I was recently asked to take some promotional pictures for the upcoming theater production of Albert Camus’ “Le malentendu” by m0mentum theater group. I have recently felt the strong need to try new things, so this seemed like a great opportunity. Plus, it was a chance for me to combine two of my loves: theater and photography.
The photoshoot took place on a fine Sunday morning in the old and abandoned military camp of Karatasios. It is one of the two big abandoned military camps in west Thessaloniki (the other one is the Pavlos Melas camp). I had recently scouted the whole place (it’s enormous) for my latest personal project (more on that sometime soon). I finally chose no to shoot the project there, so this seemed like a fine opportunity to use this location. I mean who doesn’t love old , dirty, half-ruined buildings?
There are seven actors in this play, so for me that meant I had seven different models to play with that day (you might recognize one of them from here). They were all super helpful and made my job so easy. The photoshoot took all morning and in the end we got some pretty cool pictures and personally, I had so much fun! I am really looking forward to doing something like this again!
Some backstage photos by Stathis Papoulidis:
Info about the play:
Writer: Albert Camus
Translation: Eleni Kitsopoulou
Director: Stathis Papoulidis
Actors: Anna Kolokotroni, Afroditi Tsakiri, Georgia Lampidou, Dionysis Gonatas, Kalliopi Ksanthopoulou, Katerina Ganda and Michalis Mantas
Photography: Nicki Panou
Poster sketch: Dionysis Kalaitzis
Poster design: Georgia Lampidou
Dates: 27 & 30/5, 20:30 Vafopouleio cultural center
Duraition: 80 min.
FREE ENTRANCE by offering food and personal hygiene products as a contribution to the Social Grocery Store.
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“The answer” is the last music album by the greek rock band 2L8, which was just released. A couple weeks ago K. and I set out to plan a photoshoot for the album’s cover. He took me to see some abandoned industrial buildings just outside Thessaloniki, which I never even knew existed. I was delighted to see that there is a whole area full of such buildings, just calling at me to go and photograph them. Or maybe I should be sad, because a place which was once full of life, is now completely deserted. Well, at least something good can come out of this and that is cool pictures!
K. had spotted a really cool looking abandoned asbestos processing plant and we chose to do the shoot there. After some days of preparations, we went out there again and luckily some nice clouds gathered above us, making for great light. About an hour later, we had the result we hoped for. I should point out, that these gas masks were really difficult to wear and the added tubes made breathing very hard so I felt really sorry for both of them, while I was shooting. Poor guys!
The picture is available as a limited edition print.
Some words about the album.
The world has ended. It is time to celebrate. For we still have each other, we still have the passion, we still have the will. They destroyed the world but they failed to destroy our mutual consciousness and the thread that unites us all. It’s time to rebuild. It’s time to reestablish. It’s time to form a new language. With new words. With new meanings.
“The answer” was funded by a crowdfunding campaign and it the last one for 2L8. It is available as a digital download and a limited edition compact disc, which comes in a lovely gatefold card case, featuring more of my photography. The band released the following statement:
We decided that all income produced from “The Answer” release will be donated to causes that support the refugee crisis in Greece. This is the 3rd crowdfunded album for 2L8, it is your generosity that made the album happen, so it is time to give back what you gave us. It is our DEBT nothing more, nothing less to answer the distress call for what is more important right now for the whole, the community, our people and ourselves. Thus, all income from selling the album that will be generated from online orders and at our shows will go where it will be mostly needed.
You can listen to the full album online here: https://2l8toolate.bandcamp.com/album/the-answer
Band’s website: www.2l8toolate.com
Go on, click and enjoy the music!
“Burn Bag” is a new 4 track EP by Ledge Fortcher. Following the disbandment of the full line-up, Ledge returns to the stripped down sounds of a sole electric guitar and vocals. Recorded live, mixed and mastered by Konstantinos Fragkopoulos at Shellac Recordings studio, “Burn Bag” marks the departure from the noise fueled, alternative, grunge sound to much more minimal soundscapes. Nicki from Nicki Upstairs Fine Art Photography did the photo shooting/editing of the EP cover, enriching the initial photo concept with ideas and solutions, and carrying it through to its realization. So, it ‘s up to you, fellow friends and voyagers to listen, share and comment!
Exciting news everyone! As you might have guessed already, I had the honour of shooting the cover for the new EP by Ledge Fortcher, a local rock band! A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by the band’s frontman, who happened to see some of my pictures on facebook. He asked if I was interested in shooting the cover for their new EP and shared his ideas about the concept. Needless to say I was over the top excited, so we decided to meet so we could talk it over.
When we met he explained to me what his main concept was, but he didn’t have all the specific details figured out, so we tried to come up with ideas together. This was a rather difficult and unprecedented task for me, because up until now I was only realizing my own concepts. I have to admit that helping someone else realize their own concept is a very challenging yet incredibly creative task! I think the hardest thing was that he wanted to keep some of the concept explanations to himself, which I respect, but it made it harder for me to come up with ideas. In the end we managed to form a concept that we both liked and then came the hard part: he wanted it done in maximum two weeks time. Which means we would have to find the location, the props and above all the time to do both the shooting and also the editing. I must add that this happened during a week which was full of thunderstorms, so I had to take that under consideration too. Also I had already planned a mini vacation during the same period, which basically left me with two days for editing. After almost having a panic attack I decided that I could not let something like that stop me.
I proposed that we shoot in a place where I had already been and which was ideal for our concept. It’s inside the same abandoned army camp where I shot “remained“. We set an appointment to visit the place the day before so we could pinpoint the exact location and save us time. I picked wildflowers from around my neighboorhood and hanged them so they could dry and I burned a bunch of newspapers in my fireplace to take pictures of the flames so I could use them later. My boyfriend, who has become my trustworthy assistant, brought the lighter and the fuel can, so we were set to go. We had discussed that the faces of the two figures holding the lighter and the fuel can would be blurred or erased but I proposed the red yarn idea, as I thought it would further strengthen the concept. Luckily my model (the musician himself) agreed to having his head wrapped in yarn in mid August, so we were set to go!
On the day of the shoot I was so nervous that I might forget something, that I brought a checklist with me, which is a good idea when there’s so much going on in a picture. In the end everything went according to plan, my model was very co-operative despite of being forced to kneel and having his head wrapped in yarn on such a warm day! Luckily we were not in a crowded place or people would be really weirded out. Special thanks once again go to my beloved boyfriend/assistant who I had running around, he was a huge help to me that day!
I feel so happy that I was given the opportrunityto shoot this picture and more so that the result was satisfying for both ends. It’s amazing how much a good partnership can inspire and motivate you!
Ps. This was shot whith my brand new 50mm lens, which I am absolutely in love with! Also, this was my first time shooting with a male model!
As promised, here is the video from the “safe harbor” photoshoot. I love how it turned out, Alexis did an amazing job! I must admit it is strange watching myself working, I think I seem quite nervous. It’s so nice having a backstage video though, I wish I could have one for all my shoots! So here it is, I hope you enjoy it!
Video and montage – Alexios Mpitlis
Photography – Nicki Upstairs
Model – Theodora Prodromidou
Photographer’s assistant – Sotiris Papadopoulos