Hello (Photography) World!
I can't really think of how I want this to begin, so I think it is fitting to just say hello! My name is Derek Giovanni, and I have been a photographer in the greater Sacramento area for the past ten years.
A Little History
I grew up in a very artistic and musical family. My father was a wonderful guitar player, and he had me playing guitar and bass guitar at a very young age. In high school, I also followed my father's footsteps and performed in musical theater. I loved acting and singing on stage, and I performed through college (San Jose State University - go Spartans) and well into my professional career. Once I had a baby, this part of my life was put on hold. I found myself shifting toward another 'hobby' that was just as fulfilling.
I remember the day I picked up my first Canon Rebel XSi DSLR from Costco. I was super excited but I had no idea what I was getting into. I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy shooting with something I had no idea how to use. At this time, I was using my point and shoot Canon ELPH, and I was happy with the results. It took a long time for me to create pictures with my DSLR that were better than my point and shoot. I remember being discouraged, and almost giving up on what would become one of my true passions. I stuck with it though, and here I am today, still as passionate about photography as I was I was almost ten years ago!
But Where Do I Focus?
When I started shooting pictures with my Canon, I shot everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Pictures around the house, pictures of the baby and wife, pictures of that weed in the back yard, you get the idea. When we went on vacation, I took the camera with me. I shot, and I shot, and I shot. Family, yep. Animals, you betcha. Crooked horizons, sure did!
I bought books from Scott Kelby and Bryan Peterson (both of which I still recommend if you want to learn good stuff about exposure). I absorbed what they taught me about exposure, composition, flash, focus, etc. At this time I was still shooting everything under the sun.
As time flew by, I decided I wanted to focus on one particular area of photography and master it. Ultimately, the area I chose to focus on was portrait photography. And this form of photography has become something that is near and dear to the heart, you know? This jump made the most sense to me. My musical history (guitar, acting and directing plays) pointed me in the direction of portrait photography. I don't know how to describe it, but they are very similar things to me. Being able to pull out emotion from my clients during a shoot is very similar to building emotion as an actor. And it is one of those things that starts kicking in those endorphins when I'm able to nail the perfect emotional portrait.
I started with the Canon XSi, and slowly upgraded to the Canon 60d and Canon 6d (which I still own). When Sony started killing it with mirrorless cameras, I switched to the Sony a7Riii.
I've become a huge fan of what Sony is doing with their mirrorless cameras. Sony makes it very easy to shoot portraits (yes I'm talking about you eye autofocus). When I shoot portraits, I do not want to get bogged down in the camera settings. It is very important to me to direct my subjects to get the best possible shot. Sony makes this very easy to do.
I shoot predominantly with two lenses on my Sony.
Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 Lens. Simply put, this lens is phenomenal. It is small, it is cheap (relatively speaking), and if you know how to use it, you'll take some incredible portraits.
Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA. Another small lens with a wider frame. If the 85mm is too tight, I go for the 55.
My Canon camera controls the zooms.
Canon 16-35 f4 L IS, Canon 24-105 f4 L IS, Canon 70-200 F2.8 L IS II - My 'holy trinity' of canon lenses. I still use this combination for events and portraits from time to time. I'm holding off on selling because I'm excited to see what Canon does with their new mirrorless system coming out next year. To be honest though, it is tough to own two different sets of gear so if Canon doesn't bring it, I'll be switching over to Sony for good.
As far as lighting is concerned, I try to stick with natural light. If I bring in lights, I'm using Godox equipment. I love my Godox gear!
Who Am I Aiming This Blog and Website At?
If you haven't done so already, please check out my Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/derekgphoto/ and give me a follow. I spend a great deal of time on there and this is the best place to find me. Ask me a question or reach out to me there! I'll try my best to answer any questions that come up through Instagram!
You can also check out my Flickr page for stuff that isn't portrait focused: https://www.flickr.com/photos/derekgio. I'm not on there nearly as much these days, but you'll find me there from time to time.
You can also reach me through this website, over on the contact page. Send me an email if you have a question.
Thank you for joining me on this adventure!