Exclusive Interview with Vangelis Paterakis
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Vangelis Paterakis was born and brought up in Piraeus, Greece.From the very beginning of his professional path he became a close collaborator of big advertising companies, editorial houses and magazines.
At an early date his photographs began getting published in numerous Greek magazines, including several covers. On the international front his work also began appearing in various printouts abroad such as the Wallpaper, the Architectural Digest, the Andrew Martin-Interior Design Review, Taschen, J.J magazine and many others.
Vangelis’ photographs have also been figuring in the pages and covers of books of both Greek and Foreign publications. These books range from architectural guides to decoration as well as cook books.
Vangelis’ main professional activity revolves around photo shoots of hotel spaces in Greece, on the mainland as well as on the islands. Nonetheless, Vangelis also extends his portfolio to photo shoots of Food and Travel.
In the same way that Vangelis’ travels to Cuba and Japan became his source of inspiration and reason for his first personal painting in photography exhibition titled “Virtual World” in November 2006, the familiar images of people in motion portrayed in photographs taken then led him to his first personal photograph exhibition entitled “Shadows” in May 2008.
Besides his two personal exhibitions, in July 2007 Vangelis also participated in an ensemble exhibition on the island of Paros, purely focused on painting this time. Also, his work on images of foods entitled “fork D-tales” was presented at the Sani Resort hotel in Chalkidiki, Greece at the Annual Gastronomy Festival of May 2008 and recently, in December 2008, he was chosen among several Greek photographers to participate in the exhibition “Spira” organized by Flocafe S.A Greece. And in 2010 his second personal photograph exhibition “Shadow life” was held at the Met Hotel in Thessaloniki.
What is the power of photography?
Essentially the power of photography lies in the ability of the photographer to represent and evoke emotion and reaction from the audience. In this sense the power equates to that of an artist who is similarly tasked with conveying a sense of meaning and expression in their work. In many instances this can be powerful as a vehicle for social and behavioral change.
Is there a particular relationship which develops between the subject and the photographer during a photographic session?
It is imperative that the photographer understands the content and meaning of the subject in order to accurately represent this to the audience. In this way the photographer needs to develop a sense of empathy with the subject and convey the same emotional feeling with clarity and accuracy.
What is the difference between commercial photography and photo editorial?
Whilst the photographer still has the scope to be creative and represent the subject in the most effective way commercial photography has a more prescriptive brief and in this sense places limits on the freedom of the photographer to be independently unique. Photo editorial has a greater ability to provide a social commentary and in this way the expressive scope is greater and places significant responsibilities upon the photographer to capture the meaning in the most accurate way.
Are there great buildings that do not photograph well?
No there aren’t any. There is always a best angle, we just need to find it.
Do you have any do's and don'ts for architectural photography?
Yes. We must always take into consideration the horizontals and verticals so as to always keep the correct balance; Light, natural or not and always know which elements not to include inside the frame.
What is the most awe inspiring architecture that you have ever seen up close and personal?
A City actually, Tokyo-I found the architecture most inspiring and representative of a unique style of life associated fundamentally with the culture.
Which photographers do you admire?
Paradoxically I do not admire any particular photographer, but the photographic view of the Architect Nikos Valsamakis from whom I have learned a great deal from our latest collaborations.
What is your favorite photograph - either that you have taken, or that you have seen?
In my own work I felt proud to have a shot used by Taschen on the cover of a recent Architecture Now Vol.1 publication. The picture I felt accurately represented the subject and the recognition I felt was a testament to my work.
Which international periodicals do you like for their editorials?
If you were not a photographer, what other profession would you have chosen?