Dijon is a San Francisco based filmmaker and photographer.
Dijon's ongoing photography project SOULS OF SAN FRANCISCO featuring street portraits of residents of different neighborhoods all across the city is currently being made into a book. SOULS has been exhibited at the Cantina gallery in downtown San Francisco and has thousands of followers on facebook.
Dijon released the first Volume 1 of the project in March 2013 and Volume 2 in April 2014.
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Garry tailored this tour for me based on our conversation prior to setting out. I got much more from the experience than I would have imagined. I gained a new comfort using my prime lens and a better understanding of trying to develop my own photography philosophy. Everything about the experience was awesome, the weather, the personal touch, and the genuine interest Garry has for his clients. I would recommend this tour to anyone who is trying to get out of your comfort zone as a photographer. Garry truly brought me out of mine. After the lesson, I was able to approach three individuals to take their picture. Garry not only teaches you about photography fundamentals, he also teaches you how to make connections with your subjects. As the tour ended, we went to a bookstore and I was able to purchase his book "Souls of San Francisco," a real treat for me. This will be a constant reminder for me on how to not only get out of your comfort zone, but connect with others as well. I HIGHLY recommend this tour to anyone who wants to step out of their comfort zone and strive to be a better photographer.
Communication is an art, and Garry is a master of this art. He knows how to approach strangers, quickly make them comfortable and involve them in a real conversation... It's not about quick snapshots; Garry establishes real contact with people. That's why his project is called "photographing souls", not just photographing faces. ...And what's important, Garry can teach you how to do the same. His method is simple, but it works very well; but you have to practice it, as any skill. I really liked Garry's lesson, and hope to continue practicing taking photos this way. Thank you, Garry!
Garry teaches you the art of reading souls. After this experience, you won't just have a bunch of nice pretty pictures of people (which you will), but you'll have an appreciation for the people around you and the importance of being connected to each other which we too often forget. Garry has an amazing ability to approach complete strangers and within minutes make them as comfortable as a life-long friend - and then he'll ask you to do the same - because the point I think he's trying to make is that we all have a natural inclination to tell our stories, to pour out our soul to the world.
Souls of San Francisco is one of my favorite art projects, so it was a real treat to score an afternoon with this master of street photography. Equal parts philosophy class and photography workshop, this tour covers everything from Garry's pre-shooting rituals and dSLR basics to tips on scouting the perfect background and approaching strangers to be your models. My perspective on this city is forever changed.
Garry helped me see the city in a more friendly way! He brings a sense of calmness and acceptance that immediately makes you feel comfortable, and you can definitely see why so many people are friends with him and let him take their portraits. Part lesson on how to approach strangers and see the world through his eyes, my friends and I set out in Hayes Valley to explore the beauty in the souls of San Francisco. Everyone was glowing and hugging at the end! You see things and notice people you would never have interacted with before... and you are better off for making that human connection. Thanks, Garry, for an invaluable experience!
Garry's tour was a really cool, fun, laid-back, creative experience. We grabbed some tea and just mellowed out while Garry explained his process. As a professional photographer, I already know my way around my camera. But what I took away from the tour was priceless: how to confidently approach people. Truly priceless. We all walked away with beautiful photos and wonderful experiences that we otherwise would not have without Garry. I brought my boyfriend along -- someone who's not ordinarily a people photographer at all -- and he came away with some stunning images of folks around the city. Highly recommended for those with interest in photographing people, street photography, or just seeing the city in a slower pace.
Make friends with San Francisco We began with introductions over a gaiwan tea tasting at Taste Tea in Hayes Valley. Garry gave us an overview of the tour, some background on his Souls of San Francisco project along with some of the lessons he's learned about taking street portraits, and some camera tips. By the time we were ready to hit the streets, the hurry was out of me and I knew this was going to be a relaxing afternoon. We began by taking a few pictures of each other, then Garry took us one at a time to shadow him as he talked to a stranger, built rapport, and asked for a picture. Easy peasy. We ducked into restaurants and art galleries and graffiti covered alleyways, shooting portraits everywhere we went. And everywhere we went, we encountered people Garry knew. Garry introduces you to San Francisco as he lives it, not out of a guidebook. It's San Francisco by feel. He took us down one street and encouraged us to notice what it felt like, then ducked into an alley (where we encountered a host of characters and snapped a number of portraits), then out onto another street that felt almost like another city. We walked for hours, experienced at least three different neighborhoods, then hopped on a bus and found our way back to Taste Tea. I've always been shy about taking pictures on the street, preferring to steal a shot as I breeze by, shooting from the hip. But Gary showed me how to slow down, how to be comfortable approaching people and—more importantly—how to make them comfortable so I could take authentic portraits, not snapshots. I highly recommend this tour. The pace was refreshingly downtempo, but the time flew by. Garry doesn't guide so much by talking; he guides by being. You'll get a different perspective on the streets of San Francisco and make friends with your camera. But this tour is really about the people, about the Souls of San Francisco.
I have lived in San Francisco for a number of years, but this tour made me realize that you should never stop exploring your own city; there is always a new venue you didn't know, or a corner you never realized existed, or an unexpected local character who will put a smile on your face. Garry is an amazing photographer and he is especially talented at taking portraits. I learned on this tour that knowing how to use your camera is just half the job. What is critical, and often underestimated, is knowing how to connect with people and make them feel comfortable enough to get that picture that will reveal their soul to the camera. I can't think of a better name for this experience than "Photographing the Souls of San Francisco". I recommend anybody to take this tour, not just people visiting the city, but also people born and raised here. And don't forget to bring your cameras!
My afternoon with Garry was definitely the highlight of my week in San Francisco. If you're going to do one thing while visiting here - or if you're a native of the city - give Garry a shout. This is truly a non-filtered exposure to some of the most fascinating neighborhoods of this amazing city. Forget the tour buses, the stock guides, the self-guided brochures - they're nothing compared to this. With Garry, you'll have the opportunity to walk around streets and alleyways, you'll have various artistic and historic aspects pointed out to you, you'll drop in to odd junctures - all of which that you would never have known even existed as they're all "local" and genuine, not meant as a tourist attraction. I equally appreciated Garry's depth of knowledge of photography. Carrying around my SLR, I had a personal expert on-hand to guide me in taking better shots, and as a result, a more educated approach to using the full potential of my camera. Above all, what I enjoyed the most was that this was a really raw face-to-face opportunity to interact with some interesting individuals and characters in the city: we paused and chatted with many acquaintances he bumped into on the street, we interacted with complete strangers, we tasted some of San Francisco's culinary treats, and we made a habit of listening to the change in audible tones from one block to the other (to note the dramatic shift in cultural dominance of the neighborhood). One of the individuals we ran into referred to Garry as the "unofficial Mayor of the city" - I easily saw why as Garry was the perfect ambassador to show me around and expose me to the true "Souls of San Francisco." My only disappointment was that time flew by too quickly; but fortunately, the memory of this experience will last forever.