In a local fashion photographer NIKI CHARALAMBOUS finds a man who loves his work trying to keep one step ahead of the latest trends

Fashion photography showcases clothing, accessories, people and the environment that surrounds them. From high fashion and street photography to editorial and catalogue, this highly competitive industry is full of glamorous creative opportunities, also showcasing the artistic vision and technological know-how of the individual creating a visual narrative behind the lens.

fashion6 harris kyprianouEnter Harris Kyprianou. With a professional career spanning almost two decades in cities such as London, Athens and Cologne, Harris’ work exemplifies a balance of artistry and technicality across multiple photography disciplines, including commercial, beauty and fashion photography.

“I always see myself as an image maker, communicating visual satisfaction through my work,” Kyprianou said.

Born in Nicosia, Harris discovered his creative streak at a young age, engaging in painting, sculpting, and decoration. His first encounter with photography was in high school when he pursued it as a chosen course, constantly exploring and experimenting with the art. “My godfather is a photographer, and he recognised my talent and my passion, mentoring me to the point where I became professional,” he said.

But his view goes beyond Cyprus. “I admire and respect many international photographers such Txema Yeste, Mert and Marcus, and Viviane Sassen whose distinctive styles, techniques, and approach towards their subject matter have served as references for my photographic development.”

According to Harris, legendary old school photographer Helmut Newton, whose name is synonymous with seduction, provocation, and kink, also influenced his approach to fashion photography.

“He is arguably the greatest fashion photographer of all time,” Kyprianou told Living. “Along with Irving Penn, he was one of the first fashion photographers to be considered a true artist, elevating his technical skill to levels of sartorial sublimity rarely equalled since. His longstanding partnerships with equally provocative designers, most importantly Yves Saint Laurent, created some of the most poignant and memorable images of the last century.”

fashion2Harris’ professional journey started by winning the under 25 photography competition of Vogue Hellas, followed by working with the publication for three years. Since then, his images have been published in other major publications (digital, print and outdoor advertising) while collaborating with various artists and designers across Europe.

“Throughout my career, I have experienced many wonderful things, which have sparked my artistic approach to photography. I am frequently inspired by people, art, architecture and daily life. There is never a shortage of inspiration, and the journey to the destination is always magical.”

Fashion photography does, however, present certain challenges. Harris argues that deadlines and budget constraints, which may restrict creative freedom, are particularly problematic. “To meet and satisfy the needs of the customer, a professional photographer must, nevertheless, maintain their composure and approach the subject with as much creativity and technical artistry as possible,” he added.

Harris’ ability to see a final product in line with his customers’ vision may be what distinguishes his approach to fashion photography. “Location, composition, lighting and other technical specifications are crucial in producing a narrative that is new, modern and in keeping with the most recent fashion trends.”

Trends move fast in all areas of art and fashion, and photography is no exception. While some things are timeless – like the rule of thirds in composition – there are other areas of the art which can be subject to movements. “Particularly if you work in a field like portraiture or fashion photography, you will notice that there are trends going on in your sector,” Harris explained. “The trick to being current is often to figure out what these trends are ahead of time, or even to come up with the next big one yourself, with the help a talented team, of course.”

fashion3Harris Kyprianou is undoubtedly one of Cyprus’ talented fashion photographers who finds fulfilment in his profession and career. “I am thrilled that I can pursue my passion and create work that people will value for years to come.”

As a photographer, Harris often uses his photographs to communicate his innermost thoughts and feelings, at the same time promoting empathy and awareness. His second solo exhibition, planned for the spring of 2023, will showcase the distinctive, and humble nature of the man behind the fashion lens.