#letsgetvisual. Daimon Xanthopoulos: One must always strive to be the best and amplify stories not for personal gain but for the voiceless

#letsgetvisual. Daimon Xanthopoulos: One must always strive to be the best and amplify stories not for personal gain but for the voiceless

While everyone is free to take photos and enjoy the process, being a photographer is about having a vision and delivering impactful work, says Daimon Xanthopoulos, a Dutch-born photographer, filmmaker, and creative mind.

Early in his career, Daimon chose to create stories not for his gain but to give a voice to the voiceless. His decision was influenced by his journey to Angola, where he documented the aftermath of a 27-year war. Daimon says that he still remembers the faces of his subjects and that he revisited them many years later. He is currently developing a multi-year project exploring the realm of myths.

Daimon's work has been recognized and awarded internationally and will be shown at Bucharest Photofest (October 6-15, 2023). At its 8th edition, the festival will host over 50 events under the theme IDENTITY. Join artists from Greece, Germany, Iceland, Spain, the UK, the USA, Denmark, The Netherlands and more, for a meaningful visual journey.

And keep reading to discover Daimon's story and artistic vision.


Key Defining Moments

I started photography at the Royal Academy of Arts. However, during my studies, I felt compelled to leave as I had a clear vision for my future. That same month, I began my journey as a freelance photojournalist. Using the money from my initial assignments, I traveled to Angola to capture the aftermath of a 27-year war. Most of my material from that expedition remained unpublished, teaching me a significant lesson: to excel in this field, one must always strive to be the best and amplify stories not for personal gain but for the voiceless. This experience was pivotal, making me choose between the path of photography, aiming for impactful documentary work, or a more conventional life.


The First Photographs

Every photograph I've taken is etched in my memory, especially those from my early days. The images of children in Angola and child soldiers in Liberia haunt me still. Their traumatized eyes were a potent motivation, urging me to hone my craft and ensure that such narratives find an audience. Over the years, I've often focused on children, collaborating extensively with UNICEF. I never forget my subjects; some I've even revisited after many years.

Child soldier Liberia


Favourite Themes

While I've been creating photo stories for years, the evolving media landscape urged me to adopt new storytelling formats. Consequently, I've expanded into video and documentary filmmaking, feeling it's a more potent medium to convey narratives. Additionally, I've delved into the realm of myths in photography. A photo, to me, can be a standalone piece of art, not always requiring a backstory. My passion for photography and interest in mythologies converged in a multi-year project, "Mythic Echoes."


Storytelling Techniques

Photography is my language. Over the past year, hybrid shooting became crucial for me as I ventured into both photography and filmmaking. I opted for Panasonic LUMIX cameras because they seamlessly integrate various storytelling elements, providing me with tools to pivot between mediums effortlessly. Often, in the middle of a story, I realize a narrative is better suited as a film. This adaptability has been instrumental in many of my award-winning projects. If an image is worth a thousand words? Photography communicates on our emotional level, past languages, making it so powerful.


An Image-Obsessed World

The analogy that comes to mind is asking a professional singer their opinion on people singing in the shower. Everyone can enjoy photography, just as everyone can sing. However, being a photographer is about vision, narrative, expression, and consistently delivering impactful work. While our tool is the camera, the era we're in is fascinating as we extend our photographic expertise into diverse markets.


The Role of Photography in 2023

To me, the essence of photography has remained consistent despite the overwhelming influx of images in this digital age. Venturing out with a camera to capture moments that resonate, inspire, or evoke emotions remains an unparalleled experience. This ability to visually encapsulate emotions and narratives will always provide photographers with an avenue to engage and interact.


Bucharest Photofest

I'm eager to showcase the works I've curated over the years, especially those centered around myths, and the pieces I've recently crafted in Romania. Meeting fellow creatives, exchanging ideas, and drawing inspiration from novel works is both vital and exhilarating. I'm confident that Bucharest will provide the ideal backdrop for these interactions.


A Photo to Showcase in the Centre of Bucharest

I like to propose a photo from my Mythic Echoes series that connects to the theme: Identity. The theme for me is not merely about the place of birth or one's country. It's also about what you want to resonate with, which is profoundly influenced by myths, traditions, and the surrounding landscape or the interaction with that. These factors forge a connection and provide an understanding of the world around us and where we relate to and the intangible aspects of life.

With that perspective, I envision the image I made of the Wolfman in the German Hartz Mountains for my project Mythic Echoes, being featured on a billboard, will show the connection to the exhibition and to the theme Identity across Europe.

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