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Event Industry

A Love Affair with Château Élan

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

 

Value of Photography: Why Do People Pay for Photographers?

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.

 

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

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

 

Would you invite a lemur to your next event?

By | Corporate Events, Event Industry, Green Things | No Comments

We love the Georgia Aquarium for the space and beautiful sea animals that gracefully entertain, but our landlocked animal friends at the Zoo Atlanta are not to be outshone.

Zoo Atlanta is perfect for any event from a small family barbecue to a formal gathering with 5000 guests!  It gives any event a unique ambiance, with the lush plants and the animals that live there. Imagine trainers with birds perched on their hands at your event. Or, your guests experiencing the simple thrills of feeding the animals. See photos below of the VIPs from the last networking event we covered there feed the lemurs. Just make sure that when you feed the lemurs you wear masks and gloves to protect them. Yes, you got that right, to protect the lemurs, not you.

Check out the photos below and see how your next event could benefit from this out of the ordinary space.

Many of the materials used were provided by sponsors:

The tent was by Tents Unlimited, and heaters by Peachtree Tents & Events. Shepard Exposition Services provided the tables, Graceful Tables the linens, and Floral Matters the flower decors. Max Lagers brought the beer, while Total Wine and Spirits brought the wine. The audio and video needs were filled by Onyx MS Group.

 

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

2013 PWP Studio Event Photographers

 

 

 

 

2013 Heritage Celebration at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta

By | Decor, Event Industry, Interiors | No Comments

PWP Studio had the honor of covering the 2013 Heritage Celebration at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

Former Atlanta Mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young talked about the historical significance of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta to the African-American Civil Rights Movement, as it was the venue of some of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s meetings in the 1960s. Ambassador Young also recognized the Ground Crew of the movement, the volunteers, and the workers who made it happen.

Christine King Farris, Dr. King’s sister, graced the event with many other prominent leaders in the African-American community.

Legendary basketball player Hank Aaron was also there with his wife, Billye Aaron, who was presented with the 2013 Crystal Customer Award by the Hyatt Regency Atlanta General Manager Joe Hindsley.

During the event, more than 50 Hyatt Regency Atlanta employees were also honored for their 30 years or more of service.

Take a look at the photos we took of the venue, elegant decor and guests, including that of Billye Aaron singing Happy Birthday to her husband who celebrated his birthday a few days before the event —

 

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Ventanas IS the Place

By | Conventions, Corporate Events, Event Industry | No Comments

Ventanas, is the Spanish word for windows,  and it is no coincidence that this premier event space and helipad has fabulous two-story floor-to-ceiling windows that give guests a spectacular view of Atlanta from the top, be it day or night.

The Ventanas sits on the 14th and 15th floor of the Park Pavilion building, within walking distance from the Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, Georgia World Congress Center, Philips Arena, Georgia Dome, American Cancer Society, and the Luckie Marietta District.

Its total indoor and outdoor area is 9,547 sq. ft, which gives event planners lots of room to plan just about any amazing event. Whether it be a small gathering of 50 or a 500-guest red carpet event with VIPs, it will surely be an impressive and unforgettable one when held at the Ventanas.

We just love it! Check out some of the photos of the place —

2013 PWP Studio

2013 PWP Studio

2013 PWP Studio

2013 PWP Studio

2013 PWP Studio

2013 PWP Studio

 

 

 

We clicked our heels together and…

By | Bold American Events & Catering, Corp Events Unlimited, Corporate Events, Event Industry | No Comments

Since we did it minus the ruby shoes, instead of back in Kansas, we found ourselves back at the Georgia Aquarium, and this time for a client’s annual kick-off.

The GA Aquarium is a favorite venue for corporate events because of its flexibility and space, not to mention the company of our graceful friends in the water.

For this event Corporate Events Unlimited handled the planning, while Bold American Events & Catering did the decor, which was a coral-inspired theme with vivid reds and blues.

Guests were serenaded by the Yacht Rock Schooner band.

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Live out your biggest rock star fantasies!

By | CCP Events, Decor, Event Industry | No Comments

When you’ve experienced Karaoke like in the event we covered recently at the Georgia Aquarium, you will never be the same again!

Okay, maybe there’s just a little bit of exaggeration there, but this was Karaoke on steroids. Imagine rocking to your favorite tunes with a live band playing with you in front of everyone. How’s that for Karaoke night?

It was the Metalsome band that rocked with the Karaoke participants during this event, with 2000 people in attendance.

