We had the good fortune of connecting with Grace Gatto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Grace, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
I disagree with a lot of conventional advice when it comes to photography in particular. I believe that photography is an art. I believe that photographers should get creative with what they’re putting out there and if you’re taught that things need to be a specific way, it limits your creative freedom. I’ve heard so many photographers that have gone to school for photography say, “Oh this needs to be this way”, “Your camera settings shouldn’t be this way”, or “You need to use more artificial light” etc. I believe thinking this way limits your ability to do different things than what’s “normal”. And I believe there’s nothing wrong with doing things a bit different than conventional and making some amazing art in the procss!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a wedding and elopement photographer based out of Colorado! I absolutely love capturing love, especially on one of the happiest days of peoples lives! In 2015, I met a wedding photographer who said they really liked my style of photography and asked if I wanted to start second shooting weddings. I immediately said yes and began shooting as much as I could and was taking everything on. Senior photos, parties, events, conferences, maternity photos, engagement photos, you name it – I was shooting it. In October of 2016, I left Colorado and I moved to Boston for a fitness job. Shortly after my move, I found myself in a bad place mental place from leaving Colorado and not loving my job. It was also the first time ever that I had given up photography. I knew I needed to move back to Colorado and pick up my camera again. So, I did. I lasted four months in Boston. In January of 2017, I moved back to Colorado and officially started my own LLC. I’ve been doing wedding photography full time ever since and my business continues to grow year by year. I feel incredibly lucky to have stumbled into a career that has been so, insanely rewarding and I feel like I’m exactly where I am supposed to be. I believe the hardest part about starting a business was everything that came beforehand. Boston was probably the most challenged thing, both mentally and physically, that I’ve ever endured. However, if I wouldn’t have made that move, I probably would have never ended up in a situation that allowed me to start a business. And for that I am forever thankful. Something that means a lot to me about my job is the opportunity I have to capture real, authentic connection between my couples. I love being able to capture a moment. I work a lot with prompts, rather than poses to keep my subjects moving and engaging with each other, allowing them to truly connect so I can capture the real, good love stuff! I care a lot about my business. It’s like my baby and I’d do anything to make sure it continues to prosper. I thoroughly believe if you want something enough and fight for it hard, you’ll be able to achieve what ever it is you want to succeed in. I’ve given everything I have into making this business succeed, and I couldn’t be happier with where it has led me to today.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ooooh – good question. I’m a foodie, for sure. I love eating, drinking and exploring all the good places in Denver. My roommate owns a bar in LoDo called “Pony Up” and it’s one of my favorite places to hang in the city. The cocktails are always outstanding and the hospitality is to die for. It feels like you’re walking into your friends house every time you walk through the doors (and I’m not just saying that because she’s my roommate). I also think El Five is a classic. It has such an amazing view of the city with such a fun atmosphere, as well as amazing food! Uncle in the Highlands is also my most favorite restaurant in Denver. The ramen is out of this world and I would probably eat there every day if I could. Besides eating, I would probably do a mountain trip to Estes Park or Breckenridge and show my friends some epic Colorado views. Being a Colorado native, it’s easy to forget we live in such a beautiful place with mountain scenery most aren’t lucky enough to get to see everyday. Showing friends some good mountain views is a must.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Literally every other wedding photographer/wedding vendor out there right now! It has been an insane year for weddings due to COVID. Every wedding vendor I know is busting their butt to work an entire wedding season in a two-three month time frame. You guys deserve ALL THE PRAISE!!!