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Meet Giovanni Berdejo-Gallegos of gbgPhotography in Anaheim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Giovanni Berdejo-Gallegos.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My idea to become of a photographer was quite random, really. I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures of family, friends and the places that I have traveled too. I even took a film photography class in college but never thought about creating my business in photography. So the appreciation and the admiration for the art was there but never the business side of it. Until I met a professional photographer. I had become an acquainted with a local photographer in Orange County, CA. She was always very happy and full of energy and told me about her adventures as a photographer. She seemed extremely passionate about her career. I enjoyed looking at her work and hearing her stories (since I’m a bit of a story teller myself).

One day my friend asked if I was willing to model for her. I was taken a back. I know I’m not ugly but I’m no George Clooney either. She said I had the look she wanted to work; along with the motorcycle, boots, leather jacket and beard. Bingo! So I guess it wasn’t just my rugged good looks she wanted to capture but Beyoncé’s too (I named my motorcycle Beyoncé because just like the singer, she is black and beautiful).

So a few hundred shots later; she presents me with the work and I’m very happy with the results. She is quite talented at her craft. She then asked my roommate at the time if she could do a family portrait of him and his children. They agreed on a time and date and I was asked to tag along.

Upon arriving at the area of the shoot; I was handed a camera by my friend and was asked, “do you want to try”? Sure, why not. So I did. It was unbeknownst to me and her that I would actually be good. Really good. She was stunned and flabbergasted. She could not comprehend how my pictures came out so beautifully. I told her, “all I did was this”. I motioned a clicking gesture with my right index finger. She encouraged me to pursue my own business in photography and I’ve been loving it ever since.

My tag line is, “Traded in my rifle for a camera”. This pays homage to my time in the US Army. I served 8 years with a deployment to Afghanistan. The basic marksmanship principles of focus, breathing, trigger squeeze and line of sight are almost identical to that of photography. So needless to say, it was an easy transition for me.

The horrors of war have left scars on many soldiers, myself included. It’s a nice change from seeing death and destruction to viewing the beauty the world has to offer.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think the being able to go with the flow of this ever-changing industry and the demand behind it is key to if you have struggles or not. Some months are better than others in regards to financial success. However, if you only focus on the financial aspect of this industry and not the craft itself; you lose focus on why you started photography to begin with. For the beauty of it.

I think the biggest challenge for me was/is networking and marketing. Finding the right people to team up with, to collaborate with and will that time spent bear profitable fruit? Learning which groups of people to market your talents to. Which people can afford your services and how to negotiate.

Time management has been a bit of a headache too. How much time do I spend editing my pictures and being able to say, “time is up” during a photo shoot.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
gbgPhotography specializes in professional and family portraits. Everything from family holiday photos to head shots for a new business. We love to capture the best side of our community.

We have two main factors that separate us from the rest of the photography community. Fast turnaround on edits. We understand the need and urgency our clients have when it comes to getting their final products. They want to see the end result and share it with their family and friends on social media. At gbgPhotography, we get it and that’s why we strive to have the highest turn around rate in the area. Lastly, we’re just a ton of fun to work with! We keep things light hearted during a shoot and love to make our clients laugh and smile. This gives us the most genuine expressions and emotions which translate to a great shot! If you’re not laughing and smiling; we’re doing something wrong.

What were you like growing up?
I’ve always been a goof and a bit of a clown. I take great joy in helping people find that funny side of themselves. I’m a big kid at heart and easily amused.

I’ve always been a social butterfly. Drawn to the different and unknown. I love it. I crave knowledge and want to be exposed to different people and learn from them. This stems back from my childhood; growing up in a very mixed community. I had friends from different races and religions and we got along great.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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