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  • Featured Photographers Of TheLifeStyleElite.com

    Spiro Mandylor, our next featured photographer has become a staple on the Toronto fashion scene. He can be seen out at the hottest fashion events, designer previews, and essentially anywhere a fashion is.

    What’s your background? [TheLifeStyleElite.com]

    My parents are both Greek, both from the beautiful island of Crete. [Sprio Mandylor]  

    Where are you from?

    I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I’ve also lived in Chile, South America and in London, UK for a few years.   antwaune gray,thelifestyleelite,cheyan gray,the lifestyle elite,thelifestyleelite.com,Sprio Mandylor,sprio,itsallstyletome.com

    What is it about photography that made you want to become a photographer.

    Irrespective of race, color or creed – photography is the universal communicator. Everyone loves and connects with a great photograph. Some believe you can say the same about music, but I don’t like all kinds of music. I think that a beautiful photograph touches everyone and when you factor in the times we are living in, photography is more relevant than ever.    

    antwaune gray,thelifestyleelite,cheyan gray,the lifestyle elite,thelifestyleelite.com,Sprio Mandylor,sprio,itsallstyletome.com

    What got you started in photography?

    I had used photography as a means to capture my travels, so that I could turn the photos of landscapes and cityscapes into oil paintings. Over time, I found myself getting more involved in photography and really trying to understand all aspects of the art. Much of what I know about fine art influences my photography.  

    How long have you been a photographer?

    That’s a difficult question because when does one technically ‘become’ a photographer? Is after taking your first photo and posting it on Facebook/Instagram? Is it when you show your work in a gallery? Is it when you sell your first piece? For me, it was about 10 years ago when I took the first set of photos that finally made people take a second look. Prior to that it was just capturing images in an unstructured manner.

    antwaune gray,thelifestyleelite,cheyan gray,the lifestyle elite,thelifestyleelite.com,Sprio Mandylor,sprio,itsallstyletome.com

    What is your favorite subject to shoot?

    Traditionally, it had always been street photography. I have a thing for that mix of nature, architecture and people in a scene. Over the past 2.5 years, the creation of my blog launched me into the world of fashion and style photography as I needed to create content. Namely, backstage fashion, street style, red carpet, and event photography. Lately, I have become obsessed with portraits. Especially close-ups.  

    What do you love about living in Toronto’s ?

    To be honest, not a heck of a lot. Although some great footage comes out of Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week, there is little that inspires me in Toronto. It’s a big unattractive concrete jungle and the people all look pretty miserable most of the time. Perhaps it’s the cold weather, or maybe just the grind (long work hours, traffic jams, etc.). I have been to over 30 countries and around 200+ cities in my life, so I think I can pass judgement. When you compare Toronto to places like New York, Barcelona, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, etc. there just isn’t any comparison.

    antwaune gray,thelifestyleelite,cheyan gray,the lifestyle elite,thelifestyleelite.com,Sprio Mandylor,sprio,itsallstyletome.com

    What is your favorite photography gear to use?

    I am sponsored by Olympus Digital Photography and as one of their Visionaries I really love their micro four thirds systems. My go-to camera is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and their collection of very fast high-quality prime lenses – 17mm, 45mm and 75mm (34mm, 90mm, 150mm full-frame equivalent). The OM-D is so compact, lightweight, weather sealed, and shoots at 16 mps. The sensor is smaller than a DSLR, but just look at the photos. The results are unreal. It’s especially great for travel, street style and event photography.

    What is your favorite photograph you ever took?

    I would have to say that there are two that come to mind, both taken in Brazil. Garota de Ipanema (2002) and Play Time in the Storm Sewer (2005) both hold a special place in my heart. They are just so candid and make me feel like I’m looking through a portal into the past whenever I look at them. Technically, they mark a turning point as well. It’s when my photography started to evolve and people took notice.

    antwaune gray,thelifestyleelite,cheyan gray,the lifestyle elite,thelifestyleelite.com,Sprio Mandylor,sprio,itsallstyletome.com

    What is your favorite fashion item?

