Theo Sahos: Capturing Astoria
By Ilija Sekulovski
How did you first get into photography?
I took some courses in college, and has some informal training. It really grew as a passion and hobby from there. It’s something I feel like I’ve been doing forever, but only recently did I really buckle down and do it with more intent.
What’s your favorite subject matter?
Mostly I look to shoot things that are indicative of the place I’m at. You can say it identifies or symbolizes that place. So around Astoria, I love shooting places like the Hell Gate Bridge, Steinway Street, or Athens Square Park.
Lately, I’ve been focusing on the major avenues – 30th or Broadway or Ditmars. I’ve been shooting every day to try and see all of them in different lights and in a different way.
Do you have something specific you look for in your pictures?
I like to look at common things in an uncommon way. I like to bring a lot of elements together in one photo – to make the richest photo I can. In a shot I’ll bring together people and vehicles and nature – different elements to make one shot.
What’s the process like to get to a final picture?
First, I shoot the picture. Then I usually edit it a little until it gets to where I want it to be – I’ll adjust certain things until it has a look I like. Then it’s ready! I’ll share some on Instagram, or put them up for sale on my Etsy page.
You’re a big Instagram user, do you think that’s changing how photography is viewed?
Absolutely. I had a website, and it was so hard to get people to go look at my work. With Instagram, it’s so simple. People are constantly on it, and it’s just a simple click to like your picture – you get so much more feedback, interaction, and just people viewing your photos.
As a life-long resident, how do you feel Astoria has changed – through the eyes of a photographer?
The neighborhood is in a constant state of flux – it’s something I’ve always noticed. When I was a kid it was more Irish and German, then Italian and Greek, then Eastern Europeans. There have constantly been new ethnicities bringing richness to the neighborhood. It’s still in a state of flux – it’s like a swinging door. People are constantly moving in and moving out, so the neighborhood and its residents as they are now might be completely different in a few years. We’ll just have to see.