A familiar face in the GUESS studio, Gregorio has photographed many of the GUESS girls you have come to know and love. His work ignites your curiosities and leaves a lasting impression. His recognizable B&W images are at once classic, raw and sensual. It is no surprise that Gregorio has become a part of the GUESS family, helping to develop the careers of many aspiring models who have since gone on to become worldwide figures, and life-long GUESS girls.
Gregorio recently travelled with us to Barcelona, Spain to photograph the talented star of our Fall & Holiday campaigns, Camila Cabello, in an exclusive performance.
When did you first take an interest in photography?
I can recall always being intrigued by imagery, but I vividly remember going with my family to the mall and looking up and the sexy black & white photos at the Guess store. I always dreamed of what it would be like to be the person that captures those photos. I let this fascination stick with me up until I was 25, just a few years ago, when I bought my first camera spontaneously. I never took a class or asked anyone for help, I just knew I was destined to chase this dream of mine.
Your style is undoubtedly GUESS: classic, sexy, strong. How did your style develop?
Something about GUESS ads being black and white really stuck with me. 99% of my published work is black & white. It was really the only inspiration I had–I really did not know anything about photography or how to go about it. I have always had a special respect, admiration, and relationship with the women and I knew I had to utilize it to do my part to add to the legacy of GUESS black & white imagery that Paul Marciano started in the ‘80s. I truly believe that destiny began my friendship with Paul, he saw my passion & dedication for what I do.
GUESS ads are often described as “iconic.” What does iconic mean for you, and how do you channel this vision in your work?
GUESS ads are the definition of iconic, once you see a GUESS ad, that photo sticks with you forever. Growing up in this day and age we see ads everywhere we look, but I see GUESS ads in my sleep, even long before I considered being a photographer. I have never been one to work off of inspiration or plan what I shoot, I look through my lens and find something to fall in love with. I take a few candid photos, scroll through, and when I see one that makes me say “WOW” that’s how I know it will be iconic.
Confidence is universal, and the models you photograph come from around the world. How do you connect with them and make them feel comfortable on set despite language barriers and varying levels of modeling experience?
I go into every shoot with gratitude; it really helps start magic on the set. I appreciate what I am able to do for work because I really love it so much. My photos are known to make the viewer feel like you’re the one taking the photo, and feeling organic is what is most important to me. I love capturing so many different sides of a model and I encourage them just to be who they are on set. If anyone knows me, they know we are always laughing & talking about food on set. I am always complimenting models & helping accentuate their beauty with tips & direction. You can always feel the strong sense of teamwork & happiness when you work with me.
In an industry where retouching is a standard procedure, you have avoided retouching your photos. Why have you opted to do so?
I really believe a photograph should remain a photograph…a moment in time that was captured. I believe that my subject matter and what my eyes see are special enough to remain untouched. Of course, some of my commercial work has to be retouched; I have always embraced leaving a memory just the way I captured it.
Working with women, often in lingerie, I am sure you have developed sensitivity for the insecurities and vulnerabilities that women face. Can you comment on the relationship between your images and the attitudes of the women in them?
I am very aware of womens’ sensitivity to their insecurities & vulnerabilities, and it is my job to formulate a solution to help embrace how they view themselves. I am very intrigued by imperfections & features that make us all look different. Every subject I have is different inside and out, and I do my very best to help emphasize how special they really are.
You have watched the careers of our GUESS Girls unfold, what advice would you give to aspiring models?
I have witnessed so many amazing GUESS girls unfold even before I worked with GUESS, that is another thing that makes Paul and the GUESS legacy so special. The amount of passion Paul has for what he does and the opportunities he gives the GUESS girls is unmatched by any brand. The best advice I can give to aspiring models is always follow your dreams. When others are sleeping, you must be putting in the extra work to get exactly what you want. Work hard, and live fearlessly.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing? Life is full of surprises, I would be doing whatever makes me happy at the moment. If I had to choose I would pick embracing my love for music.
Rising GUESS to watch?
Gabriela Giovanadri has such an amazing presence and has done so much with GUESS in such a short amount of time. There is no doubt that she is going to be one of GUESS’s next rising stars.