Hear It!

This time around, we'll 'Hear It!' from Andreas Karelias who hails from Greece and whose portfolio captures the very essence of Mediterranean landscapes and local culture.

Photographer: akarelias / Andreas Karelias
Country of Origin: Greece

1. Production Equipment: Please list the production equipment that you use on a regular basis (eg. Cameras, lenses, flash & lighting, photo editing software).
Cameras : Nikon D2X • Nikon D2Xs Lenses (all Nikon) : 12-24mm • 17-35mm • 17-55mm • 70-200mm • 105mm Micro • 50mm
Computer : Apple PowerMacintosh G5 Software : Nikon Capture NX • Adobe Photoshop

2. What do you think of photography these days?
There is great talent out there and this has become evident after the revolution of the digital camera. With today's technology, it is easier for even amateurs to produce great images, however, commercial success is only for those who show commitment and posess great talent. Nevertheless, the internet has made it possible for millions of photographers to sell their images online, and in this respect the photographic world has become a very competitive place.

3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
From early on, I always wanted to join the family business. Following the unfortunate passing of my father, I became the Managing Director in our family-run Company. As a young boy, I wanted to experiment with all sorts of things like becoming an airoplane pilot, a mathematician (I was always good with maths), even an oceanologist, after watching a series of Cousteau documentaries.

4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
I started in photography only 20 months ago. Since I was always fond of computers, I had acquired a series of DVD lectures on Photoshop and in order to practice my new learned techniques, bought a digital camera so as to have plenty of images. I was immediately hooked on photography, followed a series of online photography classes and continue to do so currently.

5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
As I said earlier it takes a lot of commitment and of course talent. You just have to keep producing better images like everyone else. To do that, apart from talent, you need to be out there at odd times, be ready to experiment constantly, read books and/or magazines, and shoot plenty of good images. Good skills in post manipulation also help. And of course use rejection in your favour, try to see things with a cool head and try to understand the business without allowing your judgement to be clouded by the great ego that exists in all us photographers.

6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
When I first started working with stock and microstock agencies, I had extreme difficulty overcoming rejections on my favorable images. As time went by, I learnt to press on, and not bother too much about it.

7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
It depends on the level one has achieved. So far, for myself, it has been the recognition among friends and relatives and of course the odd exposure you might be able to achieve. When a British photographic magazine published a small story on my work, I received plenty of e-mails from people I did not know. That was a great moment.

8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
I do not do too much planning, I usually pick the location minutes before entering my car, and hope for the best as I travel to the location. Unless of course I have to submit work for my online classes, when the subject I have to shoot determine the places that I visit. I always make sure that my polariser and filters are spot clean, and the same applies to my lenses.

9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
I would like to think of my images as rich in textures and strong saturated colours. I like to shoot all shorts of topics, landscapes, nature, travel photography, people, macro, etc.

10. Do you shoot to what your heart tells you or do you go through a complex check list in your mind when you produce your work? Describe the feeling/check list.
Since the vast majority of my income is derived from the family business, I have the luxury to shoot what I like. I would not wish to think of myself shooting what other people want, that might drive me crazy, but you never know in this life...So far, I am enjoying it as much as I can.

11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
Somehow, rocks attract me like a magnet, whether in seascapes, landscapes, there is something about them that I find fascinating. What gives me the greatest satisfaction is returning home knowing that I have a great image in one of my flashcards, irrespective of subject.

12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
I believe that the hardest part is people, because it takes a lot of work to convince a total stranger to be photographed and sign a model release, let alone make him feel relaxed and follow instructions. I have never worked with professional models, but I am pretty certain that this area requires a bit of experience too. I also consider wildlife photography to be tough, since it requires tons and tons of patience.

13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
My philosophy is simple, I try to enjoy photoraphy as much as I can. I am also very critical of my images, and many times a compliment from my lovely wife is enough to convince me that an image is good enough to show it to others or upload it with stock agencies.

14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
My greatest inspiration has been my online tutor, Bryan Peterson. He taught me to see the world with new eyes and always look for patterns, shapes, colour and textures in everything.

15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
Somehow I am always sure that it will come back to me, so I keep on shooting. This recipe has never failed me in my short photographic career.

16. Tell us about a time when inspiration just hits you, and you felt the insatiable urge to create. What did you do with that energy?
I happened to be at the right place, the right time, but unfortunately my camera was not with me. All sorts of great ideas went through my head which, I had no way of executing, and I became furious with myself. That taught me a very good lesson.

17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
It is dificult to say, since I am shooting for only 20 months. Nevertheless, I like to think that I see the world around me differently than most other people.

18. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
Apart from my online tutor, Bryan Peterson, for all the obvious reasons, I also admire the works of Ansel Adams, David Bailey and Steve McCurry. The way these people use light is brilliant. I also admire fact that they have created images that speak a million words, not just a 1000.

19. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting in to stock photography?
Do not take rejections personally, simply accept the fact that the reviewer is also doing his/her job and that during the day, he/she has rejected hundreds of other images. The reviewer has nothing against you. (Editor: Well said!)

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