Evita Simoni (Text in greek).

We humans, unfortunately, are most often impressed by the façade of things rather than the essence. To put it simply, we get impressed by the cover rather than the content. And of course, since this fact has its extensions to all aspects of our lives, sometimes the photographer's profession becomes captive of suchsituations. For example, I always like to watch how a photographer moves in the space while photographing. During a live concert, for example. Even the way he unfolds his gear before starting the photo shoot, and then the way he keeps the camera and starts clicking; they show a few things I think. And you don’t need much of experience to understand if things are done simply for impressing or actually on the merits. I had the chance to meet Evita in several live concerts. From the very first moment, one thing is what fascinated me in her way of working. She always works in low tones. Such low tones indeed that if you don’t know that she is a photographer you will only realize it at the last moment when she will have “marked” the subject with her camera. And one is for sure. When Evita begins to “mark” you can be sure that the result of the photo will be impressive. Because when a photographer's spontaneity and self-confidence meet professionalism, the result can only impress and fascinate those who see it. Evita, we thank you for accepting to answer our questions. We support you and your work because you do it passionately.

Evita, I will start a little bit upside down with you. I have been watching for some time and with great interest the fascinating photographic work you present at all levels (artists photography, fashion, social events, nature, etc.), and I see that color photographs mostly outmatch the black and white ones. Since I personally happen to be a fan of black and white photography, I would like to ask if this is just something random or if it is intentionally a personal choice of yours, for a specific reason.
Perfect! Straight to the difficult part! First of all, I would like to thank you warmly for your kind words and above all for the opportunity that you offer to me and other artists to talk about their efforts and share their ideas and concerns, which is not easy at all, although technology seems to favor it. To answer your question, yes, there is a reason, or better many reasons I prefer color photography. One is the aesthetics! I like colors and I like playing with them in my frames. The second one is that I want the viewer to become a part of the picture, that is, to understand the place, the time, what is happening or what will happen. In short, while a photo is one single moment, I want it to last and I want the viewer to be able to “enter” the environment, and the environment is colorful! It's a need I've always had, but I don’t know why!

Finally, what would you consider to be the “degree of difficulty” of the black-and-white photography compared to the color one?
I think it has to do with the kind of photography. For example, in musical scenes and concerts, with the very intense lighting contrasts, I find easier the black and white photography. Although they are more impressive, I prefer the most representative ones.

Many photographers have confided to me that they like shooting with many frames per second, especially since all their modern cameras provide it and in order not to lose something at the one and only moment of a click. In a recent private conversation, you emphatically told usthat your way of thinking is “one moment, one glance, one single click”. Why do you choose the hard way?
For me the way you describe is the hard one! My attempt is to minimize my clicks, to have as few “useless” pictures aspossible. Picking makes me very tired, even the simplest thing as to wait for the transfer of all these large files to the computer. I’m trying to imagine it and it seems like a nightmare! (She is laughing)

You have photographed many artists to date. Among them, the well-known Vanila Swing, whom not only you have photographed, but we could say that you are their main photographer, as exclusively your photos have been used by this group for covers, posters, projects and any kindof promotional material in general. How difficult is it for a professional photographer to gain the trust of an artist of such a demanding music scene?
Yes, I am very happy with this collaboration, which is now 6 years old! I do not know if I have yet to win their trust. I believe that an artist must always be self-evident. As artists, Vanila Swing know this well, and especially in their scene! What I know is that in the end we are happy with our results; we try to be better every time, there is respect and understanding from all sides and despite the difficulties, we are doing well, and we have excellent cooperation and very much love! We overcome everything all together and celebrate the successes together!

Were there any topics that you said: “I do not want to photograph them”?

Fortunately not! They have never suggested anything to which I said clearly no. They all are interesting and challenging. To be honest, though, I was not always thinking like this. When I was younger I said that I would never do many things! For example, religious ceremonies (weddings, christenings) that I love now and besides having a great time, I have met amazing people and I had the opportunity to record some of their mostintense moments! I feel very lucky! Now I'm hardly saying no. If, again, something comes in the future that will morally affect me or affect my aesthetics I will say no!

At some point, you were made a proposal for a career abroad. But you chose Greece.
The form of the question makes it seem like I has something “ready” and it's not like that. I had my opportunities like everyone else. I believe that we still have a good living standard in Greece. We can do so many activities at mountains, seas, cities, quickly and easily and without much money. The conditions are still favorable and I want to benefit from them as much as I can! On the other hand, I also want to work in a newenvironment with another culture, new ideas and a different way of thinking and interact creatively I can’t wait!

Do you believe it’s legitimate for a photographer to “steal” by other photographers?
Yes, of course! I believe that “stealing” is the essence of progress in all areas! If your goal is to copy an idea and try tomake it better, it is progress. If you copy it because it works, it's not bad, but I think you will fail. Specifically in photography we have photographers and photographs that we are unconsciously accustomed to.

Time for some humor. A colleague photographer decides to delete you from Facebook because he claims that you steal his ideas. What’s your answer? (Note: this has actually happened and is not just humor)
I do not know if I would even understand it! Haha! If it was clear, I would not answer, I would laugh! Social media communication is so superficial, and the punishment of “unfriending” becomeseven more childlike than it is! Especially when it comes to such a subjective matter like art. It's hard to believe this story even though I know it's real!

You love also your analog camera. You told us so. Why?
Ah! My little Minolta is an analogue machine of my age. I have loved her particularly because of the fact that I have been using it onvacation for the last few years. It doesn’t need to be charged, it is small and light and quite easy to handle. The shooting itself has a completely different sense. The sounds when shooting, the grain and the colors have another charm. In addition, the limited number of shots causes a creative anxiety and intrigues me.

Do you seek to give a personal character to your photos in a way that people can say “This is by Evita”? Meaning your own mark. And if so, how do you do it?
I think that as an amateur I had it but now I have lost it. Probably because I no longer set such limits on myself and I have more experiences and recruits. At some point, I hope that all of this will converge and build my personal trait and become recognizable! That I believe is the dream of every artist! I wish!

Who are the main photographers that have influenced your personal style?
It’s more about specific photos than photographers influencing me. To be honest, I envy some of them. I admire many photographers, both Greeks and foreigners for their ideas and their glances. I’m usually influenced by photographers with whom we work together and see them “in the act”. That's where things are clear and I can “copy” some technique and especially learn.
What is the personal definition you would give to the art of photography?
Through photography, a unique and unforgettable moment acquires an eternal life. If you think about it, it's magical!According to you, how can you gain confidence within the art of “photographing”? I'm pretty insecure and I always think I could do better, and that's my constant goal. After all, art is seamless and inexhaustible. But I believe that with great experience and great work anyone can stand firm on their feet and have confidence. In some photographic areaswhere I have more experience I am more confident. I also believe very much inmyself. It's contradictory, I know, but so is art!