At some stage we have all viewed our life’s lot as a fickle friend. Living to work or working to live is a question many of us struggle to answer. Some of us hold on to dreams to one day pluck up the courage to say goodbye to the daily grind and show the world what living your passion is really about. But the thin line between taking action to fulfil lifelong dreams and facing the daunting grips of reality can be enough to make anyone bury their head in the latest staff meeting minutes.
What makes Northern Territory photographer George Fragopoulos so successful is that he gave his ‘dream job’ a shot and has never looked back.
‘Challenging but fulfilling is a good way to describe it. Not many people know that I am actually also a registered Chiropractor’ says George.
Many people in Darwin now know George as the mastermind behind the lens and responsible for many sought after wedding, portrait and corporate photos. Now operating a successful studio under the newly branded GEORGE Photography, George is also an Associate Australian Institute of Professional Photographer and is very close to achieving his ‘Master of Photography’ title.
Starting his early years in Darwin and later moving to Melbourne, George found his calling in a photography class at high school. As he grew older, the vision to establish himself as a professional photographer was a natural progression. But many people warned him that the path less travelled often ends in failure. In short, the statistics on the amount of photographers who actually make a full-time living operating solo painted a grim tale for young George.
‘I decided to get a real job and liked helping people, the life of a Chiropractor seemed like a pretty good fit,’ explains George.
Throughout University, George continued his love for a great photo working with Melbourne based XSiGHT Photography and Video. Growing his skills under the guise of a hobby, George assisted world-renowned photographers Jerry and Nick Ghionis. Eventually after working hard juggling demands as a full-time professional Chiropractor and growing requests for his skills as a photographer, he was offered an opportunity that would turn is passion into a career. Together with his new wife Fiona, George made a life changing decision and returned to Darwin in 2009 to launch an XSiGHT Photography and Video studio.
‘I have always believed that you should live your life on your own terms and if there is something you really want to do there is nothing stopping you from achieving it except your own passion and determination’ explains George.
In the almost 6 years since, George has faced many of the challenges that make people question whether they are good enough to make their dream a reality. ‘Since deciding to turn my passion of photography into a career there has been times where I’ve thought a 9-5 job would be so much easier but then I’m reminded that the opportunity to grow and learn comes when you are most uncomfortable, being comfortable isn’t the objective, living life to the full and being all that you can be is’
While it may be a daunting task, creating the life dreams are made of isn’t impossible. Finding the balance and taking on personal projects are just some of the advice George has for people looking to realise their potential. ‘One of the most important things is to have pride in what you do. Everything you create is a reflection of who you are and the person you are trying to become. Create things that you are proud of for others and put aside time do and learn things that give you inspiration.’
‘Just like one of my favourite quotes by American Physiologist Abraham Maslow: A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be’.
As a side project, George also photographs kids each year for his book series: “Kids of Darwin”. Through this book series he raises money for charity and now photographing the 4th volume. To find out more and how to get involved visit the website: www.kidsofproject.com.au