporate planners for medium and large sized corporations.

Our ‘perfect candidate’ cocktail is made of the following:
one part office manager + one part inside sales + one part social media manager + a dash of photography experience (in a studio as an admin and/or behind the camera) shaken with a smile and served with a garnish of personality over ice (ice = no drama)!

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In addition, here are some skills that would be a bonus: interest in attending networking events, experience with ShootQ/Photo Mechanic/Photoshop CS3 or later, desktop support experience, and/or image management experience.

Interested? Shoot me an email at patrick@pwpstudio.com with the following:
- Resume’
- cover letter with the most fun/wittiest reason why the job is yours

Patriot Guard Riders

What do Leather and Motorcycles Have to do with The Best $100 I Ever Spent!?

Posted by | Charity, Personal Favorites, PWP-ism | No Comments

Gary Adams and his wonderful wife, Kathy, are great friends of ours and of the studio. Gary was our studio manager many moons ago, and we have remained great friends since. In addition to being friends of ours, he is also a military veteran, a photo buff, and a strong supporter of the Patriot Guard Riders.

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I noticed a very interesting story on Gary’s Facebook page not so long ago — it was an inspiring story about Cpl. Todd Love, a triple amputee and recent recipient of a “smart home”. You can find out more about the Smart home here. These homes are provided to veterans whom have been catastrophically injured while serving their country! It is an amazing program set up for amazing people whom have paid a hefty price to defend our freedom.

Cpl. Love was not happy to just receive one of the homes and disappear into happily ever after — he made it his mission to raise money so other brave service members could benefit. Of course, Gary participated in this effort on Cpl. Love’s team and posted a general solicitation for support on Facebook.

That is where I come into the story!  I had heard that my “old” friend had signed up for a 5K to support the cause, and I made an offer to Gary that he couldn’t refuse – read more about it on the Warning Order he sent to the Patriot Guard Riders requesting assistance.

 

WARNING ORDER!

1. Situation.

a.  Enemy Forces: None
b.  Friendly Forces:  Patriot Guard Riders / American Legion Riders and anyone and everyone who is committed to honoring the Men & Women of this Great Nation who has stood in the gap to protect our families and friends from those who would wish us harm!
c.  Attachments and Detachments.  There are no Attachments or Detachments.  As far as I’m concerned, anyone who continues to stand when Old Glory passes by, salutes or places their hand over their heart when they  hear the Star Spangled Banner, I consider them Family!  For those that pray for the safety of our Armed Forces as they serve in the far corners of this world, I consider them Family!  For those who respects and honors the officers dressed in Blue as they protect us here on American soil, I consider them family.  For those who admire & support the firefighters as they put their lives on the line to protect us and our belongings from disaster, I consider Family!  And finally, the Emergency Medical Technicians who fight valiantly to preserve our lives when we or our loved ones encounter a medical emergency, I consider them Family!

2.  Mission.

b.  My mission is to raise funds to help those who suffered catastrophic casualties while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan to someday be able to live in a “smart home.”  I am a member of Corporal Todd Love’s Team.  As a result of an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan, CPL Love is a triple amputee.  He is or will be a recipient of a smart home.  CPL Love is not content to “receive” a smart home, he is on a mission to raise funds so that others can also lead a more normal life. Please watch:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3K2amZ7_aE
c.  I have a good friend by the name of Patrick Williams.  Patrick is a world class photographer and he is the owner of Atlanta’s premiere “event photography” business, PWP Studio.   I had the pleasure of working with him for close to a year.  Patrick pledged $10 for this worthy cause which I am extremely grateful.  HOWEVER, Patrick told me that if I WOULD RUN IN FRONT OF HIS HOUSE IN FULL LEATHER GEAR WITH A MOTORCYCLE ESCORT…. he will increase the $10 to $100.00.  So…. I need HELP!

3.  Execution.

a.  Date of my mighty run:  Saturday, July 13, 2013.

b.  Staging area: QUICK TRIP located at I-85 & Pleasantdale Road

4086 PLEASANTDALE RD.
DORAVILLE, GA 30340
c.  Staging Time:  0930 hrs. (9:30 am)
d.  Kick Stand UP (KSU): 0955 hrs (9:55 am),  Quick Trip is approximately 2 miles from Patrick’s home.

 4.  Service Support.

a.  I will provide water / soda’s at Patrick’s home upon successful completion of my run the length of his property line.
b.  If anyone could bring some flags, sure would be nice to prep his yard with a bunch of American Flags!!!
c.  Dolores Thrash can bring your ambulance if it’s available.  I might need oxygen, air conditioning, fluids etc. to bring me back to life.
d.  A motorcycle with a loud sound system playing “gung ho” music might help me make it the length of his property…. Just sayin…..
e.  Large flags would be GREAT!!

 5.  Command and Signal.

a.  The Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer will be said prior to the start of the mission.  Should I complete the run I will be saying a private prayer of “thanks” at the conclusion of the run.

b.  For those who plan on going to the HOTH mission at the VA Center at Clairmont on Saturday, this would be a great opportunity to do two great missions in a short period of time.  Following this escapade, it’s a short ride to to the VA Center!!!
c.  Seriously, anybody that can come by and help me out on this mission, I will be eternally grateful.  In fact, if you participate I will give you a 30 day grace period in which I won’t post any embarrassing photo’s of you!!!
d.   Donations can be made at the following link: https://www.t2trun.org/campaign/display/profile.do?campaignId=16682

 

This past Saturday – guess who went running by my house in full leathers with a full motorcycle escort, sirens screaming, engines roaring, and neighbors wondering,

“What the hell is all that noise, and why is that old biker dude running down the street with a flag?!”

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I had promised him a $100 donation if he ran down the street in full leathers with a motorcycle escort, but little did I know, one of the folks in the Patriot Guard Riders told him they would donate another $200 if he turned around and ran right back up the hill!

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It was an incredible day and incredible gesture! I met some really colorful characters with huge hearts wrapped in black leather – and all of us would love to raise $1000 for Gary, Cpl. Todd Love, and all of the service members who have given so much to protect us!

**Will you click the link and make a donation??**

—> https://www.t2trun.org/campaign/display/profile.do?campaignId=16682 <—

 I can’t promise a ‘drive by’ in full leathers, but I promise you will feel amazingly good about spending that $100!

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Thank you,
Patrick

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

Who would ever want to be seen in this place?!

Posted by | Decor, Event Industry, Interiors | No Comments

I would!

The venue for the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) 50th birthday was The Metropolitan Night Club, and it was AWESOME!

We were in New Orleans, Louisiana for the Kitchen and Bath Industry show and among all the venues we visited, The Metropolitan stood out. It is what you would expect and more from the home of Jazz and the city also known as The Big Easy.

The Metropolitan is a two-story warehouse that turns into the premiere video night club of New Orleans, offering two music formats to its customers in two rooms, by celebrity DJs. Guests can also watch the shows from one of the 5 projectors and 7 flat screen TVs. I could go on an on, but these pictures tell it better –

 

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers 

 

This last photo wasn’t taken on the same spot as The Metropolitan, but it shows an amazing view of New Orleans at night.

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers