I'm pleased to welcome Theodore Kefalopoulos to the blog.
Theodore is a fine art photographer from Alexandria, Greece, whose relationship with photography started in 2014. He quickly realized that turning "color blind" and working in black and white would allow him to bring to life scenes and moods that were frequently developing in his mind.
Theodore specializes in moody, introvert and minimal themes made with the long exposure technique and custom-made optics and filters.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Theodore, thank you for answering my questions. What inspired you to become a photographer? Any particular story?
Theodore Kefalopoulos: Photography is the means to express my impulsive reaction when seeing scenes that have a meaning, hidden or obvious. The moment I see something interesting, an alternative visual version of it starts to develop in my mind.
Photography can deliver powerful messages and be very direct in emitting what you have in mind. It is also a way to feed my soul with the profound state "inner apnea".
After passing the first stage in photography and while in need to find specific shooting and image creation tools, I realized that the long-exposure technique and the use of image-bending optics are what I need in order to bring life to what I see with my mind and perceive as a complete image. This is my relation to photography.
CM: What is your favorite subject to photograph?
TK: I could safely say that I really like to take pictures of boats in decay. This specific photographic subject has a very deep and powerful impact on me. Not only do I adore the state of decay but I also tend to create a form of "communication" with these subjects, imagine their past and perceive them as entities with soul. To some extend, I also compose a photo upon the metaphor that the boat signifies the photographer's soul.
CM: What makes a good photo?
TK: Any photo that is an emanation of our thoughts and emotions is a good photo. Any photo that is a true and honest reflection of our heart and mind is a good photo. This has nothing to do with photo technicalities (exposure, leveled horizon, noise etc.). In fact, the very essence of a good photo sits above and surpasses its technical attributes.
A good photo is the one that speaks to us, regardless of how many rules it abides to, regardless of how many people like that photo, regardless of equipment used and who is the photographer behind the photo. A good photo is closely and solely related to the ability to develop a long and profound relationship with the viewer (instead of a short and impressive impact).
There are no trends to what a good photo might look like. The connection with the viewer ought to be unbridled and almost "primordial".
CM: What is the photo you prefer in your portfolio? Why?
TK: I think that my art work "small craft on a milk sea" is my favorite one. It is a manifestation of so many things. It includes fundamental elements such as the earth, water, wind, light and also the human factor as the creator of the boat.
Given the fact that, to me, the boat is a powerful human metaphor, this theme represents our life trail, a trail that includes intention, determination, fortitude, peacefulness, difficulties, and beauty; and in all of them our presence walks the trail alone, from start to end.
CM: Any photographer you admire?
TK: There are many photographers that have an impressive portfolio regarding quality. I closely follow the works of Jay Vulture, Alexandru Crisan, Dennis Ramos and Alfred Stieglitz.
CM: What piece of advice would you give photographers who are starting with online promotion?
TK: The ultimate advice is to be ourselves in photography, even when we need to promote our work online. Regardless of trends, likes and rules, what will eventually bring forth our photographic presence is to always make and perceive photos as a direct reflection of our inner world.
Be as a photographer what you "need" to be instead of what you "have" to be. This stance will also relate to our online presence so that our profile will be genuine and true instead of a fabricated aberration of it.
Social media is like a knife. It can "cut" and mold an excellent online presence but it can also "kill" you if not treated carefully. The fact is that every photographer will relate to social media and will need to promote himself to some extend. Interviews are a very good and qualitative way to promote ourselves and there are also many online groups where we can show our art and give it a chance to be known and appreciated.
Also, do participate in photo contests if you need to do so but since we speak of fine art photography, I have a different stance. To me, photography is art and art cannot be judged, so the question that haunts these contests is "who fails? the contestants or the judges?"...
CM: Anything else you would like to share?
TK: Photography is a very profound part of me. It is always treated like another me and not like a way to fill hours of leisure. It is a journey with many stops but no end. Above all, I see each of my works as a fraction of me, as a mental heritage that will forever make references to various aspects of thoughts, emotions and visual quests.
I hope every photographer feels that way for his photo works and feeds his soul through them.
As for this new interview, I have to thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak thoroughly about my photographic self and my works. I truly appreciate this.