Maris Petropoulou

Giannitsa, Greece

Maris Petropoulou was born in Giannitsa, northern Greece, in 1998. Between 2016 and 2017 she lived in Thessaloniki. She currently resides and works in Athens. She has studied makeup and has worked as a model. She also has a dog, Cassiopeia.

Although she has always been interested in photography, she actively started pursuing it roughly a year ago. Her first serious foray into the world of photography is inextricably linked to the acquisition of her first analog camera (a canon prima zoom) in June 2019,  which marks the beginning of her growing love for analog photography. Her experiments with analog quickly unfolded from just casually capturing moments of friends and family to the execution of more developed concepts and well-thought-out projects.

Her newfound whirlwind relationship with the photographic medium urged her to apply for a scholarship with “Orama Photography Studies” School, which she received for the academic year 2019-2020, and she is currently attending the courses of the first cycle photography studies at the School.

Her work reveals an interest in juxtaposition. She frequently aims to trace flamboyance or detect discreet touches of luxury and finesse in everyday settings and trivial environments. Contrasting elements are present in most of her pictures.

Also evident in her work is her love for portrait photography, which has led her to experiment a lot in this field. Through portraiture she tries to convey the indiosyncrasies of her subjects as well as the individual allure she sees in them. Homely or sometimes ornate interiors are used as settings for her portraits, emanating on their own accord the ever-present existence of family history or the particularities of an elaborate personal taste – depending on the case.

One of her next goals is to familiarize herself more with digital photography and further refine her technique.

Tell us about where your from, where your living now and where your thinking to go next?

I was born and raised in Giannitsa, Northern Greece. Upon finishing high school, I moved to Thessaloniki, where I lived for a year, until 2017. Since November 2017, I have been living in Athens. As for my future whereabouts, I consciously choose to keep from making plans and let life lead me where it may and show me the next step down the road, when the time comes.

You’ve recently got it photography and shooting, how did it come about? You’ve a strong identity to your imagery, do you think being a model helped shape the way you shoot?

By way of answering also the question as to how my involvement with photography came about, I have to say that being a model gave me the chance to get to know, observe and eventually fall in love with the role of the photographer on set and during the shooting. Fairly early on, I realized how appealing it was to me, that, as a photographer, you could materialize your aesthetic ideas, convey emotions, evoke or suggest certain moods, discover new dynamics in things seemingly straightforward – in essence create new worlds by subjugating reality through the eye of the camera. So, as a conclusion, I could summarize my answer by saying that being a model helped me not so much shape my identity as a photographer, but realize that what I actually wanted was to try reversing the positions and, apart from being the subject posing in front of the camera, put myself behind it as well.

Is there other notable photographers works you look to for inspiration or other art forms?

Photographers, whose work I greatly admire, are Larissa Hofmann, Camille Vivier, Sarna Os Borne, Laura Marie Cieplik, to name but a few. Also, there is no point in hiding that I am a complete movie buff!

Is there a specific feeling or thought you try to get through when taking pictures?

This is not an easy question to answer. As a rule, I try not to overthink a concept prior to the actual shooting or theoreticize too much beforehand. Of course, this is not to say that I don’t have a general idea as to what I want to convey on each occasion and how this can be achieved. What I mean is that – to the extent possible – I try to approach each shooting with a clean slate and keep myself open to the dynamics of the moment and any stimuli offered to me by my subject and surroundings. What I would also like to add in this regard, is that – especially with respect to my experiments in portrait photography – it is crucial for me to build trust with my subjects and get them to open up and feel at ease in front of the camera. The way I see it, I set the stage for them to unveil glimpses of a previously undisclosed aspect of themselves, which surfaces through representation.

We love that you have a passion for analogue photography, what is it specifically you enjoy about it?

Grappling with analogue photography continuously and strikingly validates my sense of building a relationship with the photographic medium. The ritualistic, manual process from taking a picture to film development requires that you devote time and effort and as a result enhances the feeling of involvement, of immersion in the experience. The process itself teaches patience, you have to learn to wait, and when you finally set eyes on the end result – the developed photograph – the thrill is multiplied tenfold. Another thing about shooting film is that you learn to operate within limits – film has limited exposures and this urges you to think over each frame. Also, I find contingency to be a quite stimulating element of analogue photography that bolsters the photographer’s creativity. When shooting with expired film, for example, given that colors gradually become less vibrant, contrast fades and grain increases, you can’t be sure about the final outcome until you see it. All in all, the lo-fi quality, the impression of tangibility and the air of authenticity are in my opinion more than enough to get anyone hooked on the analogue aesthetics.

If you could shoot any one or anywhere who/where would it be?

Harry Styles – at the Buckingham Palace.

Do you have any personal projects planned for the near future you can share with us?

Unfortunately, nothing that I can share with you at this very moment.

Where can we find you online?

You can find me on Instagram and on Tumblr