We had the good fortune of connecting with Gus Cantavero and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gus, what role has risk played in your life or career?
There’s an enormous amount of risk in my business. Even taking a job means that I’m unavailable for another, potentially higher paying job which has happened. The decision to buy (very expensive) equipment means I’m betting on my own success instead of renting equipment which is a higher payment over time if I keep working. I am busy enough where I can afford to have extra equipment I only use once in a while. Being able to do a job quickly and efficiently on short turnarounds make a big difference to clients. Sometimes making a rental list is quite stressful because there’s so many unexpected things that can pop up. So, I’ve made the decision to carry all that overhead in order to provide a more thorough service to my clients. There’s also the risk of enjoying sports or working on my house, or traveling for fun. I can get injured or sick and it means disappointing clients, turning down work and lost wages. Currently I’m beginning the process to build my own studio here in Denver which will mean a big cost, but I believe in myself and my ability to win the trust of future clients. So, a thick skin and tolerance is necessary in this business.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In my commercial work I love to solve problems for my clients. Filmmaking and photography are both a cross section of art and problem solving. We are presented with a messaging goal and then we need to use the most artistic way possible to effectively convey that message. Even though I love my job I still need a creative outlet free from any messaging constraints so I created a site just for my other love of fine art landscapes at http://placesisaw.com. I’ve compiled my favorite images from excursions and travels around the world. I tend to emphasize unique color palettes or dramatic lighting in my compositions and they look amazing when printed large. The other thing I launched last year which I’m very excited about is my photography education course at http://photoiq.co. Photo IQ is anyone ages 13+ and is the answer to the lack of arts education in most public schools. It’s also a perfect solution for homeschoolers without access to a formal arts education. I walk students through all the fundamentals of how to use a digital camera. I progress the students by exposing them to several genres including portraiture, black and white, still life, landscape, food and action.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think if you’re coming to Colorado for a visit it has to include multiple hikes followed by a brewery and excellent food. We have so much great food like tacos and burgers which make excellent post-hike meals. There’s also so many towns with their own character and offerings that you can take a different day trip every day and never run out of things to do.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My long time partner agency Haddad & Partners has been with me for years and years. They’ve given me the opportunity to take a lot of chances and we’ve grown together. Here’s to much more!