Fayrouz and I have been to a few photo department parties this year. After watching everyone interact and listening to some stunningly interesting conversations, we determined everyone should want to have PJs at your next party.
OK. It's a shameless plug to invite PJs for some free food (most are very poor and need food), but the point is to have a fun party. PJs are a quick fix to a dull party. If the party is mostly PJs, it's an excessively fun party and normally results in at least one good story for everyone involved.
Before I get too far, I must say this invitation must be extended to the person not the professional. The professional doesn't want to waste time at a party. The person does. It'd be like inviting a professional waiter to a party and expecting him to serve food and bus the tables. Most professionals don't have FREE time.
So, you're going to invite the PJs to be a guests and let them know they can bring a guest, but the camera isn't required. Some take cameras everywhere and might want to shoot "just 'cuz," but don't expect it.
So, what can you expect?
Anything. Many PJs are well traveled. Most speak more than one language or have some unusual specialty to separate themselves from other PJs.
Specialties? Sure, ask them about certificates. You'll find PJs who are certified in everything from firefighting to massage therapy. Why? Because our hobbies are professions to other people – just like almost everyone's hobby is photography. Therefore, breaking the ice at a party is easy for us. We say, "So, have you ever used a camera?" Viola.
Why else should I invite a photojournalist to my next party?
Eye candy. Many photographers themselves are attractive (it makes it easier for them [not me] to gain access). However, whomever they have with them (the dreaded significant other) typically is stunning and intellectually compelling – like princess Fayrouz.
PJs are visual people. They're also intelligent and well informed (overly informed on some subjects). So, most of their guests are intelligent and/or attractive. Yet another good reason to have more PJs at a party.
Most drink alcohol and all of them eat like a swarm of locusts – don't count on leftovers.
At DMN photo parties, dogs are normally an interesting addition. I don't know how this tradition started, but everyone brings their dogs and lets them play together if it's an outdoor (backyard) party at a home with dogs.
Since the dogs seldom see their owners (remember our work hours), they're happy to visit with everyone. So, the dogs work the petting circuit fairly hard and clean up any dropped food as the party progresses. This is yet another bonus for hospitable hosts.
Enough for now,