Philip Tsiaras was born in 1952 in Nashua, New Hampshire. His mother comes from Elassona, Thessaly, and his father from Prosvoro, a village in Western Macedonia. He graduated from the Amherst College, where he studied Comparative Literature, worked with Lucas Samaras, and after winning a prestigious award for his own poetry, he traveled to Greece on a fellowship in 1976 to translate modern Greek poetry into English. When he returned to the United States he started to work with photography, an occupation that evolved to the series of Family Album. At the same time he was exploring the relations between writing and visual representation. He states that: "each word is a rich world unto itself -a panoply, an icon, an untamed horse, a demon of description".