We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
What was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I initially made the decision that I wanted to focus my craft in the wedding industry, I had no idea where to even begin. I visited hundreds of message boards and reached out to other photographers/videographers for any advice on how and where to start. The largest common piece of advice was to second shoot for someone else, so that’s what I did. I knew that the life of a wedding photographer/videographer was often the life of a freelancer. I was fortunate enough that I was able to work with one of Miami’s biggest names in the industry. However, the experience left a bit of a sour taste for me.
It wasn’t to say the experience working for them was horrible, in fact I learned so much in my time with them. Rather, operating as a freelance second shooter just felt very impersonal. Let me explain what I mean. Your wedding is by far the most intimate day of your life, and the person/people you spend the majority of the day with isn’t your spouse to be – it’s your photographer and your videographer. So there needs to exist a level of personal connection between the couple and the shooters; if not, the whole day can feel rather clunky for all parties involved. I remember leaving that company with one thought in mind, that I didn’t want working weddings to feel like an impersonal job. So I knew that if I was going to continue to work in the wedding industry, I’d want to do it on my terms with the excellence that a wedding deserves. I realized the part of weddings I loved the most was the relationships we formed with couples.
We spend months, sometimes years, building relationships with each other in coordination to plan their big day. The wedding is just the culmination of that planning. As much as it is a job at the end of the day, it’s exciting for us as individuals to see the couple with so much joy and happiness finally reaching that moment together. Had I not decided to launch my own business, weddings wouldn’t look like that for me. It would rather be a “show up the day of the wedding, stay for a few hours, leave and never hear nor see the couple again” situation. You need to be able to enjoy your photographers/videographers, and they need to be able to enjoy working with you as well. Relationships matter to people, even in the “transactional” world.
What should our readers know about your work?
That’s a pretty simple question that can lead to a loaded answer. I think our industry has become extremely saturated over recent years. This can feel overwhelming for many couples as they navigate finding their ideal photographer/videographer. While style is something that should be prioritized during the search, we can’t stress enough how important it is to hire the right person too, not just the right style. As mentioned before, one of the biggest factors we focus on is establishing a relationship with our clients.
This not only allows us all to feel more comfortable with each other, but it also helps us to navigate how we approach the day. We’re not just shooting pictures, we are capturing moments and people in their purest joy. We want to do so with excellence. We want every picture or video captured to take the couple back to the exact moment where they can relive exactly how they felt then. We genuinely strive to do our best at every single wedding we work, our couples deserve nothing short of that.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man, for years I’ve been telling all my friends that watching a Florida Panthers game is the best live experience for sports and none of them believed me! To be fair, our team wasn’t always this good. Now that we’re one of the top teams in the league, any friend visiting town absolutely has to go to a game! I feel like you can’t go wrong taking someone to coconut grove either! There are so many great places to eat, you’re bound to find exactly what you’re craving. I’m a simple man though and I like to stick with some of my favorites for pizza at Mister01 and a good burger at Lokal. Then you have to end it with dessert at Morelia AND Fireman Derek’s Pies!
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