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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 28 October 2017
16 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Taking the guesswork out of destination weddings in Greece Since setting up shop in Melbourne, Greece-born photographer Panos Kiokios has become the go-to for couples planning their dream wedding in Greece ANASTASIA TSIRTSAKIS he latter half of my 20s have felt like an ongoing wedding season, with friends popping the question and others being proposed to a common occurrence. Aside from more couples opting for scenic beach and picturesque winery weddings, I've also noticed a notable rise in destination weddings. While it might seem excessive to some to expect friends and family to take the time off and fork out money for flights half the way across the world, with the average wedding in Australia costing $65,482 according to a Bride to Be survey in 2016, it's not hard to see why some are opting for a more intimate wedding abroad with those closest to them. And while the idea is no doubt T dreamily romantic, anyone who has organised an event of such significance will know that it's all about the detail, which is no easy feat when trying to organise everything from overseas, especially if there's a language barrier. That's where photographer Panos Kiokios comes into the picture (never mind the pun). Having recently relocated from Patras to Melbourne, the owner of Panorama Imagery and Films has found his niche market in destination weddings in Greece. Conveniently located in West Melbourne, couples are able to meet with him locally to build a rapport and develop the concept of their wedding, before meeting up again in Greece for the big day. "Everyone I met in Melbourne knew somebody that went to Greece for their wedding, and I thought Greece is my backyard; I've done weddings on the Greek islands and the mainland so I could be a big help for people," Panos told Neos Kosmos. "People from here don't necessarily have the connections and they rely on the long distance communication, and hopefully, everything will work out for them. Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn't. So it's a good idea for people to have somebody here, especially the photographer, because the photographer has to have a connection with the couple, to meet before the wedding and help them feel comfortable. So people will always have the piece of mind that I'm next door." That way upon returning back home to Australia, clients can meet with Panos as many times as necessary to work on developing the wedding album of their dreams. "They can be sure for the best. It's not like I'm someone they've never met. It's a big deal to have someone that you trust and that you've met," Panos says. "And let's be honest, in Greece, especially when it comes to destination weddings like in Santorini, it's a huge business, and sometimes times - not always - you are a product for the professionals of this industry, they consider you to be just a number. With me it's more personal, and of course I'm dedicated to them." Given Panos travels to Greece to work with his already established client base, what is particularly enticing is that the client will not be out of pocket for the photographer's travel expenses from Melbourne to Greece. Packages on offer can be tailored to suit each couple's needs and budget, along with options for both photography and filmography. The most popular package includes a prewedding photoshoot the day before the main event, and the full wedding day including before, during, and after the ceremony with unlimited photos included. Meanwhile, if the couple wishes to kick on the next day, Panos and his team are more than happy to make themselves available. And while he makes it clear that he is far from being a wedding planner, Panos is also happy to offer clients advice regarding the general plans for their wedding, and can even help to solve any problems that may arise for the couple in Greece. "I have the connections and could be very helpful for them. Or even just before the wedding I could help to supervise a little bit," he offers. Interestingly enough it was a different type of lens that gave Panos his headstart in photography. While pursuing his studies in optometry in Athens in 1999, he recalls a close friend who was a photographer and in urgent need of someone to step in for the day, approaching him to fill in. "I'm good with physics and lenses - it was my studies - I knew how the light works through the lenses. So I did the job, it was fun, I earned good money, and I thought why not?" And the rest, as they say, is history. But the history really is the interesting bit, after all. He never knew that saying 'yes' would lead him to changing career paths and almost 20 years later be living in Australia and running his own photography and film studio. The plan was always to open up an optometry business, but after completing his degree, he hit a wall.
21 October 2017
04 November 2017