    Being in fashion, I have a relatively vast collection of apparel, footwear and accessories. Favorite items change with the seasons, but I am pretty proud of my huge tie collection. If I had to nail down one favourite fashion item though, it would have to be my Breitling for Bentley wristwatch.    

    antwaune gray,thelifestyleelite,cheyan gray,the lifestyle elite,thelifestyleelite.com,Sprio Mandylor,sprio,itsallstyletome.com

    What is the hardest thing you have found about being a photographer?

    Getting paid! Things have changed so much in the past few decades and a lot of that has to do with digital camera technology and the internet. Nowadays, any kid with their parents credit card can waltz into a camera shop and buy a mid-to-high-end digital camera with all the fixings, set it to ‘auto’ and fire away. Suddenly, they consider themselves self-professed professional photographers. 

    Pair the accessibility of high-technology cameras with mass distribution via the internet and you can see that there is a massive surplus of photographers out there. Many are quite good, others not so much. This exponential increase in the supply gives media leverage. They are so reluctant to pay photographers for their work, promising exposure in place of money. Unfortunately, exposure doesn’t pay the bills. Any serious photographer will just say no. 

    What can’t you live with out?

    Travel. Doesn’t matter if it’s a road trip or transatlantic flight. I need to travel regularly to stay inspired and motivated.  

    antwaune gray,thelifestyleelite,cheyan gray,the lifestyle elite,thelifestyleelite.com,Sprio Mandylor,sprio,itsallstyletome.com

    Who is your favorite shoe designer?

    I have an affinity for Prada footwear. I’ve owned a few pairs and have always found the quality to be excellent. They have taken a beating and outlasted all other brands of footwear that I have owned. So worth the money.

    antwaune gray,thelifestyleelite,cheyan gray,the lifestyle elite,thelifestyleelite.com,Sprio Mandylor,sprio,itsallstyletome.com<

    What are your favorite fashion designers?

    People ask that question a lot and I always respond the same way. It’s not the designer, it’s the collection that matters. Creative directors for high fashion labels come and go. New creative direction can turn a label I loathe into one I admire and vice versa. For example, I never really cared for Louis Vuitton menswear, but since Kim Jones came on board he’s been blowing my mind. Givenchy under Riccardo Tisci has been incredible, as have recent menswear collections from Gucci, Burberry, Dior Homme, Trussardi, and Canali. That could all change in the coming seasons of course.  

      antwaune gray,thelifestyleelite,cheyan gray,the lifestyle elite,thelifestyleelite.com,Sprio Mandylor,sprio,itsallstyletome.com

    How would you describe your fashion style?

    I’ve always joked that it’s my own brand of ‘James Bond villain chic’. I have always enjoyed a mix of traditional with contemporary European style. As you get older, you find a formula that works and tend to stick to it.    

    What is the most underrated item in menswear and womenswear?

    The most underrated item in menswear is a decent carryall or travel bag. Women get this, men are slowly catching on. As for womenswear – never underestimate the power of fishnet stockings.

    antwaune gray,thelifestyleelite,cheyan gray,the lifestyle elite,thelifestyleelite.com,Sprio Mandylor,sprio,itsallstyletome.com

    What is in your iTunes / Bookshelf / Blu Ray player at the moment?

    My iTunes is full of electronic music podcasts like Group Therapy Radio, Noire Music, and A State of Trance to name a few. The bookshelf is mainly fashion magazines like 10 Men, Style.com/Print, LOVE, and British GQ. The Blu Ray never gets used as I spend most of the time watching Premier League football and Netflix. I’ve lost interest in movies and have been getting into TV shows like Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy and Mad Men. 

    Who is your Favorite Musician? 

    Too many to list. I love Jack White (White Stripes fame), he’s the real deal.  

    What can’t you live without?

    Didn’t we answer this? LOL  

    Where do you see your photography in the next 10 years going?

    Great question. I think I’ve done a good job of covering the Bill Cunningham territory of street style, front row, red carpet, events, etc. I need to start getting into more studio work and shooting editorials. I have a lot of creative ideas that I would like to see come to life. It’s just a matter of finding the right people to do them with.

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