Petros Dellatolas , Photographer

Petros Dellatolas is a very well known fashion photographer

in Greece. After many years of collaborating with many famous fashion photographers (i.e. Cedric Buchet, Paolo Roversi, Ggreg Kadel, Inez and Vinoodh, Chris Craymer, Carter Smith) and having worked in many different places such as Miami, Mexico, Germany, Morocco, Cuba, Greece, he finally chosed Athens as his permanent base for fashion photography   
Petros Dellatolas communicate openly his thoughts, visions and goals in a colorful, imaginative, and expressive manner. I enjoyed every minute of this interview.





How did you start your career?
I studied physics at the University of Athens but at the same time I attended photography courses for 2 years. Τhen in random, i went to the island of Rhodes and a woman I knew was working as a photographer in an international trade catalog, based in Germany. She suggested that I should become her assistant and I accepted. I traveled to many foreign countries and I had the opportunity to work under the strict German standards, to meet many foreign countries and many remarkable people. But the biggest experience this job offered me in my career was that I witnessed the transition from analog photography to digital. This affected my way of thinking before I shoot, because I saw how all the then famous photographers, such as Paolo Roversi, worked.
Later, I returned to Athens and started working as an assistant photographer in an agency. When, due to the crisis, most of the Greek agencies were closed, I took my own personal photos.
At the same time, since 2009, I have been working with an international agency named "Queen Production". The headquarters of this company are based in USA and Greece. All the big photoshoot deals coming to greece are assigned to this company. At first, I started with them in 2009 as an assistant photographer to Paolo Roversi. Since then I have been involved in hundreds of campaigns of this company and have gained great experience, mainly in fashion photography.

What do you think is the qualifications of a fashion photographer?
He must be patient, communicative, have a good sense of space and time, to be responsible and consistent. Then comes creativity..

 The creativity comes later? This is very interesting! How come?
Yes much later. This happens because a fashion photographer is called to have good communication with many people in this job. For one thing, with the people who are members of the workshop, meaning at least another 5-6 people. It is not enough to keep his patience and temper for himself only; instead,  he must pass it on to the team. He must show with his attitude that "everything is going well" so that he can guide the team in the right direction.
And, of course, he must be in good terms with the customer. The photographer may make some choices that initially the client does not understand. He must therefore be able to persuade the client.
I think the role of the real photographer approaches the role of a psychologist. He must be pleasant and create a relaxing atmosphere for the customer, the model, the team. Unity is a very important factor in the group, so that frictions and conflicts are avoided.
The role of the professional photographer is not easy, so there are no real good photographers anymore. The reason for this fact is that the trait of a real good photographer is notnecessarily creativity, but a right combination of all the qualities I mentioned above.

When you photograph the model or the clothes, can either of these inspire or disappoint you, respectively?
Yes, of course. For me the most important of all is to have a good model. If I have a good model all the rest can be fixed.

What does a"good model" mean for you?
She or he  does not have to be exceptionally beautiful. Beauty, in fact is something relative. The model must have PERSONALITY. First, he or she must be able to think, not just look at the camera. So, it is important that the mole has a "life", interests outside the world of  modeling, e.g studying something.
 Young girls who learned to sell their beauty from their teens and believe that merely their natural beauty is enough are not good models. They are snobs, inaccessible, with no substantial content. They are only interested in money and nothing else. You can not do something creative with these girls, because they don't have the kind of personality that makes a photo stand out.
As strange as it sounds, good models are born in specific locations around the world. In fact, the best models are those from countries with a lot of sun. They have exercised their facial muscles and are expressive, they tend to smile often. They are genually open and this can be seen in all the movements in their bodies.Very Impressive!

From which countries are your top choices?
Usually from Brazil. also from Spain and France. And I have to mention Serbia and Croatia. When I choose models, I always prefer the aforementioned countries.

Are there good models in Greece?
The good models have left Greece and make an international career. Rosanna Georgiou is an example.Of course, there are new girls who stand out for their personality today, but will soon open their wings and leave abroad without any doubt.

Why do you give so much importance to the personality issue of the model?
There is a moment. Only a moment. Between two poses of a model. When the model has chosen the first pose, and moves on to the second pose. Between two poses, every great photographer makes the click. At this tiny moment, the whole subconscious of the person is reflected. Nothing can be hidden at this moment that holds a few fractions of a second. That's why every good photographer needs models with personality.

When you are photoshooting, what intrigues you the most, the body or the face?
It's always the eyes.  There you have a deep communication with the soul of a human. There is an inherent need for people to look each other in the eyes. If the model has the right gaze, it wins you at an instant.

If I ask you to present me your work with a single photograph, which one would you choose to show me?
I can't do that. It's like asking me, what song represents me. I cannot pick one. They are many. I connect a moment of my life with a uniqe song. A moment, not all my life. That is the case with my photos. Each photograph represents one moment.

Why do you prefer natural light to your photos? Isn't it  harder?
It's harder because it requires many hours and this can be very tough, especially in summertime in a country like Greece. On the other hand, the natural light is so breathtaking, that no kind of flash or artificial light can compete. Simplicity in an image, if it comes from the light, is what attracts us because we come from a country with light and it is our inherent need to ask for it. When there is the feeling of the sun we feel at home, we feel more safe.

Do you find it difficult to pass the screenplay you have in mind to the customer?
Yes, of course its difficult... Sometimes the customer cannot think as the photographer. A photographer's view is a type of language and writing that cannot be conveyed easily to the non-specialist. That's why it's important for the customer to trust you. Because at first he does not understand why, for example, you chose a specific location. But wheh he sees the result he is satisfied.
Today, almost everyone takes photos and posts on social networks. Do you think they should study the art of photography or not?
At no other historical moment of humanity, photography did not play such an active role in the everyday life of man. There are many different needs that make people take pictures and the debate about this is endless.
No, I do not think everybody needs to study the art of photography. There are many active, successful, self-taught photographers, both among the old and new generation today. Knowledge is infinite and easily available on the internet and everywhere.. Noone can be a good photographer simply by going to a good school, studying techniques. He will become a good photographer by the experience that will come with the years, the challenges, the desolation. He will learn through his mistakes. The most important thing is to be interested in photography, to love it.

Which photographers do you admire?
They are too many, countless. But I will pick out Paolo Roversi. He is my great love, a living legend. When he works in front of you, you see the whole story of photography unfolding in front of your eyes. He works with a unique method that combines analogue with digital photography. He still measures the camera's distance from the model with a stick yard! Like the old times. This is called manual focus. I will never forget how he wanted ALL THE TEAM'S ENERGY TO BE CONCENTRATED at the time of the click. He was always asking "Are you all ready?" Even to thhe cleaning lady, if she happened to be in the room. That way he expressed that he feels you, that you are part of his work, of his energy, that you are influencing him. He showed enormous respect to all people regardless of their role, age or acquaintances.  His high aesthetics is not accidental at all, it is related to his personality.

Are you interested in street photography?
No. The photojournalism is interesting, the things it unfolds are very interesting but I want to place the man, not just to catch him in an coincidental moment. This is the only way I can capture my emotions.

Is there a moment in your career that you will not forget?
Many moments. Mostly I can remember how lucky I am. I am sure that when you are open, pleasant, grateful and positive, then always - even in the most difficult moments of the job - something good will happen.

What are your future plans?
A personal project combining poetry and photography together. I will use specific characters and spaces that are created in my mind when I read a poem.  I want to make a book out of this concept.

I wish you best of luck in all your endeavors and thank you very much for your time!

Eleftheria Doussi

Petros Dellatolas gallery





Petros Dellatolas' official website :