Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A-pories by Yiannis Kontos

It was April 2004 when I met Yannis Kontos in Athens. He was the photographer appointed by Business Week to take a photo of me for an article related to JBoss and off shoring, just when I started working full time for JBoss. We agreed to met the next morning (Saturday) under Acropolis and put in the background the very first image that comes to most peoples' mind when they think of Athens or Greece.

I never had done any photo shooting in my life so I would have never thought that for what seemed to me a simple "picture" would require a professional photographer 100-150 shots to take and choose from! This is less than 1% but I guess that explains partly why the pictures you see in well established journals and magazines are of this quality. The credentials of the photographers themselves have something to do with this, too.

Anyway, the interesting thing was not really my picture but the man behind the camera. Yannis belongs to that rare kind of people that travels to the war zones of the world to capture the moment and the essence of human life with his camera. Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Serbia, Sierra Leone, etc. You could tell there was something special about him - the calmness of somebody that has evidenced human suffering in every possible form.

The years passed and I only exchanged a couple of emails with him, until the day my wife heard on the radio about an exhibition presenting a collection of the photographs of "Yannis Kontos", at the Frissira Museum. It didn't come as a surprise at all to hear about Yannis achievements, but I took advantage of the opportunity to see his latest work, meet once more in person and chat about his adventures over the last couple of years and his plans about the future.

I truly enjoyed the experience and I would highly recommend to everyone to visit the gallery and see the world through a different angle.

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