10 Questions with Paul Weber
It is always such a pleasure meeting people who not only do what they love but who do it with integrity and compassion. Paul Weber is just that person. He is a professional music tour photographer who has a profound respect for his life and the people in it. I am sure his time in the military has added to the appreciation.
While his is a dream career for many music lovers, Paul explains in his interview that reaching your goals takes great connections and good old hard work. My favorite quote of Paul’s is “Be patient. You never know what the future has in store for you.”
Tell me a little about yourself.
My name is Paul Weber. I was born and raised in a small town in Wisconsin called Waterford. After High School, I began a long and interesting carrier in the music business. Traveling from Russia to Iraq, Europe to Mexico I have seen the world through the lens of a camera. Good or bad, I wouldn't change a thing.
1. Being a photographer is great but being a tour photographer is pretty cool. How did you wind up there?
Great question. It was a bit of a being in the right place at the right time. Out of High School I began working for bands, doing sound for them. Like anything in life, and especially the music industry, you network and meet people. Over the years I worked in one capacity or another with artists of all different styles. From Robin Trower to Five Finger Death Punch, Natalie Cole to Kid Rock. I have had the pleasure to be around some very talented artists. After getting back from Iraq I bought my first real camera and started bringing it with me on the road. The passion I had for photography when I was younger came back, though It was almost like having to start over again. People knew me as an audio engineer, so trying to re-establish myself as a photographer has taken time, and continues to be a journey in and of itself.
2. What is the craziest part of your job?
I would have to say the schedule. Some great opportunities come out of the blue with little or no notice. If you want to be successful you really do have to be ready to go when the phone call/email comes in.
3. As a kid did you see yourself following this path?
In terms of shooting photos of musician and other artists? No, but I always loved photography. My Dad had an old Canon 35mm film camera that he bought in Vietnam. I remember taking it to school and the impact of capturing interesting moments in time had on me.
4. What’s one thing about you that helped you reach your goals?
I always have goals, so the journey never ends, in a good way. Having parents that instilled a good work ethic. Nothing of real value is just handed to you. If you work hard you can be successful in whatever you love. I’m sure my friends and family would say I was just a stubborn kid, and they may be right about that. So, good work ethic or too stubborn to know when to quit, ha!
5. Who inspired you most?
When it comes to music photography, I was one of those kids with posters on their wall of the “coolest” bands of the time. Back then I didn't know the photographers' names, but it was their work that inspired me. I later came to know their names, which brought my attention to more of their work that I had never seen. People like Baron Wolman, Ross Halfin, Neil Zlozower, Mark Weiss, Jim Marshall, Annie Leibovitz, and Bob Gruen.
6. Given the chance, what would you say to your younger self?
Are you serious about that haircut? I am glad I grew up before social media really took off because, wow.
7. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
If you can, wait 24 hours before making emotional or important decisions. Give time for rational consideration to set in.
8. If you could have a drink and pick the brain of anyone past or present who would it be and why?
My Grandfather. He had a huge impact on me and made me want to be a better person than I was the day before. I wish we had more time to talk. I feel like we were just getting to know each other when he passed away.
9. When things get tough, how to do you weather the storm?
You have to put things into perspective. Whatever problems I am having, someone somewhere is having a worse day. People treating you poorly is no fun, but have empathy. You don't know what they are going through.
10. If you could give ONE PIECE of advice to someone who is starting out on a quest to follow their passion, what would that be?
Wow, one piece….. Be patient. You never know what the future has in store for you. Be patient when building networking relationships. Be patient with how you treat people as much as you can. That person you don't know, who you were just rude too, may hold the keys to your dream job in their hands.
Please comment below and let us know what YOUR passion is AND please follow Happiness Depends for a little more happiness in your life.