International Wedding Photographer of the Year
Wedding Photographer Prokopies Manousopoulos earned the Top title in Wedding Category during the 7th Annual International Imaging Competition. Now as Prokopies gets ready to pass on his title to the 8th Annual Winner, he speaks about his image and journey.
Question - Can you tell us a bit about your how you created your 4 winning images and your thought process on selecting them for entry into the MPI Annual Awards? (If you can speak on each image, that would be great.
Waiting for Something Special
This is a creation I had in mind for a long time, but I did not want to rush it and take my time with this vision I had. …I did not want to use a professional model so I waited for a real groom who would serve the concept exactly the way I had imagined it and that took quite some time. A great influence for me when it comes to this style of image was clearly the fashion photographer Rudney Smith.
Τhis image was inspiration of the moment, in a wonderful spot in Mesologgi Greece. In this specific capture, I had to set up the couple although this is not what characterizes me as a photographer.
Red Hot Chili Shoes
In this capture my first thought was to photoshoot the bridal shoes in a non-ordinary way. This motive was given to me by the red color of the bride’s shoes.
I thought that with the combination of the red shoes and graffiti in the background I could create an impressive image.
This photoshoot was taken in a factory canopy. It was far from easy since the height was great and a brave couple was needed.
The only thing I asked from them was to have interaction with each other and to enjoy the moment.
Question - What inspires you with your wedding photography? What other types of photography do you capture?
Every time I try to see through people and to get inspired by those who I photographer whether they are clients or friends. My inspiration most of the times arises from “the moment”. There are also times of course that I have planned my photographs, this however would be the exception. What I display in my pictures is what I carry within as a person. Is my inner world, my experiences, my culture. About my style, I would call it “Story Telling”. What I want to convey with my pictures is real stories and feelings in terms of content, and I want to show true colors and work with no exaggerations in terms of my technic.
Question - How long have you been capturing images and from that – when did you decide to become a full-time wedding photographer?
My relationship with photography started fairly early in my life, from my school years to be exact. This is why my father was a photographer and he used to take me and my brother Spyros with him when working. This way the photo-virus got into me very early. In the beginning, my work was more commercial, but later on, when I discovered the magic of wedding photography my work became more creative.
Question - How did you feel when you found out that you had won the Photographer of the Year Title in Wedding Category?
Truly happy. I felt excited about my work and honored that my work earned this title. My first thought was to share the news with my friends and family and the 4 couples who with their photos, helped me with great accomplishment.
Question - Have you been entering competitions long? What do you look for in a competition and what do you enjoy about entering the International Imaging Competition?
I started taking place in competitions in 2012. I started by taking place in the Greek competition PWS and later in plenty competitions abroad. The last two years I have limited my participations and I choose to take place only in competitions that offer a noble competition and that are well structured. With every participation of mine, I intent to see the level that my work has come to, and I always look forward to seeing the comments if any judges since I believe that each and every comment is a small educational seminar which of course helps me to evolve.
Question - How do feel about the IIC and how it is judged with the feedback received?
Based on the experience I have gained by participating in competitions throughout the years, I dare to say that IIC is the best I have come across to in its field. Judges’ comments are very detailed and useful.
Question - How do you feel about the International Imaging Competitions Awards?
It is a competition I value a lot. Let alone the technical part, and the way the competition is being carried out every year, I feel that the people organizing this not only love what they do but they also care for us, the competitors.
Question - Were you aware that you could win the International Imaging Cup for your Country?
Yes, and trying! I had a feeling I was close and is great that my feeling came true, I feel so very honored, and it is a motivator for me to keep trying even more. In 2021 Greece did not win the International Imaging cup, but it was in the top 3 most dominant participations and that meant great happiness and honor for me.
Question – What advice would you give new entrants entering the International Imaging Competition?
Their distinction shall not be an end in itself. They should enjoy the experience of participating in an excellent competition and take advantage of the judges’ comments and thereafter, a distinction is always welcomed.
Question - What is your vision for your career path going forward? Would you change what you have been doing or continue your current path?
Apart from wedding photography I would also like to dedicate some time to portrait photography.
Question – Who has inspired you as a photographer along your journey?
The fact that wedding photography includes many different styles, such as portrait, reportage, live style and even fashion, is one of the factors that made me pay attention to works of non-wedding photographers (art, street, fashion photographers etc.). Also, I believe that this is something that has helped me in being more flexible in understanding and accepting different styles of photography and adapting to them. Still though, wedding photography and in general anthropocentric photography remain my favorites.
Question - What equipment and software do you use to create and process your images?
I use NIKON cameras. Most of my pictures in a wedding are taken with 35 and 85 lens, but in my “kit” you will also find 70-200 mm, 14-30 mm, and 105 micro lenses. When it comes to the software I use, I choose photoshop and lightroom.
Question - Finally, is there anything else you would like to include or share with us?
I would like to thank you for the interview, and I wish you to keep doing what you do with the same love and kindness.
Prokopies earned the following awards.
IIC International Wedding Photographer of the Year
Class Award in W2 Groom's Tale | Class Award in W5 Wedding Couple
Class Award in W3 Photojournalistic Story | Class Award in W6 Wedding Day
Class Award in W4 Pre or Post Wedding