Humble Beginnings

“DID YOU KNOW THAT THE WORD ‘PHOTOGRAPHY’ IS A COMBINATION OF TWO GREEK ROOT WORDS? ‘PHOTO’ MEANS LIGHT. ‘GRAPHA’ MEANS TO WRITE OR DRAW. SO PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE REALLY STORYTELLERS WHO USE LIGHT INSTEAD OF WORDS. THE STORIES WE TELL ARE BASED ON OUR INDIVIDUAL PERCEPTION. IF WE ALL HAD THE SAME EYE, ALL THE PICTURES WOULD LOOK THE SAME.”
— Emmanuel Panagiotakis
  Lukas, Genie, Emmanuel and Melina Panagiotakis at the opening of the gallery.   Emmanuel Panagiotakis made his way from Chios, Greece to the United States almost thirty years ago. While most would be nervous at the thought of relocating thousands of miles to a different continent, Emmanuel embraced the change full heartedly.

 Lukas, Genie, Emmanuel and Melina Panagiotakis at the opening of the gallery. 

Emmanuel Panagiotakis made his way from Chios, Greece to the United States almost thirty years ago. While most would be nervous at the thought of relocating thousands of miles to a different continent, Emmanuel embraced the change full heartedly.

 Emmanuel and Genie  After meeting his wife, Genie, there was no other option than to move to be together. His new love brought him to the United States for the first time where they settled in Pittsburgh in October of 1988. Emmanuel threw himself into his new home and fell in love with the industrious landscape that is so contrasting from his homeland.  A few years later, Emmanuel and Genie began their family. They welcomed their daughter Melina and their son Lukas into the world. Becoming a father changed Emmanuel and he soon became obsessed with photography and capturing the moment with his family.  In 2004, Emmanuel bought his first digital camera, the Canon Elan II. This particular camera was a great fit for the advanced amateur photographer at the time. Working his way through the guidebook, Emmanuel taught himself to become a professional photographer.   

Emmanuel and Genie

After meeting his wife, Genie, there was no other option than to move to be together. His new love brought him to the United States for the first time where they settled in Pittsburgh in October of 1988. Emmanuel threw himself into his new home and fell in love with the industrious landscape that is so contrasting from his homeland.

A few years later, Emmanuel and Genie began their family. They welcomed their daughter Melina and their son Lukas into the world. Becoming a father changed Emmanuel and he soon became obsessed with photography and capturing the moment with his family.

In 2004, Emmanuel bought his first digital camera, the Canon Elan II. This particular camera was a great fit for the advanced amateur photographer at the time. Working his way through the guidebook, Emmanuel taught himself to become a professional photographer.

 

 Emmanuel with his award-winning Lions in Love photo.  Through his learning process, Emmanuel became more and more invested in technical perfection. He quickly outgrew equipment and opted for the best quality cameras on the market.  Since then, Emmanuel has worked hard to open his own gallery space in the Cultural District of downtown Pittsburgh. Today, Emmanuel happily shoots his favorite spots of Pittsburgh in the morning and visits the gallery often with his family for events. Emmanuel’s story of success is one of passion, dedication, and hard work that has been fueled by the love of his wife and children.   

Emmanuel with his award-winning Lions in Love photo.

Through his learning process, Emmanuel became more and more invested in technical perfection. He quickly outgrew equipment and opted for the best quality cameras on the market.

Since then, Emmanuel has worked hard to open his own gallery space in the Cultural District of downtown Pittsburgh. Today, Emmanuel happily shoots his favorite spots of Pittsburgh in the morning and visits the gallery often with his family for events. Emmanuel’s story of success is one of passion, dedication, and hard work that has been fueled by the love of his wife and children.

