We want to introduce you to Kayahan Uluş  – a judge in Travel, Documentary and Landscape, and AI Image Developing & Creating categories in the Spotlight Awards. Read the interview with Kayahan to learn more about his perspective on advertising photography, AI-driven impact, and more.

Production Paradise: Can you please share with us your journey that took you to your current position as an advertising coordinator at Turkish Airlines?

Kayahan Uluş: It all started when my father, who is an architect, suggested the field of advertising to me. He believed that my social skills and awareness were good, so I thought I could succeed in this field. Initially, my dream was to become a director of photography or a director, but then I realized how closely intertwined advertising was with these fields. I studied advertising at university and started doing internships while still studying. We organized workshops and similar activities in our university’s advertising workshop. I had already started working while still studying. Afterward, I spent four and a half years in the agency world, working on social media management, content creation, and campaign strategies for important brands in Turkey and worldwide. I focused more on the digital area rather than traditional advertising. Following these successes, I found myself in the Turkish Airlines family, which is an advertiser in many countries.

Production Paradise: What are you the most interested in when seeing a portfolio of a new photographer?

Kayahan Uluş: The first things I look at are definitely style and brands. The more differences there are and the more successful they are in these differences, the more interested I am. Instead of photographers specializing in a single field, I usually find photographers who experiment with themselves more daring and open to development. Of course, our needs vary from project to project. Depending on the nature, size, and importance of the project, we can consider working with photographers specializing in that field or style.

Production Paradise: How do you think Production Paradise Spotlight Awards could benefit photographers and judges who participate in this event?

Kayahan Uluş: Each award is actually a challenge. For both participants and juries… It is a process where there are no right or wrong, and both winners and other participants should ask themselves what they can do better. It is also a great opportunity for juries to see the world differently, to understand what they can expect from photographers, and how they can create better synergy together to produce outstanding work.

Production Paradise: What are the criteria or aspects you would prioritise when evaluating images in the categories of People & Lifestyle and Travel, Documentaries, and Landscape Photography?

Kayahan Uluş: From my perspective, there is actually one criterion for all of them; the enchantment of the moment should be so strong that it evokes a sense of action in the people looking at that photograph. Human beings are creatures driven by emotions, and their emotions shape their lives.

Production Paradise: Would the criteria be different for the images created with AI?

Kayahan Uluş: Yes, although prompt instructions are important, images created with artificial intelligence tend to emphasize human imagination more. They create a contrast to the reality in the photograph, which is why they should be evaluated differently.

Production Paradise: How do you see the integration of images created with AI shaping the future of visual storytelling in advertising?

Kayahan Uluş: AI will change all the realities we know. It will have a disruptive effect. In both positive and negative ways, society should consider an education that distinguishes between AI and photography, such as financial literacy, because AI is in such a good state that it won’t question its reality and accuracy. I am eagerly and impatiently awaiting what technology will bring. The future has already begun shaping and evolving at any moment.

Production Paradise: What do you believe are the key factors that make AI-generated images impactful and effective in communicating messages and engaging audiences?

Kayahan Uluş: Imagination and intellectual insight deliver unquestionable messages directly to target audiences. These are key and main factors to get the medium to the target audience.

We thank Kayahan for taking time to share his thoughts and looking forward to seeing your submissions in Spotlight Awards!