I know you probably expect some glowing third-person chronicle of the history of the company here, but that isn’t going to happen. My name is Patrick Williams and this company started in 2002 as just me and a camera; I have poured blood, sweat, tears, money, and relationships into and on it – to make it what it is today. The list of characters has grown tremendously; “I” and “my” have become “We” and “our” - we have a backend support team of a dozen full- and part-time employees and fantastic relationships with more than 100 fantastic content creators spread across markets coast-to-coast. I want you to know from the start – this company is led by a person whom cares deeply the experience you have and the content you receive. Because I care, my people care. Because my people care – you will be cared for – and THAT is what you really need to know “About PWP”…
The rest of the story….
With the experience of photographing over 600 events for other photography studios under my belt and the fresh-in-my-mind layoff from a posh IT job in “Corporate America”, I did what many people in my situation do: I started my own company! Patrick Williams Photography was alive and running in February, 2002. After two years on the fine art gallery scene, numerous shows throughout the Southeast, and a sincere desire to be more of a provider to my family, I “sold out” in 2004. I stopped investing in prints and framing and started investing in wedding sample albums and marketing classes.
My wife, Angel, my photographer friends, and some lucky (or unlucky depending on the day!) office assistants helped our success along the way – the social business was thriving! We built our client meeting lounge and portrait studio in 2006 and were 100% focused on our social business. We had some corporate clients and a few key assignments every year – but it was a minor part of our business.
Now it is worth mentioning that we have a fondly humorous saying in our studio (based on our experiences taking those often dreaded “formal” photos for weddings), “Babies and old people ruin everything.” I know – politically incorrect as can be…. but you can’t help not laugh – the truth only hurts when it should!
Such was the case with my social business, but it was MY baby that ruined everything! You see, my first son, Murphy, was born during peak wedding season – May 26th of 2007. [He was actually delivered on a client’s wedding day, but that is another story!] Anywho, his birth and the corresponding non-stop round the clock wedding work I had booked long before we even knew we were pregnant was a clear insight of what was to come. If I wanted to be the successful wedding photographer I expected to be, I would be booking my weekends a year (or more) out…and a lot of them! Sports playoffs don’t schedule a year out. School plays don’t schedule a year out. Chess Tournaments rarely happen on Mondays. The picture I had in my mind of the father I wanted to be did not include missing those momentous occasions in my son’s life. They just didn’t.
So, I looked around for the next direction of Patrick Williams Photography. In January of 2008, I decided to really focus on corporate event photography – and focus I did! I dropped all of our social advertising, bought five suits, made new business cards, changed the name of the business to PWP Studio (so I could focus on growth and release the expectation that I would be the official 'camera toter' at every event), hired a full-time studio manager and set out to be the Dad I wanted to be! Sure I was changing direction again, but this isn’t a dress rehearsal people – we are only here once!!
With my unusual combination of event photography experience at an early age, straight up charm (there is a Pulp Fiction quote in there somewhere), and previous exposure to corporate culture, I was able to provide superior results and unmatched service to my clients. The word spread. The client list grew, the companies and events got larger, the assignments came more and more frequently, and soon the business was bigger than just one photographer. A lot bigger! In January of 2010 my Daddy-dreams came true and we stopped accepting new social clients completely. We turned the fancy studio into staff office space and moved forward!
Today, I still steer the ship as the Director of Direction here at PWP Studio and spend my weekends with the adorable people you see at the top of the page! I still personally interview every single photographer, videographer, backend staff member, and onsite assistant we work with! We cater to corporate clients only and we do have more than 150 overly helpful people available to execute well over 200 assignments yearly all over the world. Psst – I don’t just say “all over the world” in hopes someone will actually take me and my team somewhere; we have been blessed/paid/trusted to cover events in France, Greece, Costa Rica, the West Indies, South Africa, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Spain, Portgual, and all of the major markets here in the continental states.
We would love to help you realize your vision for your corporate event, special content project, or incentive trip. I promise you will be treated well, your time will be respected, and you will LOVE the images my team captures!