 

 Panagiotakis family at Phipps Conservatory 

Panagiotakis family at Phipps Conservatory 

Spotlight: Double Trouble

 EMMANUEL’S COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY ON A WHOLE IS CAREFULLY PLANNED AND EXECUTED. HIS PROCESS IS HIGHLY CALCULATED AND WELL RESEARCHED BEFORE HE GOES TO A SITE TO SHOOT. HOWEVER, THERE IS ONE PHOTOGRAPH THAT COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE PLANNED.   DOUBLE TROUBLE  IS A CHANCE IMAGE THAT AMPLIFIES THE MOODY TEMPER OF PITTSBURGH STORMS. IN LATE SPRING OF 2017, EMMANUEL HEADED OUT IN THE EARLY MORNING FOR A SUNRISE SHOOT OF THE CITY. MID SHOOT, HE GOT CAUGHT IN A STORM THAT WAS HEADING WESTBOUND. AFTER FINDING SHELTER UNDER THE WEST END OVERLOOK, EMMANUEL TOOK 400 SHOTS IN ATTEMPT TO CATCH THE INCOMING STORM.  AFTER INTENSE SHOOTING, EMMANUEL’S CAMERA BATTERY WAS DYING BUT HE WAS STILL NOT SATISFIED AND FELT HE NEEDED TO KEEP SHOOTING. LUCKILY, A PHOTOGRAPHER FRIEND WAS ABLE TO BRING HIM AN EXTRA BATTERY SO THAT HE COULD CONTINUE HIS SHOOT.  HE WAS FINALLY ABLE TO CAPTURE SOME OF THE LIGHTNING BOLTS AFTER ALL THE OBSTACLES THAT WERE SEEMINGLY GETTING IN HIS WAY OF SUCCESS. ONCE EMMANUEL SAT DOWN TO LOOK AT THIS IMAGES AND BEGIN THE EDITING PROCESS, HE DISCOVERED THIS MAGICAL PHOTOGRAPH. HE HAD NOT NOTICED THAT ONE OF HIS IMAGES HAD TWO LIGHTNING STRIKES.  THIS PHOTOGRAPH IS LITERALLY ONE OF HUNDREDS OF SHOTS THAT WAS CAPTURED BY PURE CHANCE OF TIMING. EMMANUEL DECIDED TO INVEST IN LIGHTNING TRIGGER EQUIPMENT IN HOPES OF GETTING ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO SHOOT MORE STORMS. IRONICALLY, HE HAS NOT HAD THE CHANCE TO USE IT SINCE  DOUBLE TROUBLE .   DOUBLE TROUBLE  PRESENTS THE TEMPERAMENTAL NATURE OF THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY. EMMANUEL’S PATIENCE LEAD TO THIS JAW DROPPING IMAGE THAT CAPTURES CHANCE, LUCK, AND TALENT.

EMMANUEL’S COLLECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY ON A WHOLE IS CAREFULLY PLANNED AND EXECUTED. HIS PROCESS IS HIGHLY CALCULATED AND WELL RESEARCHED BEFORE HE GOES TO A SITE TO SHOOT. HOWEVER, THERE IS ONE PHOTOGRAPH THAT COULD NOT POSSIBLY BE PLANNED.

DOUBLE TROUBLE IS A CHANCE IMAGE THAT AMPLIFIES THE MOODY TEMPER OF PITTSBURGH STORMS. IN LATE SPRING OF 2017, EMMANUEL HEADED OUT IN THE EARLY MORNING FOR A SUNRISE SHOOT OF THE CITY. MID SHOOT, HE GOT CAUGHT IN A STORM THAT WAS HEADING WESTBOUND. AFTER FINDING SHELTER UNDER THE WEST END OVERLOOK, EMMANUEL TOOK 400 SHOTS IN ATTEMPT TO CATCH THE INCOMING STORM.

AFTER INTENSE SHOOTING, EMMANUEL’S CAMERA BATTERY WAS DYING BUT HE WAS STILL NOT SATISFIED AND FELT HE NEEDED TO KEEP SHOOTING. LUCKILY, A PHOTOGRAPHER FRIEND WAS ABLE TO BRING HIM AN EXTRA BATTERY SO THAT HE COULD CONTINUE HIS SHOOT.

HE WAS FINALLY ABLE TO CAPTURE SOME OF THE LIGHTNING BOLTS AFTER ALL THE OBSTACLES THAT WERE SEEMINGLY GETTING IN HIS WAY OF SUCCESS. ONCE EMMANUEL SAT DOWN TO LOOK AT THIS IMAGES AND BEGIN THE EDITING PROCESS, HE DISCOVERED THIS MAGICAL PHOTOGRAPH. HE HAD NOT NOTICED THAT ONE OF HIS IMAGES HAD TWO LIGHTNING STRIKES.

