Meet Doruk Barin, our car photography award winner, born in Istanbul in 1999. From childhood fascination to a thriving career, he shares insights into his journey, the winning shot's story from Gökçeada where the car becomes part of the scene. Explore the world of automotive photography with a passion for cars, architecture, and the perfect moment.

How did you end up behind the camera?

I was born in 1999 in Istanbul. Like many people, I was interested in cars. Honestly, I started this business because if I photographed a Porsche, I could sit in the car for a while! That's exactly how I started. After completing my fine arts education at university, I worked full time for 2 years in one of the best studios in Turkey. In 2020, I started my behind the camera career focusing on automobile photography.

What is the story behind the winning shot? What inspired you to capture it?

This shot was taken in Gökçeada, the westernmost point of Turkey. It was the last shot of the project. In a perfect car shot, the car is not the center of the photo but part of the scene. It's a way of showing the lifestyle you want to be in. As a photographer, in the desolate, windy and perfect light of the island, I already felt like I was in the frame. The fact that the model was just looking off into the distance meant that everything was okay for me.

What made you want to participate in these Awards?

I have been following Production Paradise for a long time with great pleasure. In the past years I was very excited to see the shortlisted and winning contestants in the Spotlight Awards. Especially as some of the photographers were people I looked up to. So I waited for a long time and for the first time I made sure that I wanted to participate in this competition. This is my first award and I hope it will continue.

What is your favorite piece of equipment or photography gear, and how does it enhance your work?

As I said before, in car shots the car is part of the scene, not the center of the photo. To capture this mood you need a practical and powerful camera. That's why I enjoy doing it with a medium format Fujifilm 100s body and a 32-64mm lens. It's fast when I want to work in the moment and has a great dynamic range.

What do you think is necessary to become a successful commercial photographer?

Most people who do automobile photography finish what they want to do first in their minds and then on the shoot. But there is one important concept: coincidence. Sometimes coincidences can elevate a photograph to a very good level. To capture or create these moments, you should always train yourself in the visual arts.

What do you like the most about being a cars photographer?

I love cars, photography and architecture. Being a car photographer connects me closely with these three subjects. In addition, it gives me the opportunity to be in the most beautiful places in the world at the best time.

How do you choose the locations or settings for your car photography, and how does the environment influence your creative decisions during the shoot?

As in many jobs, a mood is created by the agency according to the identity of the client and the car. Me and my team analyze this and start looking for locations. Unfortunately, there are two types of locations: rental locations and locations where money is no object! Once we have identified the locations and environments that are suitable for our project, I visit them because sometimes photos can be misleading. Most importantly, it can limit your creativity. So I go to the location, walk around, check the weather conditions and assess the possibilities. Sometimes I'm trying to make a plan only for the light which will last only 15 minutes. Sometimes I notice something on the day of the shoot that I didn't see during the scouting.

Many thanks to Doruk Barin for sharing his insights and the story behind his first award. His perspective of the car photography and expertise add immense value to our discussion. We wish him that this won't be the last award he will receive.