I come from a family of Greek diplomats and, in my entire life, I have never lived for more than four years anywhere in the world (I will spare myself doing the math!). I had a French education, spoke Greek at home, English soon became a predominant language of mine and I also speak German and Spanish.
At a young age I had a pronounced artistic streak but growing up in a very strict environment did not give me the option to pursue any artistic activity professionally or even seriously. My father was an avid photographer himself and I am sure that this played a huge role in developing my love for photography. I always remember having a camera and I created my own darkroom during my teenage years.
I moved to New York City in 2009, which was a life long dream. I always loved the energy of that city and the endless possibilities it offers. I also knew that if I did not take the time to focus on what I really loved while in New York, I would never forgive myself. So in 2011 I registered at the International Center of Photography and soon I found myself immersed in a world that was so refreshing and new to me. I discovered a world that is without limits, a world where everything is fair game, no restrictions or taboos. Going from a very strict and conservative environment to a free spirited one felt very liberating. I suddenly felt I had wings and I could fly. My life had changed forever.
We then moved to Greece for a few years and currently have been residing in London since 2016.
Ideally I want to photograph every day wherever life takes me. When we moved back to Greece in 2014 after New York, I devoted my time documenting the refugee crisis as it developed on the island of Lesvos. This was at a time when the crisis was at its peak, and I felt a social responsibility to use my camera to register the arduous and traumatic plight of so many people.
Moving to London provided quite a contrast, and I decided to take advantage of what such a diverse and fun city has to offer. We have not fallen short of interesting events, with Brexit and climate protests, as well as the typically English races and garden parties. English culture is so particular and wonderful in its own way, and it has led me to produce quite a humorous and uplifting body of work.
I would love to show that work before leaving the UK in about a year from now.
I also make it a priority to travel two or three times a year for a few weeks at a time in order to focus on producing work without any distractions. I have been traveling to India every year for the past eight years (it’s probably my largest body of work), Cuba, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and China. I often travel alone or with a photographer friend.
From very early on in my photographic journey I knew that I needed a human presence in my frame – or a sense of presence. I find that there is a different energy to an image when our fellow human beings are involved. I love to catch interesting and intriguing moments of people’s daily lives, moments that often go unnoticed, that will convey surprise, wonder and hopefully some humor. Humor to me is the most important ingredient of life.
I also love to create environmental portraits of people inside their home. Every detail, or lack of, says so much about the person photographed.
I am always very humbled by how welcoming and kind people have been towards me, particularly since having one’s photograph taken can be uncomfortable, especially when the photographer arrives announced.
Nowadays, there is a tendency to always label the type of photography one practices and I find that quite restricting. I would call myself primarily a street photographer but at the same time I am drawn to portraiture and documentary photography as well.
Photography first and foremost makes me very happy. But it also broadens my horizons and more importantly educates me. I feel that I am only now seeing the real world. It has forced me to slow down and see my surroundings from a different perspective.
By traveling to the countries I mentioned above, I consciously have chosen to photograph in environments that are much different than my own. I am certainly intrigued by our differences and not by our similarities as I find that the more I learn the more I grow as an individual. It is inspiring and grounding in more ways than one. I return to the same places year after year thus creating bonds with local families and often giving people a voice. I always bring back printed images and seeing the joy on their faces when they hold their prints makes me very happy. I believe that one should always give back to people who have given their time, almost always very graciously.
Lastly, the joy that I feel when I catch that surreal fleeting moment out on the street, that serendipity that only happens for a fraction of a second, could make my heart burst.