Originally from Pensacola, Florida, Vegas Giovanni is our guest editorial photographer who made his way to Atlanta over 10 years ago in search of opportunity. We dug into his story through conversation, in the midst of him shooting our latest Fear of God editorial. Check out our conversation with Vegas below.
Let's start from when you first got to Atlanta. I understand you went to SCAD.
Yes, I was at SCAD for about 5 years. I went there originally for interior design but ended up switching and finding myself in photography very shortly after going.
What made you switch over?
I used to model when I was younger so I wanted to stay in that realm so even when I first started shooting, I was still trying to model. But I told myself one day I had to either approach an agency as a photographer or a model and that was probably my last time doing a casting call. Once I did not get that particular gig, I said ok, I’m just going to focus on photography and then I just started shooting full time from there. I would grab my friends, style them in their clothes, shoot outside the dorms and just try to figure it out.
Has it always been fashion photography or have you ever got into other forms of photography?
Well I’ve always had the predicament to where my photography would sometimes blend between fine art and fashion, which in some situations, puts it in a very weird place. It won’t work for some fashion publications or sometimes it won’t necessarily work on the walls of a gallery so it kinda just floats in this grey area. But it’s pretty much been based around shooting people. Occasionally, I get locations that I want to shoot or whatever I see but mostly, it's people based.
Do you have any influences?
My mentor Allen Cooley was one person who taught me everything I know as far as reigning in all of the craziness and putting it into a nice cohesive body of work. As far as some of the people out in the industry, some of my biggest influences are people like Mario Testino, Stephen Klein, David Sims (who shoots a lot of Alexander McQueen stuff), Nick Knight. All of them are really influential to me. I look at their work and I get inspired. I see things that I normally wouldn’t see.
You’ve made your mark on the industry as well as your influences. Who are some names of some people you have worked with?
21 Savage, Offset, Joseline (from Love & Hip Hop), Jacob Lattimore, some other newer artists like Lil Mazi. Just a bunch of different people coming up in Atlanta.
Any of those people you enjoyed working with more than others in particular?
No, they’re all kinda stressful [laughs]. I’m not really focused on the person. I’m more so focused on crafting a good image and pushing the envelope.
Outside of photo, what are other mediums that you may appreciate?
I love any artistic medium. I love going to museums and galleries looking at paintings whether it be classical or contemporary. I love cinematography. I love fashion film, moving images and stuff like that. I’m a huge gamer so that’s always a large influence on my aesthetic. I think it comes into play when you’re looking into color schemes, overall compositions, the mood, almost turning people into characters in a sense. I like that kinda idea and vibe. As I grow, I’m pretty sure that will become apparent.
Could you see yourself trying another medium in the future other than photography?
[Laughs] I always tell people, photography is one of the only things I can do really, really, really well. Right now, I try to dip my toe in video and cinematography and even that’s been a process because it requires me to think differently. But yeah definitely, there are a lot of other things I want to get into.