The purpose of fashion photography is to create visuals containing artistic elements. Therefore, it gives the photographers the opportunity to use their own imagination. Thus, it aims at triggering consumers by leveraging imagination when promoting an ordinary product. Particularly throughout the pandemic, as online shopping has reached its peak, it has become one of the factors that affect the purchasing behaviors.
Recently, Turkish fashion photographers have also been successful in international projects. As fashion itself, fashion photography is also affected by the trends changing each year and each season. Lately, cover photo shoots via Facetime has become very popular.
Among the most renowned fashion photographers in Turkey, we should mention Tamer Yılmaz, founder of the photography studio called “Fabrika” in 1998; Nihat Odabaşı, awarded many times in “Pantene Png”; Koray Birand, whose photographs have been published in famous fashion magazines since 2003 as well as Lara Sayılgan, Şenol Altun, Nurhan Artar, Murat Sargın, Sedef Delen, Onur Doğu, Koray Erkaya, Hasan Hüseyin, Bennu Gerede, Zeynel Abidin Ağgül, Adil Gültekin, Cüneyt Akeroğlu.
Photo by Nurdan Usta
Nurdan Usta, one of the young fashion photographers recently involved in successful projects in Turkey, has shared her career path in fashion and photography industry during our exclusive interview.
IFA Paris – Istanbul: How did you first get into the fashion industry and photography?
Nurdan Usta: I met the sector when I joined the photography club in Mimar Sinan University while I was studying fashion there.
What attracted me the most was the different aspects and its dynamism. I prepared for the entrance exams once more and started studying photography. As of my 2nd year, I started working as an assistant. My spouse was always supportive. I am so thankful that afterwards I was able to achieve what I wanted in some way.
IFA Paris – Istanbul: What are the most challenging and the most pleasing aspects of your profession?
Nurdan Usta: I cannot describe it as challenging since I love what I do. However except aesthetic perspective, technical knowledge, etc., which are the musts, I can say that the element which requires experience is crisis management, which is very important.
IFA Paris – Istanbul: Could you talk about portrait shootings? How does it make you feel that you meet people with unique stories, and that you witness what they do as their profession?
Photo by Nurdan Usta
Nurdan Usta: In general, I love working on different things. It is also obvious in my photographs. I like working on different areas but interpreting them in my own way. Portrait, fashion, children’s fashion, fashion portrait, decoration and food are the areas I work on. These are all different than each other. But once you have the ability to communicate the feeling you intend to convey, and if you also have an aesthetic perspective, you can do many things.
I can say that it is somewhat like a musician playing multiple instruments. But of course, working with people is also what I like the most. And while shooting, I can reflect many different moods and feelings on the photographs. Perhaps, it is what makes my projects a bit different. I think specializing is important.
I can never underestimate it. But it is how my brain works, and this strengthens me. And while working with people, I also enjoy working with individuals from various industries. I see different things in each individual. And I learn. I have the opportunity to get to know precious individuals. And this makes me feel very lucky. For instance, artists, actors and actresses, fashion designers, children, business people, etc.
IFA Paris – Istanbul: What kind of changes have you observed in fashion industry over the years? What will be different in fashion in the future?
Nurdan Usta: I think there will be a trend towards more sustainable products. I guess we will see fabrics produced by different technologies in designs more. Maybe we will want to use some garments for longer. I do not know. We will see all together what this new period will bring to us. Maybe, we will wear designs made of antivirus fabrics. There was no face mask a year ago. Now, we have masks with stars, birds on them.
And along with the fashion giants, I think local designers will also be scaling up. Especially in Turkey, we have fashion designers who do their job in international standards. Although we are going through a tough period in terms of economy, I think they will scale up in the long term.
IFA Paris – Istanbul: As physical contact and travel have been restricted due to the pandemic, product and collection photography has become more important. What do you think?
Photo by Nurdan Usta
Nurdan Usta: Absolutely. People wanted to show themselves on online platforms. This emerged as a necessity. It was already there, but even smaller firms saw this need. Because they could not sell their products when there was no customer visiting the stores. They found themselves on the online market.
IFA Paris – Istanbul: What do you think of digitalized fashion weeks? Do you think we can go back to the old way?
Nurdan Usta: These digital shows, runways have emerged as a consequence of a necessity. We may get back to normal when this compulsory reason disappears but we have also seen that some things may also be maintained online. Digital has become an ideal alternative where it is applicable. We took photographs of someone in the USA and someone in Germany via Facetime while we were still in Istanbul. Are we going to get used to living with viruses? They say so… If it becomes the case, the solutions that we have temporarily adopted may become our normal.
IFA Paris – Istanbul: Based on your experiences, what do you suggest the fashion students to do to become successful in the fashion industry?
Nurdan Usta: I can suggest the fashion students to work hard, research a lot, to endure and not give up. This is valid not only for the fashion industry, but for everyone wishing to be successful. What matters is being innovative, keeping up with the changes, and most importantly, acting in good faith as a good person.