THIS PHOTOGRAPH IS LITERALLY ONE OF HUNDREDS OF SHOTS THAT WAS CAPTURED BY PURE CHANCE OF TIMING. EMMANUEL DECIDED TO INVEST IN LIGHTNING TRIGGER EQUIPMENT IN HOPES OF GETTING ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO SHOOT MORE STORMS. IRONICALLY, HE HAS NOT HAD THE CHANCE TO USE IT SINCE DOUBLE TROUBLE.

DOUBLE TROUBLE PRESENTS THE TEMPERAMENTAL NATURE OF THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY. EMMANUEL’S PATIENCE LEAD TO THIS JAW DROPPING IMAGE THAT CAPTURES CHANCE, LUCK, AND TALENT.

Spotlight: Marshall Point

THE COASTLINE OF MAINE IS ONE OF EMMANUEL'S FAVORITE PLACES TO SHOOT AS IT IS THE FIRST PLACE THE SUN HITS IN THE UNITED STATES. HE HAS BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE QUIRKS OF THE LAND BETWEEN PORTLAND AND MARSHALL POINT AND OFTEN TRAVELS HOURS IN THE SAME DAY TO CATCH CERTAIN LIGHTHOUSES OR BEACHES AT EITHER SUNRISE OR SUNSET. 

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THIS PHOTOGRAPH OF MARSHALL POINT WAS TAKEN IN THE FALL OF 2016 DURING A SUNSET. AFTER DRIVING 12 HOURS TO GET FROM PITTSBURGH TO THE COAST OF MAINE, EMMANUEL STRUGGLED TO FIND A HOTEL THAT COULD ACCOMMODATE HIM FOR THE NIGHT. AS IT WAS THE END OF THE SEASON, EVERYONE WAS OUT FOR A LAST VACATION. AFTER FINALLY FIND A PLACE TO STAY THE NIGHT, EMMANUEL PLANNED A SUNRISE SHOOT IN PORTLAND AT THE LIGHTHOUSE. ONCE THERE, HE REALIZED THE WEATHER WAS NOT COMPLYING WITH HIS VISION FOR THE SHOOT. EMMANUEL THEN LEFT FOR MARSHALL POINT TO SHOOT THE LIGHTHOUSE DURING SUNSET.

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AS HE ARRIVED, EMMANUEL SAW A WEDDING TAKING PLACE AND OFFERED TO TAKE A FEW PHOTOS OF THE BRIDE. DURING HIS SUNSET SHOOT OF LIGHTHOUSE AFTER THE BRIDAL PARTY HAD LEFT, HE TURNED TO FACE THE MOON AND NOTICED A COUPLE. THOUGH HE WAS A CONSIDERABLE DISTANCE FROM THE COUPLE, EMMANUEL WAS ABLE TO COMMUNICATE TO THEM THAT HE WANTED THEM TO POSE FOR A FEW PHOTOS. ONCE HE GATHERED HIS EQUIPMENT AND HIKED UP TO SHOW THEM THE SHOTS, THE COUPLE HAD ALREADY LEFT.

IT WASN'T UNTIL AFTER EMMANUEL TOOK THE PHOTO OF THIS PARTICULAR LIGHTHOUSE THAT HE REALIZED IT WAS FEATURED IN TOM HANKS' FILM FORREST GUMP. THIS PHOTOGRAPH GIVES THE LIGHTHOUSE A MUCH STRONG PRESENCE THAN IT APPEARED IN THE FILM. THE LIGHTHOUSE STANDS TALL AS NIGHTTIME APPROACHES WHILE THE BOARDWALK SLOWLY CLOSES FOR THE NIGHT. EMMANUEL CAPTURED AN ICON FROM A BELOVED FILM WHILE SHOWING THE VIEWER HOW HE SAW THE LIGHTHOUSE IN THAT VERY MOMENT.