Make your own “Google” search story! I tried my hand at mine :-)

I am sure you have watched and enjoyed the Google viral video about “Parisian Love“. Now, Google and youtube offer you an ultra easy-to-use online tool to help you create your own “Google search” videos in a few minutes!

All you have to do is make up your own story as a sequence of  “Google searches” and then define what kind of results you want (typical search, maps, images etc.). You can preview the short clip, then select the music and voila! Of course it aims at promoting Google capabilities more than you, but hey! it’s fun!

As a Greek photographer I have made my own 30″ Google Search video to promote my Greece photos! What do you think? 🙂

A feast of the eyes, preserved – Stories behind photos #10

Santorini photo

Fira, Santorini - Full moon - Yannis Larios Photography

We had just completed our magnificent dinner at the village of Oia (Santorini) with my wife, Nancy. We had selected a cozy restaurant overlooking Oia and we enjoyed the perfect temperature for some great dishes on a wide balcony! It was a warm early-June evening, so tourists where long gone to their cruise ships, letting us enjoy the real-atmosphere of the island.

After we had our last sips of famous Santorini wines, we decided that it was time to head back to our base in Fira. We set back on foot. But then surprise had us!

While we were walking back, we suddenly experienced this rare moment: a full moon just entering the scene, just behind the island, overlooking Fira! It was so great that all bypassers stood there in awe, looking!

We were indeed mesmerised! I had my wines, so a tripod was really necessary and not only due to reasons of low-light. It was one of the moments that you always keep in mind as a perfect justice on why you should always carry your heavy equipment with you!

I set up tripod, adjusted my camera settings, and shot two consecutives frames: one metering for the moon and one metering for the very low light of Fira ahead, that I later combined in a single frame.

This was destined to be one of my most glorious Santorini photos. Was it the dinner, the Santorini Vinsanto wine? Was it the atmosphere of Oia, or the equipment ready at hand? Was it all? I don’t care! For the result, pleased me immensely.

I had kept this feast of the eyes for the years to come! And this was the crown to another great day in Santorini.

Travel Photography: featured in Digital Photographer!

 And then, out of the blue, the leading UK Digital Photographer magazine contacted me and asked to showcase some of my travel photos and a brief interview, for its “Travel Photography feature” ! Needless to say, I was enthusiastic about this!

A photo from Venice, a photo from Santorini and one from Burano were selected as distinctive of my photography work.

Click here to read an excerpt (pdf file, 520k)

Santorini Wedding couple – Stories behind photos #3

Newly weds 

These Newly Weds can also be found at my website at a larger size, by clicking here.

This specific photo has admittedly created a lot of misunderstandings in my Santorini photos portfolio! 

You see, Santorini is a great wedding destination. Thousands of marriages are carried out every year at the hundreds of its small churches and chappels. Specialised wedding services provide everything but the bride (…. or the groom accordingly!) and help people experience what is probably a wedding at the most exquisite place!

So…. how could I possibly explain that this shot is not a staged one, but rather a spontaneous glimpse captured through my lens?  How could I persuade all those good people that ask me to cover their wedding in Santorini that I am not a staged-photo wedding photographer, but rather a hunter of real moments?

Exhausted from another full day of walk around the cliffs of Firostefani, we rushed with my wife for a sip of coffee and some final relaxing views before our flight back to Athens. While at the cafe, we saw that just-married couple arriving having some of its shots taken by a pro photographer.

Hey! We see thousands of them every year…..“, mumbled the cafe-owner, a typical middle-aged rogue greek villager with the moustache and the belly. “It’s just another couple! No big deal!“… he said making good efforts to de-mystify the moment. 

They were standing at the terrace just below us. A single staged photo here… Another staged photo there…. Another fixed setting after that… Sit-down. Stand-up. Smile. Now hug.

Nice hour…“, I thought “and a truly beautiful couple. Pity about the stiff positions!“. Following the strict commandments of their photographer, the couple moved endlessly around the terrace, sitting… standing…. smiling, yet not sure whether being themselves. After almost a ten-minute shoot, the photographer left. The light was even better now. And the couple was relaxed…

Well, I was not! You see I had the perfect spot. Higher above them at the cafe, priviledged to examine their now more natural moves. The “pro’s” work was over…. But now it was our own time! The couple and me in co-ordination… They strolled slowly across the terrace…. My fingers were already fumbling my camera in the bag. I was already wishing for their next steps… I was sending thoughts on where I wished they would stand… They followed!

The lady left the flower-bouquet resting on the wall. The couple stood side-by-side, hands held, admiring the magnificent view. The light was spot on. She leaned on him, giving me the signal… Stood-up, grabbed the camera, two shots, 5 seconds in total.

The rest of the story was typical: The cafe-owner shaking his head about this fool-enthusiast photographer who gets charmed by nonsense. The pro leaving the spot with a bag full of staged shots. The couple admiring the view and enjoying their new life. And myself with a precious moment captured…

Now how on-earth to explain all that, to these good people asking for wedding shots, that in wedding photography I prefer to capture real moments….

[edit: After quite some demand from couples, from Greece and abroad, I am now among the Greek Wedding Photographers 🙂 ]