Learn how to say No and stay Productive
After a formal interview request by Press (not stating the name of the agency, they are following me and they can comment at their discretion), I think I shall take the opportunity and express publicly why as photographers, amateurs or professionals, beginners or experienced, or artists, we have the right to make our choices.
I declined an interview due to the fact that the questions were focusing on very personal questions. For example: “why the Greek Skies II that I had announced that will come in 2017 Christmas won’t come” and also persistent questions on my collaborations. I would like to think that this is not a guided one, or it was discussed without me by others. Therefore here is below an idea of what was all about as it was also mentioned that they had received comments by people who follow me and commented to them on this matter. (I dont believe so).
My answer and I am stating it publicly is the following precisely and to the word as I had recorded everything in written. Regardless that it was not accepted and drove me to ask them stop publishing the story half way through.
“I decided not to publish the Greek Skies II for personal reasons. I took all the responsibility whatsoever and I decided that is time I will do something more of value to my photography.“
As for why I will not collaborate with the other two “Co – Creators” as they asked me I replied :
“To my knowledge both my friends Konstantinos Themelis and Christophe Anagnostopoulos, participated in the end of the project by contributing 5 scenes they shot each of them themselves while time lapsing. If you ask them they will tell you the same story. Especially Christophe had a meaningful reason and common denominator that brought us together, pain of loss, as he was honouring his recent loss that i suffered myself, and therefore the collaboration in the end of the project I run for a year was also so great between us. The title of Co Creators I dont think it applies as for a whole year and on my own expenses I did Greek Skies solely. (To their reaction that they read this everywhere I didn’t reply cause I know what my best friends have published and nowhere did they claim ownership of the film and we still are friends whatsoever, I think that was also a Press Trick to get under my skin). Konstantinos also contributed scenes due to our friendship and of course thank God no loss of his side.
By this I do not mean any disvalue of their work or of their contribution. The reason I am not pursuing Greek Skies II with my two best friends is again personal and cannot disclose it at any cost. We all discussed the possibility to do Greek Skies II and in the end we decided not to, for certain reasons that is of our own interest and only. Sponsors have been informed and each of us agreed.
Both my friends as I know and everyone knows via social media are pursuing their own personal projects time lapses that have announced in their social accounts and therefore I think you should ask them yourself about their upcoming work”
In the question of “was there any argument or you didn’t agree on the Greek Skies II”, I replied:
“No not that I know from my side, and I am aware of from my friends side.”
At that point I knew that I had to stop this interview and I kindly told them that “thats it I am sorry this is not an interview for a magazine but more like a gossip cheap media.”
Now to my own declaration after this bad experience.
I believe that I made a project for honouring my dad and thats all. Nothing more and nothing less. Whatever the outcome was, and at what extend the publicity came to be in the end is something that is NOT obliging me or my friends to have to answer to such questions and when we do not answer to be threatened. As a photographer, artist or whatever your skills are I believe you have the freedom to do so.
For me this project was a one man project and something that everyone (potential sponsors that didn’t support) had expressed their misbelief and called it IMPOSSIBLE to be done by one person. God though had a different opinion and helped me push through many difficulties such as capital controls, cold, being alone, etc and I made it.
I left my mark as time-lapser in Greece and of course around the world and that was more than enough for me or of what i expected. That was again NOT the purpose of it. Since God allowed it so be it and I am more than thankful.
Ever since, I got to know lots of people who after that started their journey towards the same path I walked myself on my own and gave them my best advice from my experience on how to do it, what techniques, where to submit it for awards and what obstacles they will face down the road so they are prepared etc….
It is not a competition, it is what i call philotimo and what my dad taught me before he closed his eyes, to help everyone reach even higher than me. Be a pioneer and a leader. You cannot be a leader if you keep doing the same thing again and again or walk the same road again and again. You have to go the extra mile, battle your fears and walk to any new path your heart desires. After all in one of my photoblog posts I have published it, “courage is the fear that has said its prayers” (https://www.panosphotographia.com/courage/) . He taught me to share the knowledge i have or gained as we say in greek “pass over the lights” I gained while doing it. And thats what I did and what I will keep doing. If anyone asks me for time-lapse or any technique I will be sharing and helping.
Therefore I think its futile to climb the same mountain again and again in its general sense.
Now is the time for my two friends and for others to do as such in this area of photography, do their own projects, walk their own path and be successful.
I am not seeking any more publicity or awards on time lapsing. For any reason, for the past year and a half, religious projects have won my heart and therefore I have been directing myself towards this path. If in this path an opportunity arises to create Greek Skies II, or something similar, yes I would do it again but only if it arises, not on purpose. I do like to have new challenges on my photography life and of course new things to do. Commercial is also one of them and thanks to God it has been successful so far at its own extend and given the circumstances each of us might have in his/her own life.
Finally a small piece of advice for every fellow photographer. Magazines do NOT get to intimidate you with personal questions and also “threats”, that if you don’t answer to what they need, they won’t cover your next story. It is them who need to fill in their blank pages not you.
You don’t want such publicity of people who represent such ethic and principles (I call them crows although crows are very good birds at least in my religion). No, learn how to say no, keep your personal to yourselves and share the things you want to share.
I prefer not being covered by this kind of magazines at all, rather than being intimidated.
Learn how to say No and stay Productive