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Platon Antoniou      

World-Renowned, Award-Winning Photographer & Founder of The People's Portfolio

Platon Antoniou brings his photos to life as he shares with audiences the inspiring stories behind the photos and connects on a human level to the human condition and humanity of his subjects. Having photographed world leaders, celebrities, our men and women in the military, civil rights leaders and human rights champions, Platon seeks to answer the question, “Who is this person?” A gifted communicator and storyteller, he shares with audiences some of the most poignant and mesmerizing stories behind the photos that will take your audience on a roller coaster of emotions—from laughter to tears.

After working for British Vogue for several years, Platon was invited to NYC to work for the late John Kennedy Jr. and his political magazine, 'George.’

Shooting portraits for a range of international publications including Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and the Sunday Times Magazine, Platon developed a special relationship with Time magazine, producing over 20 covers for them. In 2007, he photographed Russian Premier Vladimir Putin for Time Magazine's Person Of The Year cover. This image was awarded 1st prize at the World Press Photo Contest.

In 2008 he signed a multi-year contract with the New Yorker. As the staff photographer, he has produced several large-scale photo essays, two of which won ASME Awards in 2009 and 2010. Platon's New Yorker portfolios have focused on themes including the U.S Military, portraits of world leaders and the Civil Rights Movement.

In 2009, Platon teamed up with Human Rights Watch to help them celebrate those who fight for equality and justice in countries suppressed by political forces. These projects have highlighted human rights defenders from Burma as well as the leaders of the Egyptian revolution. Following his coverage of Burma, Platon photographed Aung San Suu Kyi for the cover of Time - days after her release from house arrest. In 2011, Platon was honored with a Peabody Award for collaboration on the topic of Russia's Civil Society with The New Yorker magazine and Human Rights Watch.

Platon has published four books of his work: PLATON’S REPUBLIC [Phaidon Press, 2004], a retrospective of his early work; POWER [Chronicle, 2011], one hundred portraits of the world’s most powerful leaders; CHINA: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS [The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015], in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and SERVICE [Prestel, 2016], dedicated to the men and women in the United States Military, their physical and psychological wounds, their extraordinary valor, and the fierce emotions that surround those who serve.

Platon's work has been exhibited in galleries and museums both domestically and abroad. He has exhibited in New York at the Matthew Marks Gallery and the Howard Greenberg Gallery, as well as internationally at the Colette Gallery in Paris, France. The New York Historical Society has exhibited a solo show of Platon's Civil Rights photographs, which remain as part of the museum's permanent collection. Other permanent collections holding Platon's photography include The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa, Florida and The Westlicht Museum for Photography in Vienna, Austria and the Scotland National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.

In 2013, Platon founded a non-profit foundation named The People's Portfolio. The foundation aspires to create a visual language that breaks barriers, expands dignity, fights discrimination, and enlists the public to support human rights around the world. He serves as the Creative Director at Large for the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, GA.

Platon is currently on the board for Arts and Culture at the World Economic Forum and serves as a steward for the Economic Growth and Social Inclusion Initiative.

Speech Topics


Powerful Portraits: An Intimate Look at Humanity and Leadership

A gifted communicator and storyteller, portrait photographer Platon shares his experience photographing an eclectic mix of world leaders, celebrities, our men and women in the military, members of the civil rights movement and human rights champions. He takes his audience on a roller coaster of emotions—from laughter to tears—with the most poignant and mesmerizing stories behind the photos. He answers the question, “Who is this person?” His presentation includes highlights from his book, Power, chronicling over 100 Heads of State including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Abbas, Hugo Chavez, Robert Mugabe and Silvio Berlusconi. He also shares the stories from his photo essays on the U.S. military, civil rights movement, his work with Human Rights Watch which includes the leaders of the Egyptian revolution, his photo for TIME of Aung San Suu Kyi and, most recently, photographing Edward Snowden in Moscow for his exclusive interview with Wired magazine. His presentation promises to leave your audience wanting more from this master of his craft.

The Power Workshop

In addition to his lecture, “Powerful Portraits: An Intimate Look at Humanity,” Platon has developed a follow-up workshop for those interested in delving deeper into the “people skills” of interacting with prominent figures. Platon’s unique experiences having intimate portrait sittings with world leaders and other high-profile subjects allows him to relay expert advice and counsel to clients looking to improve their skills with clients, colleagues or customers. Platon has over 20 years of experience working with high-profile people often in time-pressured situations and, as a result, has developed a unique way of breaking down social barriers in a very short space of time. By using some of these iconic photographs and communicating the circumstances with which the photographs were taken, Platon is able to teach his audience to spot the opportunities to create a connection between the parties involved. Selecting a few members from the audience, Platon uses a hands-on approach to demonstrate different issues like situational awareness, reading and diffusing personal insecurities and developing confidence. Some of the specific topics of discussion include the importance and the message in a handshake, eye contact and body language, as explained through the meetings and experiences with various cultural icons. Using an anecdotal and interactive approach, Platon offers this workshop as a learning tool for those who are interested in strengthening their ability to create trusting, respectful and productive business and personal relationships.

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