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REAL ESTATE - INTERVIEW

Interview with Architectural Photographer Ozan Çelik

Ozan Çelik is an architectural photographer who has studied architecture. His educational background and the city he lives in gives him a different perspective. We had a conversation about architectural photography with Ozan.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Ozan Çelik

Ozan Çelik

REAL ESTATE - INTERVIEW

by Melisa Kaya

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Usually, the photographic passion of architectural photographers is starting before their interest in architecture, and after education in photography, they choose architectural photography as their specialty. But Ozan preferred a different way at the beginning of his career and studied architecture firstly and then he began photography. This has given him the ability to look at from different perspective to architectural projects, details, and environment, while at the same this made it easier for him to understand his customers' wishes. I talked with Ozan Çelik about his career and the importance of photography in architecture.

Ozan, before start talking about Architectural Photography, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Ozan Çelik?

I grew up in İzmir, a beautiful seaside city in Turkey. Studied architecture here and worked for 2 years on the field. Then I left the office to start my own company. After some preparation time, I moved to Istanbul and had a good start to a new career.

I enjoy watching movies with friends and being with family. In my spare time, I like going to kitesurfing, playing tennis and driving any vehicle with 2 wheels. I love being around animals, especially dogs. Now I’m mostly in İzmir because I can handle this city much better.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

How did you decide to pursue a career in photography? What or who inspired you?

I wanted to pursue a career in any form of art. I went to the school of architecture (where I also started to learn photography). Art always inspired me and brought me joy at any time of my life. I admired the great artists of the renaissance era and tried to read light and composition through their work. I couldn’t draw or paint well but maybe studying architecture helped me see things from a different perspective.

So, I decided to be a “lazy painter.”

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

Could you tell us about Ozan Celik Photography?

I started my own company seeing that there’s a need for good photography in the architectural market. We always had problems while I was working in an architectural firm. So I started shooting our own projects. After I quit, I was the most asocial person due to studying photography from courses, tutorials and so on. But I felt great. And thanks to that educational period, I got to shoot for big clients just within 2 years.

Now I shoot mostly architectural and lifestyle for brands. And I also shoot food and product photography for books, catalogues, and social media.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

How would you describe your photographic approach?

In my opinion, a good photograph needs great detail, strong technical knowledge, and vision. I aim to shape every detail while coordinating the whole setup; train to catch up with the latest techniques whilst knowing the old tricks of the trade and most importantly; make it all look natural! And as a commercial photographer, the most important thing is to showcase my clients' work/product/service the best way possible.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

What type of services do you offer to architecture firms?

High-end photography. From wide angles to close-ups, drone shots to low angles…

I can shoot photos so that’s the first thing I try to accomplish the best. And considering the needs of my customers, I aim to step up their game while improving mine.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

How long does it take to complete an average architectural project's full photo work?

I scout the location and shoot each space when the natural light is best. If I have limited time, then I use strobes to mimic natural light. Beside wide angle shots, I like shooting close up details. I think it gives a stronger sense of the space and what the architect had accomplished there.

As an example, I complete shooting a 300m2 house in 2 days. For hotels and resorts, it can take a week to 12 days.

I like “painting with light” so sometimes I shoot 5 to 20 photos just to create a single image.

Therefore Photoshop work is as important as shooting and usually takes weeks to finish.

Which factors determine the project budget?

We prepare a shoot list together. Therefore it depends on how big the project is and what type of details-concept do they need.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

What is the most important component of a spectacular architectural photograph?

The sense of space.

How does the work of a professional architectural photographer add value to the architectural project?

I think photography is a great tool for “proof.” It shouldn’t add or reduce to any subject. It shows how great it is, or how bad it is, as it is. And as for commercial purposes, it’s a great medium for showcasing your architectural experience and captivating your potential buyers.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

What do you think about the effect of a good photograph in the buyer's decision?

I think in our time it’s the most effective tool for marketing because of the internet and social media. People choose their hotels, food, services etc. from lots of choices very rapidly. We follow some accounts just because they make us feel happy when we see their photo. We follow their content and photos, so in time we get more and more familiar with them, and their brand. That's the first thing a brand wants from their target buyers. To feel closer, safe and ready to pick you over another.

If you have good photos, you are one of the top picks.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

Do your equipment and project plan vary depending on the size of the building? What type of works do you prefer most, is it interior or exterior?

It changes depending on the feeling which we want to create while shooting. If we want to show the facade more majestic maybe I shoot wider... If we want to show the interior more cozy, maybe I shoot with warm evening lights and maybe through leaves. The same space looks all different during different times and various angles so it’s the photographers' talent to imagine and decide which way to pick. I like to experiment and improvise on the go so I use all my tools actually.

I shoot both interiors and exteriors. Enchanted by both.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

What are your expectations from your clients for a suitable shooting environment?

I’m usually comfortable while I’m working. Lots of people tell me about their previous experiences with photographers with ego. But I’m not like that. I enjoy while I shoot. In return, I expect the same. Give me space and time to craft the best photos for your brand.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

Could your clients use the photographs in any publication, catalog, website, ad or other platforms in the future?

It depends on the terms of that project but most of the time, yes.

We even try to include more brands to share the budget. For example, if I’m shooting a hotel for the architectural company, the hotel itself may want to use the photos, or the lighting company etc. So we license for more companies expecting the project to be more reachable budget wise.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

Smartphones and affordably priced DSLR cams made everyone is more enthusiastic about photography. How did this affect the professional photography industry?

I try to work with customers who can separate a professional and an enthusiast.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

What advice would you give to photographers who want to pursue a career in architectural photography?

I would recommend following different photographers with a different style. So it is easier to find their own voice in the future. If they have a chance to assist them on set its always a good step forward. Another thing is of course trying and failing and never giving up while digital era makes this all easier.

What type of different solutions do you offer for different needs? Could you briefly tell us about your other services?

As a second service, I started shooting short architectural films for customers. It’s a new process for me but I’m more than excited to learn new tricks and use them to enrich the projects I deliver.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

What do you think about social media? How do you use it for your profession?

Although I'm not fond of it, I use it for publishing my work and connecting with businesses. It’s an essential part of today's marketing. Though the best way to view my work is through my website. www.ozanphoto.com

How can our readers follow Ozan Çelik?

It’s @ozanphoto for Instagram and facebook.com/ozanphoto for Facebook.

Ozan Çelik

Photo by Ozan Çelik

Anything you would like to add that I haven’t asked?

Photography is a signature on time. Just like a creation of an architect. If successful, it remains for a long time. I think we are here to create some signatures on time, with any tool we’ve got.

Thank you Ozan for your time and this enjoyable interview.

For more information, please visit website of Ozan Çelik





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