"Working with clients is a form of collaboration. You want to deliver of course their needs and wants but at the end of the day; your signature style must not be compromised because, in the first place, that is how people have known you."
What's your first name?
What's your last name?
Nice to meet you, Gion! May we have your email address, please?
What's your Instagram username, Gion? We'd love to check it out!
GionPlease let us know your website.
What is your location, Gion?
United Arab Emirates
State / Region
Alright, now for the interview! Firstly Gion, how would you best describe yourself?
Gion. Tell us ABOUT yourself.
This section will be used for the listing on our website. Please see sample below. You can skip this.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Gion. Tell us about yourself, why you are passionate about what you do, and your journey so far.
"When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." - Paulo Coelho
Three decades ago, I was such a huge fan of the movie "Mannequin" starring Kim Cattrall, and it's theme song "Nothing's Gonna Stop us Now" by Starship. My nephews, nieces (which happened to be almost same age as I do) & I were the pioneers of the mannequin challenge - we pretended to be mannequins, and once you move, you're out of the game. Never did I imagine that my line of work will be related to mannequins itself (I'm currently working as a Visual Merchandising Associate for Kering brands like Alexander McQueen & Balenciaga) and that my favourite hobby will be taking photos of real-life mannequins!
I'm a college dropout. My family can't afford to send me to school anymore & at the same time, I don't want to spend too much effort in learning things that aren't aligned with my passion. This served as my motivation in finding a job. At first, I thought that I could make it in modelling, but I don't qualify for the built and height requirements so I tried connecting the dots on how I can still work in fashion. The eureka moment arrived when I realized that fashion photography could be my calling if I merged my creativity with fashion itself. It all started out in doing self-portraits only with a point-and-shoot cam. I was literally a one-man-team (model, fashion stylist & photographer simultaneously) those days! When people started seeing & appreciating my works, collaboration starts pouring in. But it was only when I started working abroad when I could save up and buy for a decent DSLR.
It was a huge privilege for me when somebody from Model Citizen commented in one of my photos in Instagram if I want my works to be featured in the magazine and here I am!
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What are your goals and how do you see yourself progressing in the field Gion?
There are many possibilities on how I see myself moving forward. If I’ll be industrious enough this year to self-study the technical side of my cam and how to properly use Photoshop and Lightroom, the better. If not, I’ll take up proper photography courses.
I might temporarily work as a professional photographer’s assistant if that’s what it takes for me learn further the tricks of the trade. But for sure, I would still keep my day job until I find fashion photography to be a stable source of income. For now, I want to enjoy and be featured first here in Model Citizen Magazine.
How do you communicate with people Gion? Are you patient? Are you friendly? How open are you to clients’ requirements?
I normally use email, WhatsApp, & social media platforms like facebook & Instagram as the form of communication.
Patience and friendliness are both needed in any profession / vocation. This is how you cement/establish the long working relationship with anyone; this is how you earn trust. I can be patient & friendly as needed but I believe patience should have a limit especially in dealing with people who don't know what professionalism is all about.
Working with clients is a form of collaboration. You want to deliver of course their needs and wants but at the end of the day; your signature style must not be compromised because, in the first place, that is how people have known you. I’m not saying that I don’t want to explore and widen my horizon, but because of my own style, treatment and approach, this made me unique from others. Therefore, the client and the photographer must meet halfway to be able to produce something that both parties would find beneficial & happy at the same time.
If you had to do it over again, what would you change Gion?
This might sound cliche but to be honest, I will not change anything. I might not be at this point of submitting to Model Citizen Magazine if it’s not for my past. Everything that happened in my life has a deeper meaning, reason & purpose and I own the responsibilities of my actions/decisions, and it’s associated consequences. Despite of the good and bad, learn to celebrate & enjoy life. Be thankful of the perks that it has to offer.
Who is your hero Gion, and how have they helped you get to where you are?
I consider everyone in my life (family, friends, colleagues) the ones who uniquely shaped me into who I am and where I am now. But if there’s one person that I consider to be my hero, that’ll be my older brother who died from cancer two years ago. I owe to him a lot on how to be strong mentally and emotionally. He once said that I have to stand up & fight during hard times because life is survival of the fittest.
How important are creative education courses Gion? Have you taken any, and did you find them useful?
Some people say that one must have the eye to be a successful photographer. I’m thankful that both of my parents are both inclined to the creative side. But for me, this might not be enough to thrive in the industry. We are all capable of self-learning especially now at this age where info is just a click away from our fingertips. Practice indeed makes perfect but if we really want to expand our knowledge more, and probably earn mentorship from the experts of the industry, then enrolling in a photography course is the way to go. That’s definitely at the top of my to-do list this year.
Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting out in the industry?
I am totally a newbie myself, but all I can say is that we have to believe in ourselves because no one will ever will. Always stick to our gut feeling/instinct. Allow ourselves to be lost. Self-discovery of our truest self and our full potential is essential and more precious than anything else. That will definitely guide us to stop searching but to start creating our own path to success.
Please add any photo credits for the photos you uploaded so that everybody can get recognised.
Photographer: Gion Dolores @gi0graphics
Styling: Gion Dolores @gi0graphics
Models: Miloslav Konrad