Photographer : Eylül Aslan
This month we had the chance to talk with Eylül Aslan, a Turkish photographer based in Berlin whose work perfectly reflects that sensuality is somewhere between purity and sexual tension…
TS: Tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, where are you based, what do you do for living (if its something else different than photography)…
EA: I am from Istanbul, Turkey but I moved to Berlin in 2012, I live and work here since then. I got a Bachelor’s Degree in French Language and Literature and I also worked as a translator but my profession is being a freelance photographer.
EA: I was (though unintentionally) looking for a way to express myself. I was not able to show my true self in the society that I lived in. I was always someone’s daughter, sister… I was not Eylül. The person I was inside had always feared to show who she is, but with photography I could do whatever I wanted and nobody would know about it. Well, that changed a bit now (thankfully).
TS: What camera do you use? What do you think/prefer about analogue vs digital?
EA: I have a lot of cameras but my favorite one is my mother’s old camera, which she gave me in 2007 and since then I use it. It is a Nikon f90x. I also have a Nikon d80. Also a Ricoh and a Yashica, which is unfortunately broken now. I always prefer analogue photography because it just feels different and I started with that, it is what is familiar to me. But I love taking photos, does not matter that much if it is with a phone or a digital camera or whatever.
EA: I am a Taurus. I am just a sensual person, it is a big part of my personality. And I guess I am pretty good at showing that. That is why it exists in my photography, because it reflects me directly.
EA: It really depends which photo we are talking about. The answer is both.
TS: What elements help you bring out sensuality in your images?
EA: In an ironic way, disappointment. Basically feelings affect that.
TS: Where do you draw the line between erotic photography and pornography?
EA: I think it is about the way the artist approaches his/her subject. In erotism the artist’s concern is not to give an immediate arousal to the viewer (which is to me what pornography aims, leaving nothing to the imagination), but it is to show the subject in an aesthetic way, to respect it and to make it look interesting.
TS: What is the relationship you have with your subjects? Friends, models, autoportraits?
EA: I started with taking a lot of self portraits because what I wanted to capture was all about me, my feelings, dreams, ideas. My best model was myself, because I was always available (naturally) and I knew what I wanted and it was easy to just do it rather than explaining it to someone else. I was also photographing my cousin who used to live with me back then. She was the one who convinced me to start a flickr account, which is why I started to take photography more seriously. I received a lot of motivation and encouragement through flickr. I also had support from fellow photographers. I got to work as a photographer’s assistant. Over time I got more confidence and I started approaching interesting people in the street. They also became models. Now I am always receiving e-mails from different people telling me that they would love to model for me and I really appreciate that! So it is a mix of everything, I guess.
TS: Your work is really creative, and some of it seems to have a lot of inspiration from art. What photographers/artists have influenced your work?
EA: I am influenced by everything that surrounds me, I am not sure if I can give specific names for that, there are countless sources of inspiration. I often take notes/ sketch when I think of a specific idea and then I realize it when I get the chance.
TS: What keeps you interested? Do you have any other passion besides photography?
EA: Traveling, discovering new places, new tastes, new cultures. And literature! I am a bookworm. I cannot go anywhere without a book
TS: Are you working on another project at the moment ?
EA: Yes, I would like to publish my third photography book in 2016.