Impressive Portrait Photography of Marianna Santikou

Marianna Santikou is a beautiful, young and talented photographer from Athens, Greece. She’s absorbed into self-portraits and occasionally takes pictures of her friends as well. Her black and white photos  are suggestive of mystery, haunting, sadness, and loneliness, but her color photos mostly exhibit her  playful side with calm poise and sporty fun. She also did some conceptual work which is impressive but  self-portraiture is her forte. We found her features in some good webzines and contacted her for a  detailed interview. Here we have her telling about her life and photography:

Marianna Santikou Photography (1)Hello Marianna, tell us a bit about yourself:

Hi! I am 19 year old. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Athens, Greece. I finished High School  last year and I’m going to start my studies in Tourism in October. Right now I’m focusing on  photography and I’m trying to shoot as much as possible! I’m interested in every type of creating but I  am mostly fascinated by the fashion world as of the last year.

Marianna Santikou Photography (2)When did you start experimenting with camera?

I started taking photos in 2009, mostly of nature, still life and basically whatever I set my eyes on.  Soon after my work consisted mostly of self-portraits, first off because I had no one to model for me,  but also because it became my form of self-therapy and expression. I started taking photography  seriously in 2012 and my photos became more conceptual over time. I used to take one photo every day  for my 365 project which I quit due to personal reasons. The amount of photos I now produce per month  varies; I could go weeks without taking photos but when inspiration strikes I can’t take my camera off  my hands!

Marianna Santikou Photography (3)Why do you take pictures? Why this urge?

As a kid and until my early teenage years I used to draw a lot. I always loved expressing myself, and  that is the main purpose of photography to me. Many of my photos that might look like simple portraits  to others have a very special meaning to me. It is a way of venting without using words.

Marianna Santikou Photography (4)Tell us about what you like shooting most and your gear:

My key areas of photography are portraits, fine art and fashion. I also do a lot of street and still  life photography, which is why I always carry my camera with me. My biggest achievements would be  having my work showcased in 2 galleries and getting published in a few magazines. I use a Canon 600D  and I own 2 lenses, the standard 18-55mm and a 50mm f/1.8 (which I use all the time). Editing plays a  huge role in my workflow, I always take a few minutes to correct the lighting and colours, and in more  conceptual shots editing could take hours. I completely support photo manipulation because it is a form  of art by itself.

Marianna Santikou Photography (5)How do you get the idea for your portraits and how do you execute them?

When shooting these kind of photos you have to be at the right mindset and sometimes you have to let  your emotions take over. I get most of my ideas in dreams or right before I fall asleep, and when that  happens I usually have to get up and write them down in order not to forget them. Many times the  spontaneous shoots are the best ones though!

Marianna Santikou Photography (6)What do you think about the photography of youngsters these days?

I think it is wonderful that many young people seem to be interested in photography lately, and  especially in conceptual and fine art! These genres of photography are based mostly on the idea behind  each photo, and in that case of course there is a lot of repetition of concepts. I believe every  photographer has to go through that stage, until they are able to find their own style, which is what  I’m trying to do as well. I consider someone successful when they no longer need to seek for  inspiration in other artists.

Marianna Santikou Photography (7)Tell us about places you like to go for shooting:

The area where I live has an industrial look, a lot of construction sites and dried out fields that  work as great locations for photos. One of my personal favourite places to shoot at is my rooftop,  where I have taken most of my self-portraits. Photography has taught me that there is beauty  everywhere, even in places that are considered ugly. Actually, those places usually make the best  locations!

Marianna Santikou Photography (8)What are your ambitions and sources of inspiration?

My ambition regarding photography is to make it my full-time career in the future. There is nothing I  would rather do. I get inspiration from all types of art, from music to paintings and of course other  photographers’ work. Some of my favourite photographers are Tim Walker, Steven Meisel, JUCO, Bruce  Weber, Steven Klein and Alex Stoddard. A lot of times in the past it has been very difficult to keep  myself motivated and keep myself from quitting, something I would have done if it weren’t for the  enormous support of my family and friends, which I’m forever grateful for.

Marianna Santikou Photography (9)Got any words to tell our readers to?

Never stop doing the things you love because there will come a time when those are the only things that  keep you going.

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About Nishant Mishra

Nishant studied art history and literature at the university during 1990s. He works as a translator in New Delhi, India and likes to read about arts, photography, films, life-lessons and Zen.

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