The story behind
GES Who Photography
Garrett here – owner, primary photographer, and “GES” behind GES Who! Here to satisfy all your St. Augustine photography needs.
I was always curious about cameras, but never felt compelled enough to invest in one. Eventually, one came to me! Our second Christmas together, my wife’s family surprised us with a Nikon D3400. Being frequent Disney-goers, they knew it would help us get better pictures at the parks.
The obsession set in immediately. I spent all of my free time tumbling down the rabbit hole. Studying lens sharpness charts. Researching every system of external lighting on the market. Reading books on posing subjects naturally and gracefully. Buying online education courses from SLR Lounge, Fstoppers, and more.
A few months into learning my craft, I was granted the opportunity to take things in a wildly unexpected direction: live music photography. I signed on with an online publication as a contributing photographer and reviewer. Traveling from St. Augustine to Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, and Orlando, covering all types of music events.
I regularly reflect on all the times I met my heroes in the media tent or backstage. People I always believed to be larger than life. Suddenly encouraging and praising ME for my abilities, passion, and ambition as an artist! Talk about a surreal experience an unexpectedly supportive community.
I will forever cherish my time with everyone I had the privilege to meet on the road documenting music events. Just as much, I will cherish the unique photographic challenges. Those challenges taught me to look at lighting, composition, and technique, in a completely new way. In order to procure business insurance, however, I had to leave concert photography behind.
I started receiving inquires as my concert photography and portraits of family members were shared around social media. From family and senior portraits, to small parties and engagement shoots. Flattered and simultaneously excited and terrified to take the next step, I invested even further. In education, professional equipment, client gallery systems, custom websites, business insurance, and more.
While developing my business and building up client experience, an acquaintance reached out to ask me to shoot their wedding. Being a portrait and small event photographer to that point, I had two choices:
Option 1 – Give in to imposter syndrome. Surrender to insecurity. Tell myself I was not ready, I would not be ready, and I could not do it.
Option 2 – Rise to the occasion. Trust the education I sought for myself. Continue to improve. Learn everything about shooting a ceremony, a reception, formal portraits. And prepare for everything else that could be thrown my way.
That first wedding day came. I made myself sick from stress and woke up with a pounding headache and a low-grade fever. But I popped a tylenol, showed up with a game plan, and did the best work I had done to date! It was a grueling 8 hours, but incredibly rewarding.
I would say I stressed over nothing, but that could not be further from the truth. And it is dismissive of the responsibility on the shoulders of wedding photographers everywhere. What I WILL say is all of my investments and preparation paid off. The education, the equipment, the techniques I had learned. Everything.
That day, I made a commitment – this was just the beginning. I would continue to push my creative abilities. Always continue learning and investing in education. Advance along this journey to grow as the best photographer I could be. All with the goal to give the absolute best to my clients.
Dozens of weddings, portrait sessions, and events later, I have remained true to that commitment. I have also extended my talents to give back to the community via pro-bono work for a local and national 501c3 non-profit charity organization.
I want to share a heartfelt thank you to all my past, present, and future clients, for allowing me to serve you. And for helping me grow as a creative professional, and a better human being.