As the son of Greece's last king, Prince Nikolaos' life was never going to be traditional. A former Fox News journalist in New York, an international banker, the 48-year-old eventually decided to pursue his love of photography going professional less than 10 years ago.
His latest work, a collection of Greek seasonal landscapes in an exhibition titled Phos: Journey of Light, is now on display at Melbourne's Hellenic Museum.
Born in Rome, raised in London end educated in the US, Prince Nikolaos says he was inspired by Australian landscape photographer Murray Fredericks to pursue his hobby.
"I really identify with Murray's works. He's a fantastic photographer and spends weeks at a time on trips taking pictures in open light," says Prince Nikolaos.
"What drew me to his work is his love of vast wide-open spaces – you get to see that in the images he takes of the sea, desert and architecture," he says.
A turning point
But it was during a trip to Arizona with his wife, Princess Tatiana, in 2011 when his favourite pastime officially became a full time job. His works have since shown at Christie's in London and he was selected for a Philippe Starck Studio curated exhibition at La Almazara in Spain.
"I never thought I could take a picture of a landscape, it always felt far too difficult a task to reproduce the beauty one sees when they look at nature. But it was really my wife who liked what I did and told me to do it," says Nikolaos.
The call of home
The couple moved to Greece in 2013, entering the country at the height of its financial crisis. It was a gutsy move for a Hedge fund son whose family were exiled from the country in the late '60s.
"Greece is part of my heritage and its existence has been ingrained in me since a very young age," says Nikolaos.
"I wasn't able to travel there for a long time, but it has always been a romantic notion and yearning in my mind," he recalls.
His first visit to Greece was for his grandmother Queen Frederica's funeral in 1981 – his family was only allowed to stay a few hours. "I was taken aback by the breathtaking nature of the country. I was emotionally eschewed to that," says Nikolaos.
But more than just migrating to his family's homeland, Nikolaos is passionate about helping its people. He does a lot of charity work including being a member of Symplefsi – a Greek non-profit volunteer organisation supporting local communities on remote islands.
Princess Tatiana also does her bit for charity with her book The Taste of Greece. It features recipes by a star-studded line up of friends including fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg and Ariana Huffington with proceeds going to to Boroume – an organisation that donates meals throughout Greece and raises awareness of food waste.
Where the light shines
Nikolaos loves nothing more than setting off early in the morning to take photographs – it's his new way of life.
"I find the light at that time of day is exceptional. We're used to seeing sunset every day of our lives but not every day do we see the sunrise," he says.
"Poets and authors have gravitated to Greece for a long time and I hope to shed some light on its beauty through this exhibition."
Phos: Journey Of Light is on at the Hellenic Museum, Melbourne, until 29 July 2018.