Monday, 17 August 2015 21:55

Photography as a life mission

Vassos Stylianou Vassos Stylianou

Vassos Stylianou grew up and is still passionately living in the world of photography. His father, Nicos Stylianou started the family photography business in the 1940s in Famagusta.

A great number of young photographers were trained there and opened up their own studios throughout the island. Now Limassol-based, Vassos grew up surrounded by photographers, retouchers and printers of all ages and with access to a studio and darkrooms for both black & white and colour images.

After his studies in commercial and advertising photography at Blackpool College of Art & Technology, he established his own company in Limassol in 1977. It was the first photographic company in Cyprus specialising exclusively in the field of commercial, industrial and advertising photography. Vassos’ photography in the areas of tourism, construction, manufacturing, banking and services, incidentally documented the most flourishing periods of the island.

A new era

After having photographed, taught and exhibited for almost four decades, things took a downwards turn during the economic crisis of 2013. Vassos and his wife Maria decided that this was the time to make changes in order to adapt to the new circumstances. Taking into account the almost certain continued decrease in demand for traditional photography and the wish to fulfil a lifelong aspiration to give something back to the community, in April 2013 they started the renovation of their centre in the heart of Limassol and in September 2013 opened the 6×6 Centre for Photography.

The mission

Stylianou says the centre was established to advance the understanding and appreciation of the art and practice of photography and to encourage young and emerging photographers to engage and expand their knowledge and skills. It is a goal that seems to have been largely achieved – if not surpassed in many ways – seeing the number of the successful exhibitions, seminars and workshops the centre has held. They have included a variety of international photographic events such as the architectural photography exhibit ‘Building Images’ and the ‘Garden Photographer of the Year’ exhibition – both exhibits that were simultaneously held in London.

Mentor for photography

Vassos and Maria Stylianou particularly enjoy the social aspect of their work and their centre sees a continuous flow of national and international visitors – current and former students and friends and professional and amateur photographers alike. They stop by to simply say hello or to ask for advice with their photography or printing since, apart from classes and exhibition space, the centre also offers mounting and high quality printing of photographs – one of their most popular services.

Staying abreast

In his chat with the Cyprus Weekly, Stylianou talks about the changes photography has undergone since the 70s – the time of “oktaimeres photographs”, meaning that one had to wait for eight days to see one’s portrait photos. Nowadays, it is less than eight milliseconds with the whole approach to photography and its use in marketing and advertising having completely changed.

The photographer however, has always enjoyed being on top of the latest technical developments and today feels equally at home in both, the world of traditional (analogue) and of digital photography and its latest features and gadgets. Interestingly enough, there is a revived interest in black and white photography and developing one’s own photos in the dark room – a workshop that will be offered at the centre this autumn, along with various other events and exhibitions. “It is inspiring to show how much things keep changing and how versatile the art of photography is,” says Stylianou.

To read more about the photographer, his work and the centre, visit

As published in The Cyprus Weekly of August 14, 2015  

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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