Today we’d like to introduce you to Gian Ghio.
Gian, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My wife (Graciela Polick) and I have always liked taking photographs and decided to turn that passion into a photography business in the spring of 2011 shortly after the passing of my father. We started out our first year by doing free photoshoots of models, engagements photos, baby photos for family and co-workers, and family photos of friends in order to build our portfolio. In 2012 we spent several months doing boudoir shoots in people’s homes to create a portfolio for that as well. In May of 2012 we took our first paying gigs shooting portraits session after we ran an ad through Amazon Local. Our first wedding was shot in Coronado in August of 2012 with some friends of ours. Our second wedding was a month later in Camp Pendleton with a couple we had found on Craigslist. It wasn’t glamorous and the money was tight but the pictures we accumulated and experience we gained from our first two years of shooting built the foundation for our next 3 years of work. Since the beginning of 2013 was have shot an additional 65 portrait sessions or weddings and are continuing to try and grow our business. Our main focus continues to be wedding photography and family portraits. Our style can best be described as contemporary photojournalism because we shoot with a combination of traditional posed portraits as well as candid as they happen shots.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not. There have been times when we have thought about shutting it down because of lack of revenue. Taking photographs is not that difficult but running a photography business (successfully) requires so much more than just snapping photos. There is accounting, sales, marketing, customer service, website maintenance, social media posting, vendor management, and all of the other things any other small business would have to handle. It is just the two of us so we have to handle everything by ourselves including our photo editing which takes up a large amount of time. I don’t think either of us realized what a time commitment it would be. Both of us have full time jobs in addition to our business so finding the time do all of these things has come at the expense of our free time, vacations, evenings, and sleep.
Our biggest challenge has and probably always will be bringing in new clients. Competition in Southern California is fierce and cutthroat. The average Joe cannot tell the difference between a newbie photographer and an experienced one and often does not understand the difference between what each of them offers. Unfortunately, pricing still reigns king in most circumstances and the cheaper photographer usually wins.
G Squared Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We specialize in weddings/events and portraits. While that may be our primary focus, we have and will shoot just about anything. The old adage in photography is that you should just pick one or two types of photos and just focus your business on that. While we can agree with that somewhat, we do not like to limit our options and want our clients to feel like they can contact us for any type of shoot. This could mean that we are shooting your engagement and wedding photos one year, then maybe your maternity and child’s newborn photos a few years down the road, then a 4th birthday party a few years after that. I think it is our diverse portfolio that sets us apart from other photographers and it is something we are very proud of. Another thing that makes us special is that we both shoot and have slightly different styles so when we shoot a wedding or event, the pictures our clients received encompass two different points of view.
Shooting a wedding is like telling a story and the photos we take help our couples remember and relive the story of their special day. We feel honored anytime a couple asks us to shoot their wedding because they are trusting us to capture the memories from one of the most important days of their lives.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I think a lot of people may say money is a determining factor for success but for us it is not.
After we shoot a wedding, the things we look for are:
– Did we capture everything the client asked us to?
– Did we capture photographs that the client will cherish and be proud to share with others?
– Did we work in a way that was pleasant and not disruptive to the atmosphere of the event?
– Did we capture candid photos that the client was not expecting but was happy that we got?
– Is the client happy enough their photos that they would be willing to recommend us to somebody else?
If we are doing all of these things then I know that we have done a good job and that is success to me. Monetary gains are just a by-product of a job well done.
- Wedding photography pricing starts at $250
- $225 for 1 hour portrait sessions (Family, babies/newborns, maternity, pets, seniors, engagment)
- Boudoir sessions start at $175
- Website: www.gsquaredphotography.net
- Phone: 619-322-9608
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/g2photography
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/g-squared-photography-chula-vista