Theodore Vourlis likes the dark atmosphere in his frames. He turned his hobby into a profession in the last few years and prefers to shoot portraits.
Enjoy his work and a very interesting interview.
Can you tell me a little about you?
My name is Theodore Vourlis and my biggest love besides my family recedes in photography. I started as a teenager just for fun this magical journey into senses with an analog dated compact camera. 10 years ago I purchased a Panasonic Lumix travel zoom camera and my journey took to the next level. Nowadays of course I rely upon professional DSLRs and lenses. I have experimenting across many segments of photography and I have concluded that I prefer human photography (portraits). It is the connection between me and the people that I find to intrigued me.
How and when did you get into your profession?
Last few years I turned my hobby into profession (weddings, baptisms, portraits, events) and I’m happy for it. My wife proposed me the idea of becoming a professional photographer four years ago. She noticed that some of our friends that got married were using my photos of their wedding I took as posters or to fill their digital albums with extra material. It should be noted that at the time I didn’t have a DSLR camera. Instead, I was using a compact camera with a 1/2,3’’ sensor. I was shooting with instinct and no technical nor theoretical knowledge.
What does photography mean to you?
It means a lot. It is my artistic little footprint in this world. It is the medium I channel my personality, my thoughts and my mood. It is the unique and sentimental memories for me and my clients. I believe that my photos will be online somewhere long after I will have passed away. It is a great feeling.
Could you describe your style in three words?
In my personal projects I prefer to be cinematic, dark and sometimes provocative. Of course I adapt to real needs of a professional client’s shoot.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Unfortunately, I don’t have spare time to study the work of other classic photographers in order to be inspired by them. I try to be conscious to where my eyes are drawn to, be conscious to what I’m feeling at the moment and try to find interesting spots with light contradictions. I’m really fond of the dark atmosphere in my frames.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture ?
Generally yes but is not always possible. In any case I try to explore new things and give an atmospheric vibe whenever I can. In most personal projects I cooperate usually with amateur models and little to no budget at all. Even this way, it is really possible to have some great results.
Studio, on location or both?
90% on location. I rarely use studio despite the fact that I have attended studio light seminars. I find the outdoor world much more fascinating and challenging. On the other hand, studio gives you more control on the outcome but as I noted, I like challenges.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
Well, it was my first ever one to one portrait session with a girl that was going to be photographed by a “photographer” for the first time (me). She made me feel like a god during the shoot even if I didn’t realize what I was doing back then. I was trying rather hard to hide my lack of expertise at the time. The very positive vibes she gave me when she show my chosen photos, was a serious reason that I continued with this field of photography. I was thrilled to make someone very happy with himself.
Nikon, Canon or something else? Favorite lens?
Nikon but I’m not a fanboy if you ask me. I just started with this brand and have invested a serious amount of money to change the brand at this point. Of course Nikon cameras have served me well. My favorite portraits lens is…..two. My Sigma 85mm 1.4 and my old Nikkor 80-200mm 2.8!!
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Study, experiment, shoot the most you can, gain self-respect and expertise and take the leap.
“I try to be conscious to where my eyes are drawn to, be conscious to what I’m feeling at the moment and try to find interesting spots with light contradictions. I’m really fond of the dark atmosphere in my frames. ”