Interview with Mutlu Gunenc

Some weeks ago I discovered by accident photographer Mutlu Gunenc. With great surprise I found out that he's living in Switzerland just around the corner of our Tilpy office. Of course I had to get in contact with him immediately. The next day the door bell was ringing and Mutlu dropped in our shiny office.

Mutlu is a very talented photographer who focuses on landscape, street & city pictures and makes use of the strengths of black 'n white photography. 

1. How do you get the person, place or thing that is in front of the camera onto the film, chip or paper in just the way you want?

I prefer their natural environment where they can feel comfortable. Usually I spend a lot of time with them, until I am invisible or part of their comfort zone. Then I start taking pictures so that they are not posing. For me, everything must be real, not artificial. It's not natural anymore, if someone poses. All my objects and subjects are part of my stories, therefore I let them play their roles and my camera does the rest.

2. Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?

I have learned “the critical moment” from Henry Cartier Bresson. I have learned to respect the Nature from Sebastio Salgado. And I have learned simplicity from Michael Kenna. All those great photographers have huge impact to my personality and emotions. Because they consider photography not as art but life itself. Without being part of the life, capturing things and moments are meaningless. All my pictures are actually my “thank you” letter to the life.

3. What is it you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?

It depends. I always ask myself “why do I need to take or capture this object/person/moment?” . This is a very simple question. However, if your picture can not provide the answer, then you need to talk instead of your photo. For me, this is the only difference between good and bad photographies. Bad photos need words, explanations.  

4. What was your career path? How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time, for a living?

Actually I am not there yet to provide my living from photography. But I will retire from photography, because it's my life, my passion. I have a handful of students. I provide them technical skills courses and online composition trainings. In addition to that, I have specific projects (like portraits; photo book etc.).

5. What technology/software/camera gear do you use to keep focused on what you do best, as you photograph?

My best technology/software/camera/lenses are my eyes. I think THE most important rule for any photographer is that they must know how to look. We all have the eyes, but most of us do not know how to look. If this is the case, you can not fill the gap by expensive gears. All the great equipment does not make us good photographers. A photographer needs to be part of the life. He must use all his senses by feeling, hearing, smelling, touching the situation, environment & moment he's part of and look at it precisely. Then we can talk about capturing the moment.

Coming back to question I have Canon 7D with 16-35mm f2.8ISM; Canon 50mm f1.4 and Canon 70-200mm f2.8ISM lenses with Giotto carbon tripod. I use Nick Software for black & white.
I'll never use photoshop. If you know how and where to look at you'll get a good shot. I don’t think photoshop can fix a bad photo.

6. How do you get paid to do what you want to do with your photography?

My goal is to open up my own photography school in the future.

7. What motivates you to continue taking pictures economically, politically, intellectually or emotionally?

My emotions are my drivers. Therefore, as long as I feel, I press the shutter button. Of course, when I am full time photographer I will pursue economical goals to reach out more people who has the same passion and want to learn more about this art. Like I said: every pictures is my “thank you” letter to the life and I am so grateful that I can be part of it.

Mutlu Gunenc

"I have started photography 8 years ago, took some basic trainings in Istanbul and after moving to Switzerland, I had an opportunity to work with professional photographers to improve my skills, like Simon Watkinson."

Age: 44 
Hometown: Izmir, Turkey 
Lives in: Zurich
Tilpy Portfolio

Mutlu Gunenc
Photography by: Mutlu Gunenc

Mutlu Gunenc

Photography by: Mutlu Gunenc

Mutlu Gunenc
Photography by: Mutlu Gunenc

Mutlu Gunenc
Photography by: Mutlu Gunenc
Mutlu Gunenc
Photography by: Mutlu Gunenc

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