My name is Elias Marcou. I consider my first steps as a photographer since I had my first classes at the Photo Club of Larissa, my hometown, around 2004. Since then I remember myself always photographing anything that moved me and this is something I still do until today. I feel so lucky to have learned black and white film photography, the develop process and the print in the darkroom. I love to shoot everyday life, street scenes, documentary and in general anything that catch my attention. My camera is my vehicle to an exciting journey, the photography process. My studies were in business administration but I never got involved in economics, photography has already earned me. I work as a professional photographer in Mytilene, Lesvos island, since 2012. I also work as stringer for Reuters since 2017 in topics mostly about migration but also in current affairs and for SOOC a Greek photo agency.
Portraits of hope
During the night of 8th of September 2020 a catastrophic fire totally burned Moria refugee camp on Lesbos island. Asylum seekers that escaped the flames had to spend next days on the streets and abandoned buildings at the outskirts of Mytilene city. Greek Government managed to set up a permanent camp and obliged asylum seekers to enter the camp so their asylum process could go on. Three weeks later the ministry of migration contacted the photo studios of Mytilene and asked them to get to the new camp, set up their equipment in a big tent so they could take photos of asylum seekers for passports.
As a professional photographer I also went there. This series of portraits have been made in between the passport photo procedure of the asylum seekers with an old Lubitel 2 camera and black and white film. I asked some people to pose for me after they have been photographed for their passport and while they were waiting to get their photos printed. Some of them gently denied but most of them did it with joy. Especially after their strict passport photo under specific regulations, which in some cases was a very painful process – especially for women while they were asked to get their hijab off in front of too many people around – they were more relaxed in front of my old medium format twin lens reflex camera. In this series there are single portraits but also some family and friends’ portraits full of hope for a better future.