My name is Birgül Koç, I’m from Istanbul Turkey. I am a medical doctor, specializing in gynecology. I also studied photography and videography at university. My interest in photography started 9 years ago. But since 2019 l take only candid street photographs. I love being on the streets, casually, trying to document valuable moments of beauty before they evaporate. I am not against melancholy, yet I am a cheerful person therefore most of the time I capture joyful stories of life. My camera has become an extension of my cheerful disposition. As the Zen master Shunryu Suzuki says, “I am looking forward to catching up to the spirit of a beginner after the paths of learning.”
On the streets, I concentrate solely on the atmosphere, I observe everything that is going on. I try to combine extraordinary acts, absurdities, colors and shadows to create a meaningful scene.
When I spot a potential case, I wait patiently, I wander around it and try to take the best shot. A successful street photograph should tell a story, reveal an emotion and should not be repeatable, though we know how difficult that ban be.
I live in Istanbul, a beautiful city, where it is always possible to encounter a new scene that excites me. When I leave my home, every corner and every street has potential. My photographs are taken spontaneously, without any intended fiction. Often the effect of light and shadow are very helpful.
I took photos in various styles and then put my camera aside for a long time. After discovering Vivian Maier, my connection with photography gained another dimension. Vivian’s style and passion excite me very much. Then I started working on street photography and never left my camera at home. Being on the street makes me feel free; I find communication between people, body language, the effect of light on the scenes, shadows being added and removed, and producing new scenes from all these moments to be very exciting.
I have read several books on Zen. I am trying to implement this on the street and to stay in the mind of the beginner. Like shooting an arrow over and over, the important thing is not to hit the target, but to live in the moment. A naturally fired arrow finds the target by itself. When there is compulsion, it is easily noticed by the subject. Life is too extraordinary to be fictionalized, and when I am patiently in the flow, it takes me towards a photograph. Enjoying these moments and walking for miles on the street makes me happy.