Vasiliades’ willingness to pursue opportunities as they present themselves is what led him to photography. Just 3 years ago Vasiliades was working in the financial sector, having only taken casual vacation photos using a point-and-shoot camera. “I’m very competitive,” explained Paul, “and the most satisfying part of that job was starting over every month, competing to be on top.” After winning a year-long performance contest, he was given his choice of prizes from the firm. “I saw a Nikon SLR (single-lens reflex camera), a D60 with a kit lens,” said Vasiliades. “I had never given any thought to it until I saw it on the page.” Paul selected the Nikon and a week later, brought his new camera to Ocean City, Maryland, and began taking photos of the sunrise. “I saw the difference the camera made and I was stunned. That was it – Boom, done.” From that point on, photography consumed all of Vasiliades’ free time. “I jumped right in to the deep end of the pool,” Vasiliades recalled. “Just jumped right in and started shooting, shooting, shooting, shooting.”
On a 2009 trip to Aruba, Vasiliades took his first attempt at art photography. “In Aruba I concentrated on taking pictures besides vacation photos,” said Vasiliades. “Architecture, scenery, landscapes. I came back and selected 12 photos, printed them out and brought them to the Art Association of Harrisburg.” Art Association President Carrie Wissler-Thomas was immediately impressed by the series, and entered Vasiliades as a candidate for solo and community shows throughout the region.
Since then Vasiliades has shot a prolific amount of images, which have been featured in numerous publications and exhibited in spaces including Gallery@2 and the Reservoir Park Mansion. His work has also been displayed on the walls of many local businesses such as Highmark Blue Shield and Palumbo’s and entered into competitions and festivals on a national scale.
Until recently, Vasiliades’ work was exclusively stills and landscapes. “I would sit and wait for people to get out of my scenes, I thought they were ruining my shots,” recalled Vasiliades. “But when I shot the Tulum Ruins in Mexico, I started noticing some of my better images featured people.” Vasiliades began working with models and photographing events, and quickly began enjoying an entirely different style of photography. “I found it to be a place I could put a lot of creativity into, and have fun with the people I worked with.”
From studio shoots, Vasiliades branched out once again to event and wedding photography. “I helped out at a wedding, had free run to shoot and had the time of my life,” recalled Vasiliades. “I realized right off that I was free and easy talking to people.” Vasiliades’ art photography sensibilities are evident in his event photography. “I shoot documentary-style, to capture things as they really happen,” said Vasiliades. “Of course we’ll do pose shots as well.”
Vasiliades recommends that couples begin interviewing photographers a year in advance, and look for a photographer that immediately demonstrates responsibility. “They should look for someone on time, personable and well-groomed,” said Vasiliades, “who will bring backup gear and is able to explain their backup strategies and turnaround time.” Couples should then review the photographer’s portfolio and discuss the style of shots that will be taken. Finally, couples should make sure that their photographer fits with their personalities. “Weddings are a people thing,” said Vasiliades. “I tell couples when I meet them that we’re going to have fun.”
Paul Vasiliades is available for a wide range of photography services, including engagement sessions, bridal portraits, event photography, family and couples portraits, corporate headshots, modeling shoots and wedding photography. The Paul V Photography studio is located on the ground floor of the Harrisburg Mall, and Vasiliades can be reached by email at WeddingsByPaulV@gmail.com, by phone at 717-877-2244 or online at WeddingsByPaulV.com.