Hello Angie, lets begin our conversation right away...
As a look at your bio, I see mystery. We know your name and that is it!
The ' about ' in your 1x profile is empty, now is the time to tell us briefly about .
In which country do you live?
Are you a professional photographer or is it your hobby?
There is not much to say about me, really - and even if it were, I don’t think it’s important. But to indulge you: I am Greek and I live in Athens. I had a long career as a publishing professional (mostly editor in chief in international publications). I was always fascinated by the private investigator characters in old 'film noir'. Photography became my new passion after 2012 -the year when the publishing sector in my country was hit by the international financial crisis. Some people would argue that what really happened in 2012 was the end of the world. Maybe they are true - the sure thing is that my life took a different turn.
Before investigating further into your photography, can you please explain your attachment to black and white? No colour images on your 1x gallery!
I started shooting photos in black and white and then my photographic “style” presented itself, it took it’s own life, if you like... I actually love colour, I like to use it in landscape photography mostly and only when I can get the same mood that I would get if these photos were in black and white (I have just uploaded quite a few colour photos on my 1x profile).
I'm certain you know why I used the word ' investigating ' in the previous question.
You are an investigating photographer, lets begin with the portraits, the people.
Your portraits are intimate and sensitive. Most of them seem to be your friends. Are they complete strangers and how do you get that close to take their portraits?
My subjects are mostly people that I have met while photographing them. The more photographs I take of them, the better acquainted we get. People who work in cafes that I am frequenting, friends or artists that ask me to “follow” them in their endeavours. Some are complete strangers though... But usually they have to sit somewhere, drinking coffee... The investigative part became an element of my portraits after I have discovered that even the most “common” or “indifferent” person revealed to me in their photos something extraordinary, hidden potentials, power, personality and a depth that I could capture only with my lens. I must say that I never stage my photos, I always take what my subjects give me and if they ask me, I tell them to do what they like. Their creativity always astonishes me... Some people told me that I have captured their real self and some did not like at all the way they looked. But I love all my subjects and it’s my love for them that made me a “photographic investigator”.
All your photos, street, portraits and conceptual have such a powerful feel to them.
Cinematic, film noir, the harsh contrast, strong whites, deep shadows, grain, the Fellini-esque portrait compositions.
What has influenced you? Art history? Cinema? Other photographers?
As I mentioned before, I have always been fascinated by film noir and their mood - even the characters. But I did not try to mimic that mood, it just came out like this, mostly because in the beginning I was photographing friends or people who worked in bars, at night, with a cheap lens, without a flash -that I don’t like at all- and with very high ISO. So my photos had that grainy, dark, film noir mood in a “natural” way I would say... I like very much the high contrast black and white style of the contemporary Japanese photographers. But it’s the models and the circumstances that dictate the style. For instance, I have subjects that have faces that look like they jumped out of a Leonardo or a Botticelli painting...
The Cigarette: I stopped smoking long ago, but by looking at your photos, I want to smoke a cigarette again!
I feel like I'm watching a French New Wave film, smoke and intense close-ups.
I never smoked. But the vast majority of the people that I photograph smoke heavily. I don’t complain at all of course, because this is a film noir lover’s dream come true... I don’t know how it happens, but most of my “subjects” instantly chose to play this cool, smoking, troubled character in front of my camera... I get very close sometimes and that annoys some of them, but there is no other way.
The Staircases: movement, arriving or leaving, going up or down.
You must always have your camera with you? and obviously love to photograph staircases, any particular reason?
The truth is that nobody can resist a beautiful staircase with a mysterious figure moving in it... And yes, I always carry my camera with me when there is the potential of encountering people. Almost never on my walks in nature.
The Details: hands, legs and feet.
Very interesting these compositions and crops.
What is your motivation with these images?
No motivation, it happened one time and then it started happening more and more. And now a whole part of my photography consists of these “Details”. I have realized that they are a different kind of a portrait. Sometimes they reveal as much -end even more- than a face. I just love them.
“The eye is always caught by light, but the shadows have more to say.” — Gregory Maguire
I will refer to your portraits as being multidimensional.
Explain the light and shadows on faces and bodies the way your capture them.
Many people see different things and dimensions in my photos. But the photos happen by themselves and I cannot take credit for them - this is why I cannot explain anything. They just come through me. I have no intention when I shoot and I certainly don’t manipulate any element. The fact that most of my photos come in a certain way is a mystery to me.
'on the outside looking in'
In conclusion, after all these years of investigations, what keeps you interested in portrait and street photography? Do you do any other types of photography?
My ever growing love for my subjects and for what they reveal through my lens - this is what keeps me going. When I am asked by friends, I also do food, drinks and events photography.
You can see all my work
on my website: http://www.angiestergiophotography.com/
on my blog : http://www.angiestergiophotography.com/blog
Herbert Reinecke PRO
I am enthusiastic about your pictures, there are pure emotions in your works
I liked to appreciate the assertiveness of the images and I think emotions are well expressed in their most theatrical aspects. An outstanding job. Fantastic!
Stephan Rückert PRO
Photography that touches and inspires me. The report and especially the pictures are great photo art full of dynamism and creativity. Thanks also to the editors for the perfect presentation.
Matej Krajnc PRO
Phenomenal photos. I really enjoyed the way how you played with light, reveling emotions and mood. Thank you so much for sharing.
Arnon Orbach CREW
Fascinating tour into the dark and beautifully lighted stories of Angie subjects, undoubtedly a true and authentic voice which touched me with these powerful images of us as we really are. Outstanding gallery and as Angie stated, “reality is, very often, inaccurate" Thanks so much Yvette and Joe for presenting us with the real thing!
So glad with your positibe reaction, Arnon. Angieis a great artist, but so humble !!! It is a pleasure to me to put her in the spotlights.
Thank you very much, I appreciate it!!
Interesting photograph; she captures the spirit of her characters in a masterful and mysterious way and leads the viewer to enter the scene trying to see what we only see with our thoughts. I congratulate you Yvette for bringing us such excellent photographers. Warm greetings.
Thank you so much, Asuncion. It is all my pleasure to discover some most talented photographers on 1x and to put them in the spotlights via the magazine ;-)
Yvette, thanks for presenting this awesome body of work! Outstanding photography, Angie, I became instantly a big fan! Keep up the great, great work!
Many thanks for your appreciation, dear Codrin. So nice to read you here. I fully agree with you... Angie is TOP and has to keep us the great great work!
Thank you very much Codrin!!
Streiff Marcel PRO
Wonderful and very authentic photos ! Thanks for sharing Angie. And thanks also to Yvette and Joe for realizing !
Tahnk you, Marcel!!! Always fine to present talent to our readers!
Thank you very much!!
Larry Deng PRO
Me too, Larry !!! Glad to put Angie in the spotlight. She really deserves it.
THANKS A LOT!
Adolfo Urrutia PRO
Fantastic work. In your photos you can see the force of life with its lights and shadows. Thanks to you and Ivette for sharing your work and your interview. Congratulations.
Dear Angie, your work makes me quiet and touches me. It is so beautiful. I also love the phrase that it happens through you, and conforts me that postprocessing is not an element in your workflow. It is clearly the connection you have and the interaction there is with your subjects that shines through your photos. For that I am envie you.
Thank you so much Elisabeth! I am grateful!
Thanks for sharing....very inspiring.
Emel Sefer PRO
Gorgeous photos! You can't just stare at these photos. People get lost in the depth in these photos. I am very impressed, heartfelt congratulations dear Angie. I would also like to thank dear Yvette for introducing us to the artist who took these wonderful photos.