Life for a while or all eternity? – Eftychia Kazouka

The original language of this article is English. If you read it in another language, it means it is an automatic translation.

by Aneta de Cock

Let us stop, my friends, let’s take a few breaths for a moment, let’s think for a moment. Can you keep it?
My today’s guest is a talented photographer Eftychia Kazouka.

Eftychia Kazouka photographer interview
Eftychia Kazouka

In her works, Eftychia expresses her idea, magic for me, stops the scene, and catches moments in the frame. So my more recent question is whether a photographer is a magician who stops time?

What is time for us? How many people run in pursuit of something wastes so much time and when we ask them in their old age what they would like the answer is to stop or turn back time. I am incredibly excited to talk to my fantastic guest!

A: How long have you been photographing?
E: I took my first picture when I was 5 years old. I studied photography & cinematography in Athens, Greece, and at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. I have been working as a professional photographer since 1998. And teaching macro photography since 2017.

A: How did your passion for photography begin?
E: Photography is more than a passion! It is the difference between looking and seeing! It is a way of seeing the world, through a lens, paying attention to things that many people pass by; it is a way of life, it is a way of being! 

A: Are there any requirements to become a photographer?
E: Being able to really see. “From the eye to the heart to the camera”. Patience is sometimes key. And a camera… it helps!

A: What do you like to photograph and enjoy, and what is difficult to catch?
E: I call my photography “wandering photography”. I walk about and take pictures of whatever catches my eye: street scenes, architecture, or nature.
What I consider most difficult is portrait photography. There is some kind of complicity that needs to be established, even for a fraction of a second, between the person behind the camera and the person(s) in front of it.

A: So you actually catch the moment and keep it in the frame just like real magic. But now I have to ask you think sort of difficult question. Do you easily establish contact with people, I mean models?

E: In the street, most often my pictures are candid captures, meaning the contact with people is minimal. In the studio, discussing with the people, and making them feel at ease helps.
I have developed a technique. I shoot portraits using my beloved, all-manual Nikon FM2. Since all settings are manual, it takes much more time than shooting autofocus. People always pose in front of a camera. They hold their breath. Since I take my time setting the camera up, they start to relax, thinking that I will never shoot the picture. And they exhale! I take my picture exactly at that moment! When they exhale

A: Silly question but I need to ask you what inspires such a wonderful soul?
E: Everything! Life, I guess! 

A: What difficulties did you encounter at the beginning of your career?
E: Finding the first person who trusted me enough to hire me to shoot pictures for them! I started shooting pictures of children in summer camp. This experience taught me a lot. Patience, especially! The milieu is very “crowded” nowadays, since the arrival of digital photography. Sometimes people pay less attention to the basics of photography, such as composition and proper lighting, simply because everything, or almost everything, can be corrected with cropping, dodging, and other post-processing tools & techniques. I have heard the expression “I will fix it in Photoshop” so many times.

A: Photography is not about mindlessly taking pictures do you always pay attention to frames or do you allow spontaneity to speak and only then review the works or do you create an action plan in your head while shooting?

E: Since I try to keep post-processing to a minimum, I pay attention to composition when I take a picture. Then spontaneity is always present since I never know what I might find that captures my eye. Things are a bit different when shooting in a studio. In a studio shooting, there is always a plan and a lighting design. Still, there is ample room for adjustment or spontaneity, depending on the mood and the rapport established with the person(s) I take pictures of.

A: Looking at your works, you think that they have a spirit to feel magic in them. Does spirituality accompany you in your creation?
E: I consider the moment I take a picture a “state of grace”, where the light, the scene, the eye, the heart, and the camera are in alignment! A magical moment! So, yes, shooting pictures is a spiritual experience!

A: So if you could ask for something in the universe what would it be?
E: Peace. And kindness. And humanity. And good light!
A: These are so kind wishes and I hope the universe will listen to you.

Art Vue Prize 2022 award
Eftychia won the Juror’s Prize in the Art Vue Prize Spring 2022 award competition

A: Is there a topic you would like me to talk about, something that you would like to shout out to the world?
E: Photography is greater than the platform where it is presented. I see a lot of photographers adopting a certain “style” because it sells well on social media because it gets likes. Art is about freedom of expression! So be free! Present photography you are proud of, don’t get pigeonholed, be YOU as a photographer! And keep shooting pictures! Practice makes perfect, or so they say.

Art Vue exhibition at Estacao
Etychia’s photos were exhibited at the Art Vue’s expo at Estação, Canelas, Portugal

A: I have to admit that the conversation with you was fascinating. In every answer, I feel passion true and love passion. You are the photographer with a huge talent and a spirit that loves life moments the moment. So, I can boldly say that you are a magician? During this interview, you stopped time for a moment and focused our viewers on reflection.

Thank you very much for a great interview.

E: Thank you very much for this interview that allows me the express my passion for photography, the love of my life!

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