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The Lens Of Humanity: Andrew Pateras’ Global Journey Through The Eyes Of A Photographer

Exploring cultures and landmarks worldwide, Pateras' lens captures the essence of human experience and the beauty of diverse narratives.

What’s it like to go around the world and explore every culture? Ever think about the rewards about being a professional photographer?

A view of villagers in Africa. Pateras had experienced interacting with the locals in other countries and continents. (COURTESY/ANDREW PATERAS) 


For one man, scenery is everything when it comes to exploring around the world including the meaning of history. 


In the latest edition, our feature explores the storied career of Andrew Pateras, a name synonymous with capturing the unspoken narratives of our time. Andrew’s lens has persistently focused on the raw, unfiltered essence of human experience, earning him not just a revered spot in the annals of documentary photography but also a collection of accolades, most notably the Lifetime Distinction of Honour for Photographic Achievement from the International Freelance Photographers Organization. 


His work has been and continues to be featured at many exhibitions worldwide. As Pateras’ work inspires both veterans and aspirants in the photography world, his legacy is a testament to the power of a single image to alter perceptions and foster empathy across the boundaries of nations and cultures.


Photography has been a passion for Pateras as his path started out as a hobby from a young age. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, he was exposed to various cultures throughout his travel. 


“Photography started as a hobby. My dad had an old Nikon film camera that intrigued me. I always had a camera in hand,” said Pateras about photography got his interest. “My parents started my interest in travelling in some early trips across America and then to Europe (Greece, Yugoslavia and Turkey). I then worked for a company called G Adventures which really made my travel addiction take shape.”


Travelling took his photography career farther above and beyond the limits that allow him to showcase his work, including places of interest.


Pateras appearing in front of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. Pateras had experience different situations exploring around the world. (COURTESY/ANDREW PATERAS) 


No matter whether it’s a place of interest or a witnessing a natural disaster, photography spoke for itself. 


Pateras experienced Japan’s earthquake in March 2011 in Tokyo where he was ready to get a ticket inquiry to Nagoya where he was going to do scenery shoots. He described the earthquake where he was felling the ground shaking where he ran to a door as the buildings were shaking.


“The biggest fear initially was buildings falling down on top of me,” said Pateras describing the earthquake at the time. “When I saw how strong Japanese buildings were, my next worry was the Fukushima reactor going critical which was only about 100 miles away from where I was.”


This moment led to Pateras to have his name known about what he witnessed on the ground in Tokyo after an interview with Fox News.


Prior to witnessing the earthquake and afterwards, Pateras made his way to six continents capturing one of the most magical places including the famous marks in China and Greece.


His work showcases both landmarks and his interaction with the locals of what life is like both in a civilized and a tribal world in different continents.


“It taught me that there are billions of lives, each with a different story, different struggles and different happy moments,” said Pateras about his experiences around the world.


The Canadian photographer is of Greek descent who’s aware of his ancestorial history and culture.


A photoshoot of a native local in Indonesia. Bali is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Asia. (COURTESY/ANDREW PATERAS) 


“My own heritage is also one of the world’s oldest. I am of Greek descent, and I spend every summer in Greece, teaching my sons about their history and their culture.”


Pateras visits Greece every summer where he spends time with his family. He’s taken the opportunity to explore Greece’s historical areas of history that includes The Acropolis, Nafplio (which was once Greece’s capital), and Mycenae, an ancient Greek Citadel.


He was a guest speaker at the Hellenic Cultural Society of South Florida in his experience capturing Greece at Florida Atlantic University.


His work, whether it was Europe, Asia, Australia, or any part of the world, was to remind the public including, travelers, natives, and ancestors of what life is like those particular continents.


The view of culture and customs in different continent and regions that includes language, environment, and state of mind.


The fascination of different landmarks that includes the Great Wall of China, Petronas Twin Towers, Tiananmen Square, Niagara Falls, Taj Mahal, The Temple of Poseidon, and the Ancient City of Petra where Pateras has travelled exploring history.


“It taught me that there are billions of lives, each with a different story, different struggles and different happy moments,” said Pateras in his experience coming in contact with people from different walks of life.


Pateras’ interaction with people from different cultures has taught him the value of moments where everyone either has a happy moment or a time of struggle. Every culture has a different mindset and a different way of thinking especially in eastern and western cultures.


An abandoned ship on the beach with a full view of the sky. Pateras has viewed other scenic areas in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. (COURTESY/ANDREW PATERAS) 


Photographs tell the story from a visual standpoint. The Canadian native’s photography work has captured the most notable landmarks around the world.


China’s Macau, which was once a Portuguese colony, is considered to be the Las Vegas of Asia with casinos having a European feel. The building had a Las Vegas vibe that also included casinos like the Wynn. 


Some areas in other countries didn’t always sit well with the locals as some had seen a camera.

“Because my favorite subject matter is people, I regularly had run ins with people that didn’t even like to see a camera. My time in the South China sea comes to mind. It was a very cool gate that had military guards in Sanya on Hainan Island in China,” said Pateras about the problems that he ran into abroad. “Alli di was put my hands on my camera around my neck and the guards started shouting and running towards me with AK47s at the ready.”


Some places didn’t always appreciate seeing a camera, where certain things would come to a misunderstanding.


Pateras’ experience with religious countries, such as Israel, where his work also encountered viewing Temple Mount, one of the most important sites in Israel.


The role of photography comes with many rewards and values going from place to place resulting in creativity.


World travelling is something that Pateras has been able to thrive as a photographer to capture the most monumental areas in the world.


What’s next for him in the photography journey?


“In the next 5 years< I plan to introduce my sons to more complex cameras and travel the world with them to give them similar experiences that my part rents provided me. We are planning a trip to Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia) and another trip to Australia. These are in addition to our annual trips to Europe.”

Edited by Joseph Hammond and Newsdesk Manager

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