By: Jessica Rose
When he was an Algonquin student in 2009, Christos Spentzos was one of three students enrolled in the photography program asked by professors to enter a challenge to illustrate the given theme of “Answering Adversity” using photos.
Spentzos, now 22, gladly accepted the challenge and took photographs of a prison farm in Kingston that had just been shut down at the time.
The three photographs he submitted illustrated the conflict and the way the community overcame it. The first depicted a man sitting in front of a truck in protest, the second shows a large crowd protesting and the third shows the cow that residents from the city bought back and named Hope.
His work was displayed in Calumet Gallery in New York City, which gave him the opportunity to travel and experience seeing his work on display.
“It was exciting and a little weird,” said Spentzos.
“Walking into a foreign gallery in a foreign city and seeing it. It was a little intimidating because there were eight American teams, two UK teams and then us, team Canada, and I was the only one who went.”
Now, the 2010 photography graduate is the director of photography for Antidote magazine, an online lifestyle magazine, soon to go into print as well.
It provides readers with a cultural guide to an assortment of major cities.
“I get the most satisfaction out of pre-visualizing what I want, then photographing it and using Photoshop to perfect that image and make it look as close as possible to what it looked like in my head,” said Spentzos.
“I find that’s the biggest thing that I challenge myself with.”
At the age of 18, Spentzos was asked to photograph his actress sister Tess Spentzos for Nitro magazine, which is based in Greece. He managed to score a four-page spread in the magazine, photographing the images on campus in the photography studio.
Spentzos has also launched his own clothing company “4DB” or “For da boys” with partner Dimo Panos.
The brand emulates the lifestyle of prioritizing your friendships and placing a heavy value on loyalty.
“When it comes to brand promotion, our most important and most effective marketing strategy is simply living the lifestyle we live,” said Panos.
“Combine this with fresh designs, quality threads and creative marketing, and the sky’s the limit.”
At the end of the two-year photography program students have a placement aspect to complete that requires a total of 80 hours.
Spentzos had the opportunity to go work with Kwaku Alston; a photographer based in Venice, Cali who has taken photos of major figures including Barack Obama.
“I definitely got to see a completely different side of the photography world; a photography world that I knew was out there but I didn’t know exactly how it happens,” said Spentzos.
“I saw the behind-the-scenes of People magazine shoot and I didn’t really have the perception of what a Hollywood shoot would look like, so I thought it was pretty cool that I got to see that first hand.”
Spentzos assisted Alston with two different shots that he has published in his Horizon Court series, which includes portraits of interesting subjects posed on Venice Beach.
“Every day his life is different, that’s what I love and that’s what I want to do. I want every single day to be different,” said Spentzos.