I originally came from an illustrative background, making small comic book pages to pass the time in school. This lead me to attend the California College of the Arts, but once the economic downturn of 2009 hit, I turned to a creative outlet that could give me more work opportunities in San Francisco. Which is how I ended up behind the lens of a DSLR (BFA, Film). From there, I've worked freelance with multiple start-ups, a graphic design position at Old Navy, and now touring the country shooting video portraits of authors for a company called MentorBox. This string of jobs has given me ups and downs, but has allowed me to keep learning skills and work with creative teams that I'd never have the chance to experience with traditional education. I like to think that my work has a documentary feel, using untouched looks and natural light as much as possible. Like shooting war photography for an editor; my subjects have stories behind their eyes, catching them in a moment where they don't realize the camera is there. To find beauty in the realism of the moment.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Will. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I grew up in a town in Washington State that had about 2000 people and realized that the world must be a lot bigger somewhere else. As soon as high school was over, I moved down to sunny California and tested small town values against the big city. All I knew was how to be polite and how to draw.
Will, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
I didn't really touch a camera until I was well into college, and only got serious about photography when I was laid off from my first real job. From 2014-2016, I was a videographer working for one of those Silicon Valley start ups. I only had a few opportunities to take portraits for the company, but my skills were so lacking that I was mostly ashamed of that work. But all good things come to an end, and once the company finally went bankrupt late in 2016, I found myself without a decent camera and with too much time on my hands. Digging into my savings, I bought myself a Sony and started to build out my portfolio. Using friends as models in the beginning and traveling to some of my favorite locations, I finally built myself up to being a halfway competent photographer.
Who is your inspiration in life Will? How do you keep inspired?
The paintings of Edward Hopper have this beautiful melancholy subjects that I find I relate to more and more as time goes on. Otherwise, I bring a compact camera with me every day so that I can take a new picture. Even if it's sometime I've taken pictures of a dozen times before, it keeps me in practice to keep shooting even if I don't have a shoot planned.
We all make mistakes Will, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Photographer , you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
Oh man, let me tell you this: competition is dumb. I mean, it can be helpful in pushing yourself to keep improving your work. But if it's with someone in your creative team it could lead to some passive-aggressive behavior that leads to unnecessary tension. I wish I was mature enough to trust someone I was working so closely with. It's okay if you don't get every shoot. There's always more fish in the sea, so they say.
Will ,when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
At the end of the day, you got to make enough to pay for rent. When you have multiple projects on the line, you already have an idea of which ones are the most important to you. You work on the ones that will lead to more work and opportunity. Prioritize the top two or three that will lead to your future success. Impress these kinds of clients and improve your network, but realize that you will ruin relationships if you favorite certain projects over others.
Please tell us Will, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
When I was juggling three freelance projects during the same week Fall 2016. I had to plan out four-hour sleep schedules in order to pull off all the jobs at once since they had back-to-back deadlines.
Will, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
Logic trumps assumption 9 times out of 10. Use past experiences to supplement your argument. Offer tests and comparisons if possible (I've done that mostly with different styles of color grading). The more they have less to question, the better it is.
Will please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share to everyone. What is it and why?
Honestly, it's when models started to message me to ask for a photoshoot. Before that, I reached out to many people and struggled to find a creative voice. Once I started getting a body of work and getting contacted by people who wanted to work with me based on my portfolio, that's when you realize you're on the right track. This didn't happen to me until very recently.
Will, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I find that the most creative I am with my work is in my color grading in post (via Lightroom and Photoshop). Adjusting color pallets for photos can turn anything normal you take into something as surreal as you want. I had experiment with filters and Lightroom Presets long before I learned what all the settings meant, but once you have it, it can really help define the color choices you're drawn to.
What advice would you give to the people who wants to be successful as a Photographer?
Always be taking photographs. Constantly. Every single day. The more pictures you take, the more you will start seeing a pattern for your work. Once you see that it will lead on your creative path.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes I am! I always like working with new people, but I would love to work with more stylists who have a better sense of fashion than someone like myself!
Now for the best part Will! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer: Will Giovi (@wgiovi)