Born in 1976 in Istanbul/Turkey, Cenk Bayirli is a passionate amateur spirited photographer specialized in black and white photography.
He’s married with 2 children and based in Istanbul. After graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a mechanical engineering degree, he did his masters at Johns Hopkins University and earned his Executive MBA from Koc University in his hometown. He currently works as a director in a private non-profit University in Istanbul. His interest in photography grew later in life, particularly after the birth of his 2nd son. His approach to life and photography is inspired by Rumi’s saying “What You Seek Is Seeking You” which he interprets as “what you pursue as your dreams are also trying to find their way to you; you should follow your intuition to intersect with your true calling”. With this philosophy in mind, he always follows his intuition especially in street photography.
Highly influenced by Ara Guler, Bruce Gilden, Gilles Peress, Sebastiao Salgado, Steve McCurry, Ralph Gibson, and William Klein. Self-taught and practicing frequently, the random local people and their stories became his main subject. His documentary photography is mainly based on hours of waiting to be able to capture a spontaneous real life moment using layers to tell a story in a black and white frame. His work is focusing on human conditions, elements, realities and diversities of human life. He likes to take close up photos of people to reveal the emotions. He explains that each image is the result of long conversations, caring, showing respect and establishing a connection and interaction with the people. His motto is “always treat people the way you would like to be treated yourself”. As Ralph Gibson reveals “you need a point of departure”. He draws on who he is and expresses himself working on long term projects in mind. He randomly visits the same locations and the same people again and again until a connection comes up. He prefers to use one camera and one lens for his projects for the consistency and quality of the work. [Official Website]