The Greek, The Photographer, The Stylist
"If you have the opportunity
to do amazing things in your life
I strongly encourage you
to invite someone to join you."
"You don't have to live your life
the way other people
expect you to."
I'm Alexis the Greek,
the studio-independent photographer
and business stylist
between Portsmouth, New Hampshire,
and Portland, Maine.
My work is a combination of several things. I'm what's now being called "a creative" ("creative" has gone from being an adjective to being a noun) because I can never settle on just one thing, and all the things I do are creative things. I write. I photograph. I style. And usually, any given project requires me to do more than one of those things. Good for me, because I love them all, and good for you, because now you won't have to hire more than one person to get the jobs done.
Thanks so much for that [write-up] and the awesome photos!
It's the best story I've had yet—you should be writing for the Wire!
AMELIA, GALLERY OWNER
"ARE YOU GREEK?"
An older woman I'll call Dotty used to ask me this question daily. She would come into the breakfast place where I served coffee and she would say, "Remind me of your name, dear."
"Alexis," I would tell her, smiling.
“Alexis!” she'd cry—like, of course! now she remembered!—but I could tell she wasn't quite sure she did. "Alexis. That's a Greek name. Are you Greek?"
"I don't know," I'd tell her. "But I doubt it. I'm awfully tall."
"You're very pretty," she would say. "You have beautiful eyes. You would look very handsome next to my son."
"Oh, yeah?" I'd say.
She'd nod again. "He'd like you, too, I know. But he's married."
I would make a tut-tut sound against the back of my teeth. "That's a shame."
And she'd look down at her coffee and shake her head. ”Yes," she'd sigh. "It is."
ALEXIS THE PHOTOGRAPHER
I became a photographer in order to have a compelling way to tell my story. I don't know why, but I always had this notion in the back of my mind that I had to fight to be seen, and I thought if I could make things beautiful, and make beautiful things, then there would be space for me at the table. I made art and I made stories, and eventually I made photos.
My favorite thing to photograph is people. After people, I like to photograph details—all the stuff in the periphery, the little things that make a memory complete in the subconscious. I like to photograph one thing at a time, make that one thing the center of the story. I like to make everything I capture surprising somehow. Tell its story from an unexpected point of view.
ALEXIS THE ENTREPRENEUR
My first small-business job was washing dishes and making sandwiches in a cafe owned by an Italian man who always seemed to be in existential crisis. That cafe is gone now; I remember reading about it being gutted after the couple who bought it off the Italian man stopped paying their rent. That was a sad day for me. Although the job was hard because I never knew day to day which way the pendulum would swing, working there showed me how much I wanted one day to own my own business.
Since then I've gotten an invaluable business education in real-life experience. I've taught photography classes, worked on the road as a music manager, curated product spreads that have been featured on popular sites such as Etsy, inspired friends and acquaintances to launch businesses off their passions and talents, and run a million-dollar restaurant. This past year, I wrote a book about my business experience and the lessons I've learned. (You can get it August 2016!) I also work freelance as a business coach and stylist.
ALEXIS THE WRITER / FANGIRL / EVERYDAY HUMAN
If you love Gilmore Girls, we'll probably be friends. If you love Harry Potter, we'll definitely be friends. If you have Tom Cavanaugh's phone number, I will sell you part of my soul.
What else could I tell you that you might find interesting to know? I'm vegetarian. I used to be a model. I have a tattoo on my left arm of a seed springing forth from the earth and John 12:24 etched above it. I write all manners of fiction. I placed in the top eight finalists in an international screenwriting competition in 2012. I spend 20 minutes every morning putting on my makeup but can hardly be bothered to do my hair. I'm an ENTJ on the Myers-Briggs. And... I love cake.