Student Experience at College of San Mateo
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Student Experience
Gino De Grandis
Gino De Grandis College of San Mateo, Photography

A native of Venice, Italy, Gino De Grandis was a well-established chef and owner of a successful restaurant. While satisfied with his career, his passion had long been photography. Self-taught in the fundamentals, Gino knew that if he was to become a serious photographer he would need more formal education. Gino recalls, “One day, CSM’s Schedule of Classes arrived in my mail and it changed everything.“ While flipping through the pages of the schedule, he found that CSM offered a photography program. Upon enrolling in his first classes he was immediately impressed by his professors who were also outstanding professional photographers. In addition, he was attracted to the diversity of the students in his classes—the range of ages, ethnicities and life experiences—which provided another dimension to this education: to learn from his fellow students.

While continuing to operate his restaurant, Gino attended CSM on a part-time basis for four years and, in that time, completed every photography class offered by the college. “CSM’s photography program changed my life. My professors, Lyle Gomes and Richard Lohmann, gave me the courage to change careers. They empowered me to realize my ability and become what I wanted to be.” Gomes and Lohmann recognized his readiness for work and encouraged him to take on his first professional job which was shooting the cover of CSM’s Schedule of Classes—the very publication that had inspired him to pursue photography. To this day, Gino continues to create images for covers of the College’s schedules and other publications.

Since completing his studies at CSM, Gino has established his own photography business which he has parlayed into a highly successful professional career that has taken him throughout the world. He has assembled a stunning portfolio reflective of his range and talent as a photographer. While many photographers specialize in a particular area of photography, Gino is equally at ease capturing a broad array of subject matter. His portfolio includes, but is not limited to, portraits, nature, fine art and travel photography.