How I turned my Photography Passion into a Career – Nikos Arambatzis by Life Treasure Collector
When I was a child I couldn’t engage much with reading and studying. Every time I was opening a book, my focus was on the photographs and the descriptions of them underneath. And I think this was the main reason that after I finished school I didn’t pass the exams to get into the university. This was the time when I decided to get involved with photography. I started taking pictures with my mobile initially, then I used a compact camera and I simply loved it. It was my main hobby.
After the school I went to the army which is mandatory here in Greece and when I finished with my duty, I started working as a worker at a factory of steel constructions. I work from 8:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the evening and then I go to the city centre to search for events to capture with my camera. Till now I have covered over 200 events as a photojournalist.
I started receiving some really positive feedback from my friends and people I know for my photographs, so I decided to get a better camera with my first payment from work to make my hobby even more exciting. So around May of 2012 I got my first DSLR, which could let me take better quality photographs. A few months after I bought my camera, I learned about a class that the Photography Team of the Aristotle University was organizing for people like me, which began in November 2013. I learned a lot about the theory of photography, and through the assignments and different projects my skills became better and my passion bigger. There are some projects that I would never forget. If I have to choose the best ones, I will definitely keep 2 of them in my mind.
The first project was with a girl that had a dream to get photographed in an old and abandoned house. I searched and I found one at the west side of the city. When I went there, I could still smell the burned furniture from a fire a few days before we went, and there were several signs outside the house to prohibit people from going inside. However, we did go in spite of the warnings, as I really wanted to make this girl’s dream come true.
The second photography project was an event with fireworks we organised with the team, where our main goal was to frame their motion in the sky. It wasn’t the greatest fireworks but it was still beautiful and exciting and it took place last March 2014. We got the fireworks and our cameras ready, and together with big smiles and lots of excitement we went to an open space near the sea, by the Opera House. Once the fireworks filled the sky with colours, we started getting some really amazing and unique pictures. After the end of this project we stayed till late going through our photographs and drinking beers.
All these experiences and many more made my passion for photography even stronger and more specifically my passion for being a photojournalist. Since September 2014, I started publishing my work from different events on demotix.com, a British website for new photojournalists, in order to promote our work. And now I’m proud to say that I officially belong to their team of reporters! And I am very positive that one day my hobby will become my main job.
To all of the people that have some kind of passion I would say to never stop chasing their dreams, even they fail sometimes or they meet obstacles. When you believe in yourself and you trust your strengths, you can achieve many things.
In a few years from now, apart from covering events, I would like to photograph as many smiles as I can and landscapes and share it with many other people that don’t have the opportunity to go out of their house and they don’t have much time to live due to different kind of health conditions and difficulties they face.
I usually finish each day with simple everyday pictures like streets, buildings, the buses of the city that if you truly think about it they don’t just transfer people but they carry with them their dreams and their whole lives.