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Photographer Mert Arislan shares a minimilistic yet powerful body of work entitled The Soul along with an interview (below). Model: Persina Tesic
            





RM
Hello Mert, thank you for your time!
Your photography series The soul is beautiful, what does the soul mean to you?

MA
For me, the soul is the body's power-battery of ones life, ones existence. It’s your essence as long as you live. You exist with its emotion, passion in any situation until your last breath. It is actually the fundamental reason why we’re alive…






RM
It sits well with our launch issue’s ( ZERO ISSUE ) concept, the thought of ZERO + the soul - rather dramatic …  

You started as a portrait photographer, obviously emotion is crucial to the creative process. How does this cross over in your fashion photography or how do you wish to reflect emotion in your current work?

MA
Yes, it was and still is. Portrait photography was pure emotion for me. You meet with so many different people and you are standing in front of your camera seeing them just the way they are. That moment of being purely natural without any set-up. Of course, it affected my fashion photos as well. There are so many extra elements you can set-up in a studio, I still want to see that person's natural, pure soul in their eyes. I want my photos to be timeless, then the emotion or soul can live forever.






RM
Who is Mert Arislan?

MA
I born in 1989 in Istanbul. I studied Photography. I worked for 8 years in a leading newspaper in Turkey as a portrait photographer. I worked with so many actors, actresses, authors and artist there. Now I am focusing on fashion photography as an independent photographer.






RM
and what do you admire?

MA
I admire power. It is magic that gives you that feeling to stand up again, no matter what you have experienced.






RM 
Interesting, could you elaborate, is there a certain strength within power you draw from?

MA
The power inside, the force. It contains everything...





RM
and what is your story, when did you first hold a camera?

MA
The first time I held a camera was as a child, I used to play with my father’s film camera.
Since I was little, our dad captured every moment of us. I think my passion comes from there.





RM
A year ago you made the decision to quit your job as a portrait photographer working with a national newspaper and jump right into fashion photography with a debut in Vogue Turkey, can you tell us more about the decisive moment?

MA
Fashion has different dynamics. It always makes me happy but strong. I always admire fashion. I was always passionate about it. When I was shooting portrait photos, it was always there aside, waiting for me. And suddenly I found myself in Vogue :)






RM
Nice! And of course congratulations! :) Do you find your admiration for fashion developed through portraiture because the clothes, fabrics, style added a certain layer to a portrait, elevating the image some what? Or have you always had an appreciation for fashion and why is that?
In this series you work with minimal fashion, was this to reveal "the soul” and do you think fashion can interrupt the timelessness of an image?
Alot of questions ...   

MA
I have always had an appreciation for how fashion accentuates the aesthetics of a portrait and adds to the overall look. However, in a minimalist exercise, I am able to strip away any date or time stamp that allows
me (and the viewer) to focus on the inert personality that is revealed in the portrait. The contours of each individual’s face is a separate and beautiful canvas that is more cleanly revealed as I play with the light.





RM
Could you share your favourite past time?

MA
The times when I don't think about the future :)






RM 
:) ... and lastly what or where is currently your favourite place?

MA
Crowded streets full of different stories.




Thank you for sharing your work and time!