1. Hello and thank you for agreeing to do this interview! Lets start of with you introducing yourself, tell us where your from?
Hi Aaron, thanks for inviting me here. I come from Rethymnon, a small town in Crete. I lived for 5 years in Thessaloniki, where I studied architecture and I got back again to my town 7 years before.
2. You use flash a lot in your work, can you remember the first time you used flash and why you chose and developed this technique?
In October of 2009 I was in Athens, walking and shooting photos with my friend Costas Papageorgiou. He convinced me to buy a flash and from then and on I started to use it with a cable. I think I use it to be able to create my own light and be somehow independent from the external natural light sources, which a lot of times are not the desired ones at any moment.
3. Seeing as the street environment is out of your control, how much would you say that capturing a powerful image is down to luck?
I think luck is important in street photography, but without endless hours of walking, it brings no result just by itself. One or two photos may be a result of luck, but a whole portfolio can be born only through persistent work.
4. Your style is very eerie with a dark undertone, do you think this goes down your own subconscious perception of reality?
I don’t know, maybe…
5. Looking at your photographs you favor the wide angle lenses, why do these lenses suit your style?
Now that I think of it, maybe architecture helped me get used only to wide angle lenses. But the reaI reason I insist is that I believe photos of people have to be as close as possible to be full of life. I am not a scientist to observe through telescopes, I want to be inside life. And only the wide angle lenses permit the photographer to be inside the human crowd.
6. You take candid street portraiture using off-camera flash close up to your subject, how do people react to being photographed this way?
Most of them don’t understand what’s happening. What I’ve seen up to now is that the closer I get the less people realize that they get photographed. I have received some aggressive reactions from time to time but these incidents are relatively very few.
7. Who are some of your influences and favourite photographers at the moment?
My favourite photographers are Weegee, M.Parr ,G.Winogrand, D.Arbus , A.Sander.
I also like contemporary photographers, some of them I have presented them in my blog:
8. Why is photography important to you?
I always carry my camera with me and when I see something interesting I take a photo of it. In the future maybe the answer to this question will be more clear in my mind, now I’m not sure. The truth is that I don’t know if I will ever be sure about anything.
9. Greece is going through some pretty tough times right now, do you think it has transcended into your work somehow, is it something you think about?
I can’t tell if the crisis is easily visible in my photos, as I’m not much interested in documentary photography. But it’s inevitable for someone who lives here to be blind to the political decadence and social struggle. I don’t know if Greece wasn’t in crisis if was shooting differently, maybe yes, maybe no. I guess since I’m now out in the streets and I shoot photos of a specific environment, that my photos are an aspect of this specific environment. Photography speaks differently to everyone, I don’t know what conclusions may come out from my photos.
10. Where do you draw the line regarding digital manipulation on your personal work?
Working on the contrast and levels in the raw files is enough for me. I think the line that I don’t want to pass is to spend more time in front of a computer editing photos I took, instead of searching for new images.
11. Do you plan to exhibit or publish any of your work in print form?
I edited two venustreet books with photos of mine and many other photographers.
I had made an exhibition two years before and I have participated in a few group exhibitions. Exhibiting is nice, as you can see your photos printed (I’ve not seen not even the 1% of my photos printed, unfortunately I rarely print) but also needs money, time etc and I don’t know if this is exactly what I can do at the moment.
12. Can you remember why you first started to photograph?
I bought my first analog camera in 1997 in the university, it was a necessary tool for my studies and my work. The first years until 2008 I was shooting only buildings and urban spaces. The way I was shooting in these early photos was terrible I must say. Not the subjects themselves, as any subject is interesting, but the way I was shooting. I paid attention only to frame well, I didn’t care at all about the meaning of what I was shooting. In 2008 I bought a digital camera and started to shoot more. I saw some Magnum photos and understood that photography is not only framing. Eleven years of terrible photos is a long time. I have to try to repair this somehow. Inside the total garbage that I shoot, I may find some moments that I like and I won’t delete. And after some months or years I’ll see these images and they will probably say nothing to me any more. I think this is more or less this is the way it goes.
13. Whats the most important thing you’ve learned thats improved you’re photography the greatest?
What I try to do is shooting as much as I can and looking at other people’s work to see how how they understand the world around them. These two things I think are very important for me, it’s a kind of dialog between my thoughts and other people’s thoughts.
14. Could you name one of your favorite photographs and explain what makes it so special?
Here’s a discussion about this photo :
15. Finally is there anything else you would like to add or promote?
Hmm… I think this world we live in has to collapse and rise again differently.