Consider every wedding gallery you’ve ever seen. Cutting the cake. A close-up of his and hers ring fingers. The tossing of the bouquet. All mandatory—and all quite ordinary. For the wedding photographer/videographer, that way lies mediocrity.
"I would never let wedding clients sit down and flip through wedding albums," says Simeon. "No, I extract the story, then I tell the story. That’s why I was successfully booking weddings at a much higher price than the average. I understand as much about a couple as possible so that I could create an image that told a story. There were thematic elements woven in there that the family would recognize and understand. I mean, people already know the end result of every wedding, so without story, how can you possibly hold their interest?"
Simeon captured those stories through trust. Couples would confide shocking details with him, such as how one pair had been seeing each other for ten years, but their parents thought they’d only been acquainted for one. Simeon’s shoots have involved billionaire families and guest lists including prime ministers. The amount of pressure tied to these assignments could become phenomenal, because there are no second chances. Simeon worries with every job—and for good reason—that any compromise to the quality and safety of his files could spell the end of his career.
"I’ve been through bad experiences with hard drives," he notes. "Sometimes, I’ve had to send devices off to recovery, which costs loads of money and time. Once, we had a heatwave. We were working in 30-plus degree heat in an office with no windows or air conditioning. Our hard drive went down. I ran home, got the offsite backup, and plugged it in. We didn’t know it was the heat. So the second hard drive went down…and there went our backup. No surprise, I’ve got air conditioned offices now, and I use G-Technology drives with improved cooling in them."
Failures with other brands led Simeon to G-Technology. Within his collection, he has over a dozen G-DRIVE® and G-RAID® units spanning from 1 to 4 terabytes, several mobile G-DRIVEs, multiple 1TB and 2TB Evolution Series G-DRIVEs with an accompanying G-DOCK ev®, and his latest prize, a G-SPEED® Studio XL. Simeon rarely deletes anything, so assiduous asset management with DiskCatalogMaker helps to keep files managed and always within reach.
G-Technology drives play throughout the various stages of Simeon’s workflow, from post-capture duplication through long-term archiving. Naturally, everything gets backed up. Wedding clients in particular have a tendency to rematerialize months or years later, asking for additional files or editing. Simeon dreads encountering a day when his clients’ trust might be betrayed. This is precisely why he partnered with G-Technology, the name he trusts in storage above all others.
"My reputation at the moment is key, and it’s fragile," Simeon muses. "Knowing that I am imperfect, I do whatever I can to make sure that we remain as protected and as safe as possible. Banks call this 'resilience'. Does your equipment have resilience? Are you a resilient business? Can you cope with a certain amount of failure? With G-Technology storage, we’re in the best position possible within economic reason, because the clients I want expect me not to cut corners in the wrong places."
Today, Simeon leads his VIVIDA firm on the same course he started for himself many years ago. On the inside, he remains that kid staring up at billboards, asking, "Why can’t I do that?" Only now, through determination, integrity, talent, and smartly chosen partnerships, he’s progressed far beyond billboards. On the top floor of Barclay’s headquarters, Simeon promised the people he’d always wanted to help that he could deliver. He did. And with companies such as G-Technology helping him to scale and evolve as his abilities climb, one can’t help but wonder if the vertical jump from weddings to 32nd story is only a short hop compared to where he’ll land next.