Q&A With Man of Wow Jerry Ghionis

ReceLesHab2012-030-Editntly I (Vanessa Joy) had the chance to sit down and chat with Jerry Ghionis, originally from Australia but now bouncing back and forth from there to L.A. and currently touring North America in his first solo 33 city photography tour How to Wow. You can get $10 off any ticket to see this man show how he WOW’s his clients every time, consistently producing incredible imagery that we all enjoy. Just use code HTWPB at check out at www.HowToWowTour.com

See below the interview with Jerry as he tells us what it’s like to work with your spouse, the best and worst thing about being a photographer and much much more!


Best and worst thing about working with your spouse?

JGHeadshot

 

Best: We may be in a unique situation, but for me the best part of it is that 24 hours a day/7 days a week is not enough time to spend with each other.

Worst:  The worst part is that it’s actually not 24/7 because we have to sleep 8 hours a day.

 

Best and worst thing about being a photographer?

 

Best:  I love the creative process and problem solving. I love all of the creative challenges that come with being a photographer and figuring out how to overcome them. But there is nothing better than anticipating and witnessing the reaction of people seeing their photographs for the very first time.

Worst:  We spend our lives immortalizing moments for other families which takes away moments spent with our own.

What’s one piece of advice you can give photographers moving from part to full time?

 

Success in wedding photography and especially in performing on the wedding day is more about your communication skills and your listening skills and knowing how to read people.  That will go a long way in making you a great photographer rather than focusing on how technically brilliant you are. The ability to have an endearing and attractive personality and the ability to work under pressure while still being technically proficient is especially important.  You almost need to be like a chameleon. In the sense that you need to know how to be relaxed and more down to earth at a casual wedding and at the same time be able to carry yourself professionally when you’re at a high society wedding.

I also believe that assisting at weddings is the best training for any photographer. At the very first wedding that I assisted, I probably learned more than in all of the time I spent in school.  And that was because I was getting on the job, real world training.  At that first wedding I was taught about the direction of light, how to use flash, interacting with clients, working under pressure, working under time constraints.  I literally just carried bags and assisted a photographer for a year and half with no pay while I was working at a camera store selling cameras.  I did all of that just so I could be involved in the industry.  And that’s because when you’re photographing a wedding, you’re actually shooting much more than that. You’re shooting a wedding, portraits and fashion, you’re shooting photojournalistically, shooting product (all the details that you need to document), landscape, etc.  So you’re photographing in all these different genres and under time constraints, weather constraints, different cultures and dealing with different personalities, so I truly believe that a really good wedding photographer can pretty much shoot in any genre.  Artistically, don’t be safe or stay in your comfort zone by going to “pose number 23 in location number 37”.  Comfort zones have never been synonymous with artistic expression.

I encourage new photographers to be as passionate about their business as they are about their photography. Consider yourself a businessperson first who happens to be a photographer.  As a business owner ask yourself, “Am I working in my business or on my business?”  Surround yourself with great people – your studio is only four walls without good staff. Stop being a control freak and get some help.  Educate yourself.  Seminar and workshops can literally change your life.  After all, knowledge is power.  Don’t be too precious about the work.

One of my favorite mantras has always been that I don’t focus on being the best; I just focus on being better than last week.  I believe this is one of the keys to being successful and consistently creating beautiful images.  By doing that, you become the best that you can be – you realize your own potential.

photography education

What’s the number one thing, in your opinion, that seasoned photographers always need to keep learning and working on?

 

I strongly believe that education is vitally important to any photographer. For some that may mean a dedicated photography course.  But whether it is a school, seminars or workshops, the key is to educate yourself.  Seminars and workshops can literally change your life.  After all, knowledge is power.

Constantly marketing yourself and also adapting your style and your brand to the changing market around you.  It is certainly a tough industry to be in at the moment, where there are so many great photographers available at an affordable price.  Certainly some photographic styles are similar but what ultimately separates you from your competition is you, your customer service, consistency in your images, presentation and approach.

Melb2012-106When was the last time you felt defeated and how did you overcome it?

 

I am still playing the game, so there is no loser while the game is still going.

Who is your inspiration in life?

 

Having been married for over 3.5 years now and being the happiest that I have ever been, I focus on making my wife and life and happy and she does the same for me.  We are each other’s constant inspiration.

If you were shrunken down and stuck at the bottom of a blender, what would you do?

 

Melissa: I’d make a Jerry smoothie.


Jerry is coming to a city near you in his first ever solo tour of 33 North American cities. PhotographyBloggers get $10 off registration at www.HowtoWowTour.com with the code HTWPB.

Find more of Jerry’s work at www.JerryGhionis.com and more about Vanessa Joy at www.LearnPhotoVideo.com.

 




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2 Comments on "Q&A With Man of Wow Jerry Ghionis"

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Jay Long
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Very insightful Q and A; challenging situation.

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