George Panagakos Photography

Greek Church Book

The Old, Familiar “Ding” from a Jury of Your Peers

Last night, the BlackBerry went “ding” once again, informing me that I have a new email. What I opened and read was quite a pleasant and unexpected surprise. I had all but forgotten that I submitted the entry a couple of months ago. I want to share this news, and so, I am posting the salient points of this email informing me that I have been selected to be featured in the Best of ASMP 2010.

The ASMP is the “American Society of Media Photographers”, one of two premier organizations for commercial photography in North America. The competition was for the “Best projects” of the past year by the membership of ASMP. The project I submitted is the soon-to-be-released “The Metropolis of Boston and It’s Parishes”. This is a significant honor for me; to have been chosen by my community to be recognized for the work I have done.

There will be further updates regarding the release of the book, and about exhibitions that I am lining up to showcase the images and the book. A small selection of the 417 images of mine in the book can be found on my website, www.GeorgePictures.com, at the “Greek Church Book” link.

Here is the info:

Dear George:

Congratulations! You have been selected as one of the photographers to be featured in the BEST OF ASMP 2010! This year’s entries were overwhelmingly strong, with nearly 1/3 of the more than 200 entries receiving a rating of 4 or above in our scale of 1 through 5. After several weeks of review and deliberation we are confident that the final selection represents an outstanding range of ASMP membership at it’s widest scope. The featured projects represent a wide array of photographic subjects and markets, plus representation from different membership categories and geographic areas, from coast-to-coast.

Again, congratulations on your selection and thanks very much for your collaboration in making the BEST OF ASMP 2010 our best issue yet!

Sincerely yours,

Jill Waterman

Editor: PDNedu and PDN Custom Media & Events www.pdnonline.com

Senior Editor: The ASMP Bulletin www.asmp.org

Below is my original entry with the ONE (!) photograph (above) that I had to choose to be representative of the project and a 200-word description:

“Best of ASMP” entry:

“Interior Dome of Saint George Cathedral, Manchester, New Hampshire

This is but one of more than 11,000 frames made for the “Metropolis of Boston and it’s Parishes,” a large format, 320 page coffee table book detailing the history and visual beauty of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis (Diocese) of Boston and the 63 individual communities, plus other properties. Two-and-half years in the making, this is the biggest project of my life to date. Slated for publication in the coming weeks, the volume is a combination of three of my great loves: photography; my Greek heritage; and the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith.

The project was undertaken while a student at seminary, while desperate for funds, and even more desperate for the opportunity. I had returned to school after a twelve year photography career to pursue other interests and dumped most of my photo gear and let my studio go. Lacking even the most basic equipment, computer and software at the outset, the 50% down-payment was just enough to cover a digital camera body, two lenses, a MacBook, and the student version of Adobe Creative Suite. The next several months were spent driving all over New England, eating what I could take with me, sleeping in my car, in church basements, and in priests’ families’ homes.

The process has been a real education, and one I am grateful to have had. It has brought me back to photography, which is a calling in itself.


The beginning of the show circuit.

My head is as big as a pumpkin right about now. My ego is basking in the glory of a shower of words that were meant, I think, to do just that. They were very genuine words, no question, from a very motherly yet serious-minded individual who had called me back to discuss my first exhibition of the photographs I made for the upcoming book, Greek Orthodox Churches of New England – The Metropolis of Boston and its Parishes. Maria Anagnostopoulos, director of The Greek Institute in Harvard Square, Cambridge, has agreed to a showing of my work from mid-September to mid-October, and she is thrilled with the work. Thank you, Maria.

This is a very exciting time for me. Two-and-a-half years of effort are finally beginning to bear fruit. The book is getting printed very soon. I am pursuing opportunities to show this tremendously consuming, long term project. One has just materialized, another is getting closer, and the more and more possibilities are opening up. And I am open to suggestions. Anyone? Bueller?

Updates to follow . . .