“Spyros is a street photographer and blogger from Greece. He had a passion for photography from a very early age. He loves the unpredictability of the genre and loves to meet new people. His images are often close ups of people as he enjoys the intimacy and challenge of getting really close. We spoke with him in length about his passion and about his very successful blog, Streethunters.net“
Q. Hi Spyros, good to have you with us today, please tell us about yourself and your early interactions with photography.
A. Hello! Firstly I would like to say thank you for this amazing opportunity! I am a big fan of APF Mag and it is a true honour to be asked to be interviewed by you guys. Gratitude. I am Spyros Papaspyropoulos a street photographer born and raised in Athens, Greece that currently lives and shoots mostly in Rethymno a small town on the island of Crete. The first time I used a camera I was a young boy of about 12 or 13 and I remember that my fascination with photography was apparent even back then. My father was an amateur photographer that loved making family photos, but his true passion was for fine art B&W photography. He had a manual Nikon and a Yashica Electro 35 that has now passed on to me. I don’t know where the Nikon is. That is a mystery. Anyway, my father passed on to me his passion for photography as well! Thank you father. My first serious attempt at shooting photos was when I was 18 years old. I shot loads of portraits of a girlfriend of mine. I remember I used B&W film and I used to shoot manually, trying to figure out exposure and the works. Since then, I have always had one camera or another and I have always documented moments of my life. I must have three massive drawers of printed photos at my parent’s house with literally thousands of prints.
Q. What is it about street photography that got you hooked to the genre in the first place and what keeps you going?
A. One word. Unpredictability! I just love the unexpected. As a creative I get bored quite easily, so I constantly seek new ways to entertain myself. I found that street photography is so unpredictable and surprising that it works as a means of catharsis for my soul. It has a therapeutic affect on me; it makes me feel as if I have been meditating. The effect it has on me is so profound that when I don’t shoot I get all edgy and snappy and feel as if I am missing something. I think that when I don’t shoot I get withdrawal syndrome. What keeps me going are the same reasons. I love the unpredictable nature of the genre, the mini adventures I experience when shooting street and the awesome people I get to meet. I have found myself in strangers apartments being shown around while taking photos, or I have travelled to unknown destinations, or I have broken bread with people I have never met before and will never meet again, or I have made photos of guys wielding massive machetes wearing smiles on their faces, or I have found myself taking snaps of AK47 assault rifles stacked on hundreds of bullets and more! I just love where street photography can take me. An every day photo walk or street hunt as I like to call them, almost always ends with at least one interesting story to share. I just love that!
Q. Please tell us about your process of shooting on the streets. What are you like, what goes on in your mind and what attracts you to a particular scene?
A. I try to look for things that attract my attention. I work instinctively and spontaneously most of the time and I have found that in the past couple of years I really enjoy capturing interesting faces. As years go by I have noticed that I enjoy getting closer and closer. I love the intimacy of the close up shot, the thrill of it, and the way my lens plunges in the action I am capturing. When I am shooting I am usually lost in my photography. I am zoned in, totally focused on what I am doing. If I have to interact with someone after I have made his or her shot, I always make sure to wear my smile, as wide as possible and to always be polite. I think it is very important to be polite and to smile, it makes the person you talk to feel as if they are talking to a non-threatening individual and they don’t get annoyed if you take their photo.
Read the full interview in the latest issue of APF Magazine. Download HERE from the iOS store today.