Alex Paterimos – The young Cape Town based photographer interested in capturing sentimentality

Alex Paterimos is a young creative focusing his energies on photography and cinematography. Born in Greece, he spent the first four years of his life living in Athens. Thereafter his family moved to Ballito where he completed his high school education. Upon completing his secondary studies Alex felt that he needed to be part of a culturally rich space that challenged him artistically. Being drawn to the beauty and sense of community that he found in Cape Town, he is currently based in the city as a student of cinematography.  “Throughout my life, I had always wanted to enter the creative world, and always envisioned myself making art in some way.”

The origin of Alex’s devotion to the craft of image creation is something that he can’t pin point to a specific time in his life as he states that he has had a passion for being behind the lens ever since he can remember. Receiving his first camera (a basic digital point and shoot) at the age of 12, he was awarded the opportunity to document his life. The drive behind Alex’s shutter release is sentimentality that translates into images of friends and memories captured in time.

Formal training was accessed at the film school Alex attends where he was taught the essentials of photography and DSLR cameras. The main focus of his craft currently is developing his personal style and ensuring that his work conveys emotion to its onlookers. He predominantly works on 35mm film at present which facilitates in cultivating feelings of dreamlike nostalgia within his work.

“Film adds a sense of value to an image for me and forces me to really perfect and love a photo before I take it. This process of crafting my images has helped me discover and nurture my passion for composition and lighting.”

Inspiration comes to the young creative in observing the city he now calls home and new, yet undiscovered spaces for him. He shares with me that he is inspired by its architecture, colours he observes and the people that occupy these spaces. He is also interested in how human bodies are contrasted to their immediate surroundings. Taking from this he sometimes aims to replicate his observations in his shoots.

Alex’s creative process for a shoot is one that unfolds in collaboration with his friends. Mood boarding and brainstorming about a shoot takes on a formative role in these developments. However, on the day of a shoot spontaneity often acts as a contributor to the final product.

“Managing to effectively capture moments that just happen by chance is what I find most rewarding, as this aspect of spontaneity is encapsulated by the look of my 35mm point-and-shoot and essentially plays a big part in shaping my work.”

To Alex, the central aspect of his image creation is evoking sentimentality and capturing the essence of the people he photographs as he feels strongly about not creating heartless work. “…I am focussing on developing my style and visual language first. I think that once I feel more confident in this, I will be able to begin pushing myself more creatively.” As Alex photographs his friends, his work can be said to contain an element of documentary-fiction.

Alex’s raw talent seeps through his images that read like candid heart felt shots of friends. His work conveys not only sentimentality but a sense of who the people he photographs are. His work can be considered to be a reflection of the youth of Cape Town within this particular time and thus contains an element of documentary-fiction.

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