Often enough, someone asks if we are full time event photographers or if we have a day job (one actually said, “real job” to which I replied, “If by ‘real’ you mean real boring – no, but I do own a company where real people use real cameras and attend parties for a living.”) I don’t quite know why some of our new clients ask this question, but since it comes up it is worth addressing.
[Verrry] Generally, ‘paid photographers’ fall into two categories: hobbyists with a great camera, and full-time professionals. A hobbyist with a great camera is someone with a good salary, or well-paid spouse, to support their equipment habit, or someone with a lot of debt on a credit card (and this genre usually has one
good lens). The pro photographer community calls those folks ‘weekend warriors’. The Weekend Warriors will generally shoot just about anything that has a check attached and are a viable option if you need cheap photography. They only need to support their hobby – the bills are paid elsewhere.
They satisfy a need in the marketplace, but just remember: they don’t do this all the time and it isn’t their core income source. That means they may not have the experience you want to get the results when the stakes are high, and they probably can’t drop everything to help you with your problem on Tuesday morning. Said in another way, don’t call them during normal business hours because they can’t take personal calls at work… call them during lunch and hope they don’t take the same lunch as you.
[Nothing negative implied here – just a statement I conjured up to be true. Follow my logic – the independently wealthy don’t need to shoot for money; they can just buy the equipment and play with it. The weekend warrior wants to justify or pay for their gear, so they work it nights and weekends and ‘real job’ the remainder. The weekend warrior without a normal job with money to afford $10k in camera gear is like a moose with a purple mohawk – I am sure there is one or two out there, but no stereotype will be started here folks.]
Pro photographers are people whom eat, breathe, pay rent, pay for Starbucks, and support their families by the camera. We pick our passions, focus on a corresponding discipline, and become a specialist. We buy gear because it earns (and sometimes the justification is ‘loosey-goosey’ because we DO still love new toys!)
That is us: PWP Studio started in 2002 and has been full time photography since. Me, my studio manager, my lead shooter, my fav five associate shooters, my data manager, and one of my two graphic designers are all dependent on photography for their primary income source. Corporate event photography is what we do.
You are gonna like that because we do it frequently (we average one event every 33 hours year round) and we do it really really well! We can handle your needs when the ‘wheels fall off’ at your event, and we can be flexible when the timeline changes. Plus, it is worth mentioning: someone is by the phone when you call on a Tuesday morning!!