My love for photography has been taking over ever since I can remember myself, while it has shaped me as a person. I have always been taking pictures… Ever since I got my first camera in my hands and started shooting film, I saw myself as a “light hunter” and I quickly became almost obsessed with the idea of using light creatively as a form of visual poetry. This attitude has instigated my desire to perceive the world around me in a different light and in a way that others may not notice. In short, I started to visualize reality as if I constantly looked at it through a camera lens.
In addition, the ideas of balance and symmetry were and still are key notions behind my photography. I have always had a strong inclination towards the artistic framing of my subject to make my images aesthetically appealing. The main symbol of my logo, which is the Greek alphabet letter “Phi” (Φ in Greek), summarises those ideas of balance and symmetry in my photography style. Not only is the letter “Φ” the beginning of the word “Photography” (in Greek φωτογραφία), but also the symbol of the Golden Ratio, a term used in the Arts to describe a piece of art that has aesthetically pleasing proportions. Φ is used as a symbol after the famous ancient Greek sculptor Phidias (Φιδίας), who built a masterpiece such as Parthenon by using the idea of the Golden Ratio. It’s a notion originating in Mathematics, but it has been applied in Aesthetics, Architecture, Painting, Design and of course in Photography to describe image composition and framing.
From the end of my photography studies, which were funded with a scholarship by the Greek Ministry of Culture, till the present day I have over 20 years of working experience as a professional fulltime photographer. I have photographed many couples from all over the world, while I have also cooperated successfully big corporations, such as Universal Studios in the production of the film “Mamma Mia” and Delta Airlines.
I love shooting weddings and I consider it an honor and a great responsibility at the same time to tell the story of a couple’s special day. Regarding my wedding photography style, I couldn’t describe it with only one word. It’s more of a fusion of creative documentary, and fashion, just like a wedding is a constant interplay of unique personalities and powerful emotions. My goal is to capture the very essence of a wedding by allowing the day to unfold naturally and create beautiful photography full of emotion, excitement, thrill and passion with a perfect balance between candid snapshots and editorial portraits.
This alternation of different shooting styles is the challenge I love in shooting weddings. I view every wedding day as an orchestrated event in which a different tune is played every time by the orchestra. In my opinion, a good wedding photographer should be able to offer a variety of shooting styles blending in harmony as well as to capture the true personalities of the couple, their relationship and the spirit of the day. For that reason I strongly believe that when it comes to the selection of a wedding photographer, it is essential that the portfolio of a whole wedding day and not only random, selected photos be taken into account. My ultimate goal is to create natural, beautiful, romantic, vibrant, alive photos that my couples will admire for the rest of their lives. This is not only my philosophy and also my motivation and driving force behind my work.
To know more things about me, you can read my interview in Conflating Visions magazine, which I’m citing below:
How did you get into photography?
I grew up on the Greek island of Skopelos. My mother owns a small restaurant and from a very young age I was surrounded by tourists. I remember admiring their cameras, so it was the first gift I bought myself from the tips I got while helping my parents. I was about 9 years old.As I was growing older, the way to express myself was through a Nikon FM2, a 50mm lens and countless rolls of Tri-X 400 Black and white film. I have spent many hours in the darkroom processing my own films because I wanted to have the control of the whole procedure from the beginning till the end.A bit later I received a scholarship by the Greek Ministry of Culture to study photography and what started as a passion evolved to a profession.
Which genres of photography are your favourite and why?
My favourite genres are Wedding Photography, Documentary and Fashion/Editorial. I’m basically a wedding photographer but the other two genres are always present in the way I shoot weddings because wedding photography is essentially an intertwining and constant interplay of other photography genres.So, apart from the documentation of the moments and emotions of the day, my wedding photography style is influenced by fashion and editorial. My brides are my source of inspiration and I like to bring out their inherent beauty and sensuality.
Who are your inspirations in the field of photography?
My first personal touch through workshops with the legendary documentary photographers Konstantinos Manos, and Josef Koudelka from Magnum Agency as well as Ed Kashi from National Geographic was decisive in the formulation of my style in photography. Ernestine Ruben’s work also influenced my work on the human body in the mid 90’s.
You must have come across a lot of memorable moments/events in your journey as a photographer. Would request you to share a few of them.
There are many memorable events in my photography journey, such as the grandeur of weddings in India and the boisterous Lebanese parties. Ηowever, the most important for me is that I had the chance to meet couples of so many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This personal touch has helped me evolve both as a photographer and as a person.
Do you believe in firmly sticking to the technical rules of photography?
I would describe myself as a fan of photography rules. On the other hand, I think that when a photographer has a deep knowledge of the rules, he can also bend them and this can be beneficial. This is part of the freedom of artistic expression.
How challenging is wedding photography?
I consider wedding photography one of the most demanding and challenging photography genres. To be a good wedding photographer you have to master many different photography fields (such as documentary, portrait, still life) and you also have to be effective under the stress of time pressure. Moments happen only once in weddings. You can’t stop the action to repeat your shots.
What are the essential aspects that a wedding photographer has to keep in mind while shooting a wedding?
A wedding photographer should keep in mind that the couple is their priority and that he is part of one of the couple’s most important days. Many times I see photos in wedding photography competitions that, although they are interesting and require a skilled photographer to do them, they are practically unusable by the couple. When I shoot, I always think how my couple will look good in the photos. I’m looking for timeless quality, that’s why I developed a style that is not part of a trend that may fade in a few years.
A dream destination where you want to shoot a wedding…
Having shot weddings all around the world I believe my dream destination is my next destination.
How is the journey as a photographer so far for you?
It has been a wonderful journey so far! I’m lucky to have created my own personal style in wedding photography, to have met interesting couples from so many different places and to have gained the recognition from fellow photographers.
Rate yourself on a scale of 10 as a photographer (Reason).
I would give myself a 9, because I believe that there is always room for improvement and I always like to push myself to get better and better. The best things are yet to come.
And, one last question of this session, if you have had one wish…
I wish to be healthy and have a happy personal life. This is fundamental in order to be a successful professional.