Jorgo Tsolakidis. A Natural Light Photographer
Jorgo has been involved in photography since childhood. At the age of 11, he got his first camera from his godfather, a freelance photographer in Thessaloniki, as a birthday present. After years of experimenting across all segments of photography, he discovered “street photography” for himself. His first exhibition “naked world street shots” in 2011 underlined his handwriting and his special way of seeing. In 2013 he started with aesthetic photography in the erotic “Sensual” area. Although a large number of models were to be found on the social media, he did not use this pool, but sought his models on the “street”. Jorgo mainly photographs with natural light and 90% black and white. The topic “Portrait” has a special status in his work. Staged as well as intuitive portraits with special informative value run through his portfolio. A special encounter with the music producer and composer Alexandros Karozas in 2010 was the door opener for the, by now not only Greek artist scene.
Enjoy his interview.
How do you as a photographer make sure that the thing, person or landscape you want to shoot looks the way you want it to?
That happens to me rather intuitively. I adjust my camera, it happens automatically and then I approach the result.
From your point of view, what makes a good picture?
A good picture has to touch me as a photographer and viewer of my pictures. I have to feel something. If I get this feeling then it’s good. If other people like it then it’s nice. If not, then it’s still fine for me.
Since the photography techniques and equipment change quickly, it is important to stay up-to-date. What do you do to always keep up with the times?
I do not think so. I don’t have to stay up to date. I buy new when something stops working. I don’t run after technology. The pictures I like do not require so much technology and would be possible even with an old camera and old lenses.
Nowadays almost everyone has access to devices with which it is possible to take pictures.
What do you think is the difference between a professional photographer and any other hobby photographer?
Nowadays everyone calls themselves professional who owns a camera and earns money with it, or not. For me, a professional photographer is someone who always works to be better today than yesterday. Someone who questions yesterday’s best results and is constantly looking for ways to understand their point of view.
Which one is your favorite lens and why do you prefer it?
I love my 85 / 1.2. Since I only work with natural light, it helps me a lot to get my results.
Who influenced you the most?
Peter Lindbergh, Helmuth Newton and Jean Loup Sieff.
Is there any other photographer that you considers as a kind of idol?
That is clearly Sebastiao Salgado. Outstanding pictures, a gifted photographer and a person who changes the world in a positive way through his project “Instituto Terra”. He made something beautiful, which was destroyed over time, beautiful again. In addition, he shows with his pictures from the crisis areas of this earth what atrocities man is capable of.
What, in your opinion, is most important to consider while shooting portrait pictures?
Trust. Time. Conversations and mutual respect are basic requirements. I have to be able to ask my counterpart any question with the condition that my counterpart does not speak when answering. The answers should be his expression, his reaction. I am very rude with my questions.
Which editing software do you usually use?
As how good would you describe your skills in that software?
I only need a fraction of what these programs can do for my work. I only use these programs for small corrections. I have mastered what I need.
In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid?
Street portraits. Still. I started with Streets. The true life. I avoid taking “paparazzi pictures”.
“A good picture has to touch me as a photographer and viewer of my pictures. I have to feel something.”