Dimitris Vlaikos

Dimitris Vlaikos is a Greek portrait photographer whose work has been awarded an...

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  • Patriarch Bartholomew
  • Patriarch Bartholomew

Patriarch Bartholomew

An Overview, Portraits, Science

This time I am in Istanbul to shoot for the Christmas issue of Gastronomos Magazine of Kathimerini. Within the program there is a chance to visit the Phanar. A Greek tribute about Istanbul has to include images from the Patriarchate. Due to the program of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios, we considered that it will be quite difficult to meet him, but not impossible. The people of Phanar welcome us warmly…  Two days after the possibility to meet the Ecumenical Patriarch has confirmed! The visit to the Phanar and a meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch its a matter of time!

I am with the journalist of Kathimerini Nena Dimitriou walking up the stairs of the patriarchate. The red color prevails everywhere … Huge windows, bright red  baroque textiles, impressive space divided into two large rooms. In the middle of the visitors room an impressive armchair and many smaller guests chairs around… We are in the room that Patriarch meet and communicate with the people. Its Is full of  the Greek teachers of Istanbul that came for the annual meeting with the Patriarch … After a while his Holiness arrives at the meeting room and begins his speech. Bartholomaios seems to be very Communicative, his is smiling, photographed with everyone and in the end announced us the upcoming visit of the Pope to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

After the end speech of his speech, he is waiting us in his office … We waiting a lot until he is accept us and let us know that we will not have more than five minutes at our disposal for the photoshoot. I decide to photograph in the space that spend them most of his day time…  in his office. I don’t know the space and the lighting conditions of the room and I should have 2 different shots in 5 minutes …

The photoshoot of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomeos
He is smiling, communicative and gentle. Welcomes us giving us some souvenirs of the Patriarchate. I am checking the space … The 5 minutes of his photoshoot has already begun to roll. He is patient and obedient without interfering in the photographer’s orders. The second shot choosed to be full of color and textures … To include a taste of the Baroque style of the Patriarchate …

It allows me to convey some of the furniture in his office. In the frame I choose to add the portrait of Kemal.  It fits both in the synthesis and as a topographical and cultural element.  I do less than 4-5 clicks without changing anything. I was caring only for him to has a The way it sits care to show considerate cause all the other elements I have include in the frame were very powerful and I didn’t want him shows to grandiose. The five minutes passed and it’s time for our departure … I am looking back the images … Strong experience … It is from those five minutes of my photography life I will not forget …