Check out some of the photos we took and see the awesome job CCP Events did decorating the GA Aquarium.

 

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Did you see the DeLorean Time Machine land in Atlanta?

By | Cars, Decor, Event Industry | No Comments

No, time machines are not on the market just yet, but the car from the Back to the Future movies was at the epic event we shot for a client.  It fit in perfectly with the futuristic and outer space décor during the event, which was held at the Georgia World Congress Center and the Georgia Aquarium.

Though the characters of the film, Marty McFly and Doc Brown didn’t blast in with the DeLorean, the audience was more than excited to see this year’s guest presenter, Shaquille O’Neal. During the Q & A session, some of the basketball legend’s fans jumped on the stage with him to take pictures, and one even did a quick rap with Shaq!

When that was wrapped, the audience was wowed by the ice carving group Fear No Ice, who put on an amazing demonstration for everyone.  After that, the surprise musical presenter, Matchbox Twenty set everyone on fire with favorite hits from their albums.

This year, their annual company meeting had a little twist to it though – it was a circus! No, really it was. A carnival was setup for a whole evening, complete with acrobats, sword swallowers and people on stilts! The Imperial Opa Circus just took the event to a whole new level.  See for yourself —

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It’s 2013: What is your time worth?

By | Event Industry, PWP-ism, Techie Talk | 2 Comments

I’ve been talking to a lot of meeting planners lately – because that is what I do – and it is funny how many DON’T have New Year’s resolutions! I mean, c’mon, how will anyone get anything done in this business without planning?

I digress.

A frequent theme for New Year’s resolutions that seems to come up quite a bit in my conversations with events industry professionals is time management: working less, working more efficiently, getting more things done, focusing, and the list goes on and on. The bottom line is: people in the event industry have a lot to do on a day-to-day basis, and are constantly looking to find ways to get more done and get back to LIVING! Well, I get it too – I am secretly working on cloning myself – moo-whah-hahhhh!!!!

One of the ways you can guard your time is to start doing business with other industry professionals who respect their own. When someone is doing ‘good business’ consistently it shows, whether it be by organizing themselves, replying to correspondence promptly, or updating their technology and systems to keep up with today’s tools.

This is where we come in. Our entire brand/business/identity is set up for people in the events industry with 1 million things to do and limited time. Sound familiar? So, instead of trying to create a photography studio that offers some sort of unique whizbang technology solution, or claims to be the best at a myriad of different services – we set ours up to be easy and efficient. Period.

We believe we are the best (after 20 years in the industry and multiple awards – I better be!!), but our focus is on being the most efficient. Our booking process is quick and easy (and all online!), and our contracts can be completely executed in an office or on the road while traveling. In fact, the average time our clients spend dealing with us and all of the details of the photography for their events is usually less than 30 minutes!

Stop and think about that for a second – and the experience you may be having with your current vendor(s). A total of 30 minutes of your time will cover all aspects of booking photography for your event or your client: initial contact, discovery conversation, contracting, invoicing, AND deliverables! No faxing. No printing. No email follow-ups. No jumping through hoops. Everything is smooth, efficient, online, and accessible from anywhere – because we designed it to be quick and easy.

Rarely do our clients have to call or email us to check up on things because we follow-up on the front end and we keep a tight schedule on the post-production. You get what you need from us before it occurs to you to follow up! Even in our peak of peak times, our image delivery might get stretched to four business days (normally three business days for every event we capture!) Can your photographer consistently maintain a three or four day delivery schedule? Based on what we have seen of our industry peers, we hear that window for other photographers approach two to three weeks on a very frequent basis. When you think about it, imagine the delivery delay and how it affects your personal time – that means a lot of back and forth emailing between you, your client and the photographer about the images, repackaging the images for your client, and not to mention all the waiting for replies. What if all that craziness went away?

Here’s another thing you may not know: “we” is actually a we – not just a “me” saying “we” to seem bigger and better than one person can be! Our business is not a one-man operation. We actually have a studio manager, a graphic designer, and an image production manager – that means things are getting done and emails are getting answered even when “the photographer” is traveling for a shoot or buried in shoots in peak season!

All in all, if you have read this entire piece, it is clear that saving time appeals to you. Let us help you with your next event and see how easy it can really be. Our rates may not be as cheap as your current provider, but I bet our team can consistently do it better! Not to mention this little ditty, what is YOUR time worth??