12 Questions with Derrick Giltner, Photographer

Creative people are awesome. And a lot of them like coffee.

When I travel, I try to meet up with cool people that I’ve met online, like Christina or Daniel and Julie. That’s so fun! But it turns out I haven’t met some of my IG / FB friends here in town yet, either. So a few weeks ago, Derrick Giltner and I had a chance to meet up in person for a coffee at Hoot Owl, right here in Tulsa.
Derrick is a local graphic designer by day, who also loves photography and runs a photography biz on the side. We had a nice chat over lattes, because you know, we are both Coffee People. And it turns out we even have a few friends in common.
I thought I would take this opportunity to ask Derrick a few questions about being a creative person, and he was kind enough to find a few minutes to answer them. I’ll actually be doing this with other people I know too – so he gets to be first! Here’s 12 Questions for Derrick, and his responses. I hope you enjoy it! And thanks again Derrick, for the meet-up, the photos, and these answers!

12 Questions with Derrick Giltner
i took a picture of Derrick.
12 Questions with Derrick Giltner
and he took a (much better) picture of me.

12 Questions with Derrick

Tell us about yourself – what would you like us to know about you?
I am a husband, father, son and brother and I love my family dearly. I enjoy shifting my own gears and fixing my own stuff. My blood type is coffee. I collect cameras. And lastly, I’m a creative, seeking the beauty in everything.
What is your “Day Job?” Does it overlap into any of your hobbies?
I’m a graphic designer by day. Being creative is just who I am, especially when it comes to photography.
How did you get started in photography, and how long ago?
I was about 14 when I got my first Canon film camera and a couple of rolls of Kodak TMax from my mother. It was a great learning experience. I didn’t start shooting seriously until about 6 years ago, when my oldest daughter was born.
What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to get started in photography as a hobby? How about as a business?
Create artwork you are passionate about, find your niche and don’t get wrapped up in the gear. Shoot with what you have until you feel it is holding you back creatively, and most importantly, shoot with other photographers and learn from them. They are the best teachers.
Why were you specifically drawn to photography?
Being able to capture moments in time, like the birth of my daughter, is extremely rewarding. I look back at photos I’ve taken of my children and I remember the day, the time, and how they were acting – it’s like a rewind button on life. To me, you can’t beat that.
Do you prefer taking pictures of people or things? Why?
Both have an appeal. If you photograph a horse walking down the road, that horse doesn’t care what his profile looks like. On the other hand, photographing people is about connecting enough with the subject to make THEM feel comfortable with what you’ve captured. Even people who don’t consider themselves photogenic can find something about a photo they like, if you’ve made them feel comfortable.
What do you think is the most challenging thing about being a “creative” person?
Constantly trying to better yourself. I’m always pushing myself to learn a new technique or style, whether it’s design or photography. Constant learning is key.
Would you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Do you think your status affects your work? If so, how?
I’m an ambivert. I really do like meeting new people and trying new things, but I have to be in that mood. Sometimes putting yourself out there is one of the hardest things you can do. I feel like in my field of work, it’s great to be extroverted in order to reach out to new people and gain new clients, but being introverted allows you to really hunker down and crank out massive amounts of work. There is a time for both.
What are some of your hobbies – what else do you like to do besides taking pictures?
Other hobbies include honey-do lists (thanks, Jinni), home repair, woodworking, scaring my kids (they love it, too), drinking cheap wine, drinking great coffee in greater company, Marvel movies, and collecting cameras.
If you had to define your “Personal Brand” in one sentence, what would it be?
Capturing real moments.
Do you like to read? If so, what kinds of things to you like to read? What are a few of your favorite books? (You could substitute movies here if you like)
I really don’t like reading, but I do love large scale black and white photo books.
Where is your favorite place to get coffee? (If not coffee, then tea, or alcohol?)
Honestly, I’ll get a coffee from anywhere if I’m with friends, but I really do love the Chai Latte from Hodges Bend.

You can find Derrick’s personal web site right here.

His wedding photography biz is here.

And you can also follow him on Instagram.


12 Questions with Derrick Giltner