Meeting street photographers IV : Emre Ogan

I first got in touch with Emre through this website as we arrived in Istanbul. After a few missed opportunities, we finally got to meet and do some shooting together on our last night there. Emre took his daughter along, Zeynep, to help us with communication (though I eventually found out that Emre spoke amazing French) and we headed to Ara Güler’s coffee. Our outing ended on the shores of the Bosphorus after a few great discussions.

Emre with his one month old Leica M8

Zeynep elegantly carrying her Nikon

Emre has been 35 years into photography, going from street to studio work. An expert in automotive and architecture work, he also shoots extensively stock photos (and is teaching his daughter). I therefore took the opportunity to ask him a few questions and asked his opinion on shooting street photography for stock databases. (the pictures below were taken by Emre with his Leica M8 during our outing)

1) You have been for 35 years in photography, yet you only recently returned to street photography, can you explain why ?

On the early stages of my photo adventure, I was a street photographer. This went on for 5 years and later on turned out to a more dedicated, contractual commercial form. This went on for the next  35 years and all through out these years- on and off – I found the chance to shoot on the streets, especially on vacations and while I was traveling.  Then  iStockphoto started to accept editorial work, and it gave me the opportunity to start shooting again without carrying any commercial concerns. So once again I bought  a digital Leica M and hit the streets. Meantime I also created a blog to share my photo’s and ideas.

2) You shoot a lot for Istockphoto and have thousands photos available for sale, what is the opportunity to offer street photographs in these stocks ?

Yes I am shooting also for microstock market and these days, I began to sell my street photographs under the editorial content. It is a new market for street photographers and I think editorial content will grow very quickly in microstock. You can see some of my editorial work on following link;

As you know, for stock-photography market, model and property releases are the most important 2 things. Without these 2 forms signed out,  you can not use the photos for commercial purposes. With this is mind, Istockphoto has opened recently a new section called “editorial -use-only images” where you don’t need any more for model releases or property releases. You can get  info on this subject from their website :

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3)- Istanbul has changed a lot over the last 35 years, how did it impact street photography ?

35 years ago, when I used to take pictures of people on the streets, they use to ask me  “why do you take pictures of a people whom you don’t know?”,  today they ask me “which television channel, or newspaper these pictures are for?” 🙂

Thank you Emre, we had great pleasure meeting you and your daughter. To discover Emre’s website, click here.

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