Exclusive Interview with Johnny Georgiou for HUF Magazine Issue 48

Johnny Georgiou is a serial creative. He is a photographer, hairdresser and stylist. Whatever the role, Johnny immerses himself in the creative moment – the moment creativity knows no boundary

I currently live in Adelaide, South Australia, and have been here most of my life. My family emigrated here after the war in Cyprus, in 1976, when I was two years old. Post-war times were tough. My parents made the choice to move as work was not readily available and the constant threat of turmoil was always hanging overhead.

I spent seven years in Sydney in my mid-twenties but I found my heart being drawn back to home. Moving back to Adelaide was hard in many ways but also positive in so many others. Adelaide is only a small city, but it’s a real gem. Not only do we have the best food and wine in the country but we are also blessed with the most amazing coastline, which, in my view, gives this city a uniquely relaxed and laid back lifestyle. Unfortunately, it is a relatively parochial and conservative city and while the arts here are supported well, for creatives – it’s tougher to carve a niche and get to the top of your game. This just breeds a more savvy type of creative. We tend to create a lot more of our success here due to this fact.

Looking back, on my four-year journey as a photographer, is a bit of a laugh and has demonstrated to me how development as a photographer comes full circle. My first paid gig was an S&M shoot for a leather daddy that was being shot in his “dungeon.” I got there with my new camera and some lights, which I had just learned how to use – and they were not that flash (pardon the pun). I started shooting and it was quite dark in the space where we were working, even with my lighting. I thought “hey I know what ISO is now” – so I cranked up the ISO on my camera and shot for two hours. I was mildly horrified when I got home and saw the shots on screen – luminance and colour noise in all their glory. I edited them to be quite raw and gritty, as I had no other option other than a reshoot, and the client loved them. It was this shoot that really gave me a taste for grittier high contrast shots.

Fast forward to my most recent shoot, which is also one of my favourites, where I did exactly the same thing. Only this time I shot tethered and had full control over everything to produce exactly the same result. It just shows how mistakes teach you as much as knowledge does.

Whilst my main body of work to date has been hair, I have also developed a significant portfolio based around shooting the male physique. It was actually hairdressing that got me into photography. I have been styling hair since I was sixteen years old and had always wanted to do collections for competition work but never had the opportunity or the vehicle to get me into that kind of work. I found this frustrating. As dissatisfaction in work-life for me is the quickest career suicide, I left the company, where I had worked for six years, and moved to another that was more aligned with what I wanted to be as a stylist. This was essentially the start of my photography career. I really wanted to shoot my first collection but the cost of a photographer was a little prohibitive and I just couldn’t justify it. So …Continue reading our exclusive interview with Johnny in HUF Magazine issue 48.