Exhibit: Can you share your journey with us?
Errikos Andreou: I originally studied fashion design in London at the University of Westminster and at the College of Central St Martin’s. I worked as a designer for a ready to wear company, as a stylist, a make up artist and a model scout for some time. I think I was naturally drawn to photography because it combined everything. I grew up collecting magazines, fashion and photography books and studying them, each time looking for a different element. Sometimes the clothes, others the make up or the models and others the photography. I was always on a quest for beauty.
Exhibit: Which has been the most interesting shoot you have done so far?
Errikos Andreou: Two shoots for one the most popular French Calendars called Dieux du Stade which is featuring naked Rugby athletes. We had all those athletes who are doing a very brutal and rough sport being entirely naked on a set with about 20 people and 3-4 cameras “flying” around them. It was very challenging to make them feel comfortable and make them concentrate on the shoot.
Exhibit: What draws you to photography?
Errikos Andreou: What draws me is the fact that I can alter reality. That I can create a new and different one for me first and foremost to escape within. That I can offer someone another vision of themselves. I am a very big fan of cinema and in particular the “new wave” French cinema which is simple and raw, shot plainfully without large sets and artificial lights. I am also a big fan of reportage photography, even though I could never do it myself. Don McCullin and Sebastiao Salgado are two photographers I admire immensely. I like that cinematic feeling in my photos, simplicity, plenty of natural light when I can have that, high contrast, motion, blurriness. I love what people often consider “mistakes” in photography. And on that, I love expressive people with big generous personalities. Beauty itself is often not enough.
Exhibit: Do you follow any particular process for any photo-shoot?
Errikos Andreou: I like to catch people off guard and see if they have something to say. I believe very much on the magic of the moment that gets killed by too much preparation. You are in a great location with great models, there are so many wonderful moments that can happen spontaneously. “Let’s shoot in this corner, the light is great and I love how the dress gets drugged in the mud” kind of way! I also like to get people naked whenever I can!
Exhibit: Errikos and Tech – explain the relationship.
Errikos Andreou: LOVE relationship. I believe technology is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to the human kind. Still to most people technology means a cell phone with a camera, emails and selfies. However technological advancements are already fundamentally changing our specie and technology itself is taking more and more control over aspects of human reality. To some that might sound like a nightmare, to me it sounds like a revelation. Everything about the future of technology and its applications fascinates me.
Exhibit: How is technology shaping the field of photography?
Errikos Andreou: When you photograph people, you see more details on a face of a person you have photographed than the human eye sees even if that person is standing right next to you. So post production is absolutely necessary to reduce a bit of this information. When I retouch, it is not because I want to “perfect” the person I have photographed but because I want the viewer to get the same impression I have when I am looking at that person myself. On the contrary, I wonder sometimes what will happen to amateur/selfie photography. I wouldn’t be surprised if a camera would be invented that takes photos already fully “retouched” to prior specifications.
“ You are not on a race with anyone but yourself. ”
Exhibit: Must-have photography equipment for you?
Errikos Andreou: A great subject/model.
Exhibit: What inspires you?
Errikos Andreou: Beauty and personality, joy, youth, graceful age, confidence, great fashion, good films, music, art, solitude.
Exhibit: Your go-to photography trick you know works every time.
Errikos Andreou: Shooting people naked.
Exhibit: Advice for budding photographers?
Errikos Andreou: Do it out of love for the medium and not for whatever money or lifestyle you think it will bring you (you’ll be disappointed). Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You shouldn’t care of what others think. You are not on a race with anyone but yourself. Love the process. Look for inspiration. Love what you’re shooting. Work hard. Research. Be aware of what is happening around you. Respect the work and effort of your colleagues even if you might not like what they do; they too are on the same road as you are.
- One classic or contemporary photograph that speaks to you: All the photos from the “gold mine” series of Sebastiao Salgado
- Your muse: I don’t have one.
- One piece of gadget you can’t live without that’s not your phone, laptop or camera: Anything that reads Netflix.
- Most unique gadget you’ve come across: Translating headphones… Imagine a world where language is not a barrier. I cannot wait for future developments and applications of that.
- Most overused photography trend: Selfies
- Best piece of advice given to you: Two actually: Life is not fair and nobody really cares about what you think.