Hi Helin! Could you tell us a little bit about your background, and how you came to take such incredible photographs?
I’m a freelance interior and stage designer and 3D artist based in Berlin. After completing my bachelor studies in architecture in Istanbul, I decided to move to Berlin to do my master’s in art at the Berlin Weissensee School of Art which opened up new dimensions between architecture and art for me, enabling me to work in a more interdisciplinary way with media such as video and photography. Both during and after my studies I participated in many group exhibitions, including the 6th European Month of Photography Berlin in 2014.
How did you get into photography?
I started taking photos a couple of years ago when I got my first camera. I tried it out in Iceland, which is the most inspiring country I’ve ever been to. Moving to Berlin made it possible for me to travel and take photos more often. I’ve been to many countries including Iceland, Ethiopia, Thailand, the Philippines, India, and many European countries, experienced different cultures and captured numerous moments during my trips – moments which I like to share with others.
What are some of your favorite things to photograph?
I love to capture natural, spontaneous moments, but I also have an obsession with clear compositions and geometrical shapes. I guess that is a result of my architecture background. I enjoy combining these two things the most.
How do you get the best out of a person when shooting a portrait?
I don’t shoot portraits so often, but when I do, I try to do it secretly because people act differently when they know that they are being photographed. And it kills the naturalness of the moment.
Has Instagram changed the way you photograph?
Yes it has changed it a lot. At the beginning I used Instagram to share my old travel photos. Over time it has become a daily activity, which has turned my interest more toward urban and street photography, since I live in a city.
Furthermore, I have discovered the capabilities of mobile photography through Instagram. I used to only shoot with my camera and avoid editing my photos too much, but now I also take photos with my mobile phone and edit them.
What do you want to say with your photographs, what message do you want to convey?
I don’t have a conscious message. I just come across things in my life and capture and interpret them through my photos. It’s a kind of documentation of the life through my eyes.
Who or what inspires you?
Everyday life and travel experiences are my biggest inspiration. I believe that there are so many ordinary things in life which we just overlook, and photography makes it possible to see and capture these moments.
What motivates you to continue taking photographs?
The opportunity of sharing my point of view with millions of people and all the good feedback that I get.
How do you find subjects that you want to take photos of? For example, do you travel to locations you know you’ll find appealing, or take pictures as you experience life?
Usually I don’t look for places to photograph, almost every picture that I take is based on a spontaneous moment. Wherever I am, I have my camera and mobile phone with me, and my photos are just things that I stumble upon.
Among your photos, which are your favorite(s) and why?
My favorite photos are the spontaneously captured ones which include contrasts. For instance, visual contrasts like an artificial or natural, strong and clear background and a living creature that destroys its clearness. I also love to use contextual contrasts such as irony and dark humor.
Do you have a favorite project you worked on, or a series that you’re most proud of?
My series Human Lines that was exhibited at a festival in Berlin last year is one of my favorites. It shows moments of people in their artificial environments in four different European cities. It emphasizes that visual contrast I described above.
And finally, what is on the cards for you in the future?
I aim to experience and see as much as possible and share what I see with as many people as possible. I think I’m moving on the right path.