Jerry Ghionis is widely celebrated as being among the top five best wedding photographers in the world. He has emerged as one of the most influential wedding photographers of the 21st century. Inheriting the strong European sense of style and panache that’s synonymous with the Greek culture, combined with the relaxed Australian sensibility, Jerry and his wife, Melissa, are based in Melbourne, Australia and Beverly Hills, USA. Together they travel frequently on international photography assignments and speaking engagements.
Jerry Ghionis, one of the world’s foremost wedding photographers, started his career in the back of a charcoal chicken-to-go shop owned by his brothers. It was 1997, in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, and Jerry was 18 years old. Interest rates stood at 28 percent as Australia was wracked by recession. The Ghionis family had just lost its long-time home. Young Jerry was about to graduate high school and step into a world he wasn’t ready for and couldn’t afford.
For three years, Jerry had pursued photography as a hobby after his brother had given him his first camera. But he had to decide: Get serious about photography or pursue a career in singing? Deciding to play the odds, long as they were, he opted for the first path, got accepted into a four-year art school, and found an assistant’s job carrying bags for a "real"photographer — a job he endured for two years. That was a year longer than he could bear formal photography classes.
"I had this teacher who would say, ‘I want you to search deep down, deep inside your soul and express yourself through the lens of your camera.” I was like, ‘Alright, dude, great. Now how do I do that?’ In that first year, no one taught me how to light a subject or pose a single person. We only looked at past photographers, developed film, and all that kind of stuff. There were no street smarts on the ‘how do I do it’ of photography. I just was fed up. Ironically, the college went out of business, and I think I was the only one out of its 30 to 40 students actually making money from this industry."
After being a full-time assistant for three and a half years, Ghionis was ready to carve out his studio space behind the chicken business. By the year 2000, he was shooting 100 weddings a year. He convinced his brothers to let him build a second floor over the chicken shop to expand his business. Before he sold the operation in 2007, Ghionis was doing 300 weddings annually, employing 15 people, and “was probably Australia’s biggest studio of our caliber.” As coincidence would have it, Jerry’s brother, who had given him that first camera, got out of the chicken business in 2007 and bought his little brother’s wedding photography business. Free to cultivate a new clientele, the younger Ghionis opened a new studio in Melbourne’s uplands and now only does about 20 weddings per year...averaging around $20,000 per event.
Ghionis stakes his livelihood on trust both in front of the camera as well as behind it. As much as he exercises discipline in capturing images, he carries his craft on into protecting those images throughout his work cycle. “I wouldn’t be caught dead without a backup system,” he notes...and yet he’s come close.
Ghionis works in Australia for roughly four months out of the year. For the rest, he travels in the U.S. and abroad. As a result, he tends to keep all of his work with him on USB drives. These, in turn, get backed up to a mirrored system as well as a RAID storage appliance in Australia. The goal is to have the last year or two of files at hand wherever he might be, whether it is in his U.S. home studo or in his Australian home and studio.
If this seems paranoid, consider that not too long ago Ghionis had one of his USB drives die. It wasn’t dropped or shocked. Just one day, Ghionis went to use it and found the drive dead as a doorstop. He turned to his RAID appliance for a backup of this work, only to find that it, too, had gone belly up. If not for his "backup of the backup of the backup," he would have irretrievably lost several jobs and suffered perhaps unrecoverable damage to his business.
This near-catastrophe led Ghionis to seek out a more reliable brand of storage that would better meet his future needs. That search led him to G-Technology. Today, Ghionis uses G-Technology G-DRIVE mobile USB drives on the road. He notes that the drives possess the ruggedness and performance he needs while still projecting a professional aesthetic for clients. Meanwhile, his technical experts in Australia are in the midst of deploying a multi-pronged G-Technology implementation that will lean on the higher-speed Thunderbolt interface and tend to Ghionis’s needs for large, long-term storage capacity and easy, fast data redundancy. Because ultimately, all of the photographic brilliance in the world won’t matter if the bits and bytes fail.
"Hard drives are the least glamorous part of what we do, but it’s arguably the most important,” Ghionis adds. "If I lose one wedding, that could literally mean the end of my career. This is true. If I’ve lost it, sheerly out of negligence, I still have to take responsibility for the products that I use. My reputation stands on that drive. One wedding that’s not delivered...I mean, you know the social network. It goes on like wildfire, passes on friends to friends. All of a sudden, people will just not trust you. That’s the thing. You cannot lose their trust."
G-Team members are leaders in their respective fields who use G-Technology products in their day-to-day work lives. G-Team members are compensated for their participation.
G‐Technology external hard drives serve as an element of an overall backup strategy. It is recommended that users keep two or more copies of their most important files backed up or stored on separate devices or online services.