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Jobs with PWP

Using Technology to “Make it Easy”

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!!

PWP Studio is hiring!

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)!

PWP_7647

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

Bored with your current gig? Good news – PWP Studio is hiring!

By | Jobs with PWP, PWP-ism | 4 Comments

It is true – we are headed into busy season with a full plate and we need some solid help with image post-production! We want someone ready to hit the ground running and be available to process anywhere from 1000 to 5,000 images per week. Culling, color correction, cropping, renaming, and resizing are the primary responsibilities – with an occasional layered file if we bracket exposures or a clone stamp to remove an artifact. We hire top-notch photographers to capture solid images with a creative ‘eye’, and the creativity in our workflow is in the selection of images. You must have ‘the eye’ to recognize the difference between an okay shot and a great shot! After selection, the rest of the job is simply to “make them look good, and make them look gone”.

Do’s and Don’ts
– We don’t require creative ‘editing’ (no sepia or b/w conversion, pixel pushing, or art pieces).
– We do have a portrait retoucher on staff to handle retouching, so that skill is not required (but is useful if you have it!)
– We do have an office manager to handle physical deliverables.
– We don’t usually shoot raw – our workflow is based on JPEG.
– We do function out of the cloud, so transportation is not required; this is a ‘work from home with a stout Internet connection’ kind of job.
– We do prefer someone to be in the Atlanta metro area in case physical movement of files (for large multi-shooter events) needs to happen.
– We do require you have a color calibrated monitor, image sorting software, and image editing software. Photo Mechanic and Photoshop products are a plus in our world.
– We DO require someone capable of scheduling their time in an efficient and professional manner. We have fairly tight deadlines with our clients which translate to fairly tight deadlines for our production.
– We do everything we can to make certain you have plenty of lead time on jobs and can schedule your workload accordingly.
– We don’t handle blown deadlines very well. #justsayin’
– We don’t require someone with stellar phone skills

What is cool about this job:
– Cool is looking at photos all day!
– Cool is when those photos are of sensational events, pretty people, stellar venues, exotic destinations, annnd the occasional drunk.
– Cool is working with fun creative people all over the world!
– Cool is having 24/7 access to a team of great photography mentors, if you are into that.
– Cool is having the freedom to manage your own schedule and your own time. What time of the day or night you work is of no concern to us as long as the deadline comes and the work is finished.
– Cool is working in your pajamas…at your house…with your cat. ZERO client interaction – no complaints, no customer service, and no calls. You ARE the wizard behind the curtain!!

As far as money is concerned, this position will range between $10 – 20 an hour depending on your speed/experience with sorting and editing software. Some weeks we will require five or six hours, and some weeks during peak time it may jump to 20 or more hours.

Want to know more, or have someone in mind?? GET IN TOUCH!!
Patrick and the PWP Studio Team