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Behind the lens with Dimitrios Kambouris
When you flip through magazines, do you ever wonder who took the photographs of the most famous men and women in the world? If it's Beyonce, Madonna, Gisele, Victoria's Secret models or anyone else super A-list and glam, then there's a chance it was Dimitrios Kambouris. The Queens native and current Long Island City resident gives us the inside scoop on capturing some of the most beautiful people in the world.
How did you start as a photographer?
When I went to high school in Astoria, Queens, I worked at a camera store. One guy came in and said I should come and take paparazzi photos of celebs. One time, I went out with him, and I got Jennifer Lopez with Joaquin Cortes. I crossed them by accident. I then started shooting with Fashion Wire Daily. And when WireImage came around, I started working for them in 2002. Now I also work with Getty Images.
How much is a picture worth?
It depends on the picture. At first it was worth thousands. Now, everyone has Instagram and it's not exclusive anymore. It's typically a couple hundred per photo. It's not what it used to be.
What is the one photo you took that generated the most money?
The Vogue book with Tom Brady and Gisele was the best. It's called "The World in Vogue Book Party." I did the cover.
What's the biggest red carpet you've shot?
A MTV [Video] Music Awards, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, SAG Awards, [White House] Correspondents' dinner and the MET Gala.
What was it like to shoot the Correspondents' dinner?
Most politicians don't do the press line. I like the Vanity Fair after-party a lot better. It's really exclusive and everyone is in a festive mood. There are unusual combos and cool groupings like Sofia Vergara with Governor [Chris] Christie. It's usually in a huge mansion in DC. It felt like I was in Beverly Hills.
Who's your favorite person to photograph?
Kelly Bensimon. Haha. I love beautiful people who know how to pose and always look good. If I get a celeb or model who know how to pose it makes it easier and the photos are always better. Tom Cruise is really Hollywood. He takes photos with everyone, goes out of his way and shakes your hand after and thanks you. He's a real Hollywood celeb.
What's was the most exciting photo shoot you've ever done?
I like music events. When I shot Bon Jovi, I got the chills. U2 gives me the goosebumps to photograph.
If you saw a celeb walking down the street, would you take their picture?
I usually won't take their picture. I saw Pink walking down the street and I didn't want to interrupt their moment.
What's the nicest gift you've even received for taking a photo?
Dior gave me beautiful gifts. Chrome Hearts made me a Chrome Hearts hoodie and initialed my name in leather onto the sweatshirt and made me Chrome Hearts Converse. I don't like to a accept gifts, but those were special to me. It's nice people appreciate my work.
Any advice you'd like to share?
Always try something new. You have to be a little different with your exposures/lens. I try to be creative. It helped me stick out. There are so many red carpet photographers, and I try not to be the same.