Mehmet Turan
Talent

Talent Spotlight: Mehmet Turan, Post-Production Artist & Photographer

Posted on:
October 16, 2023
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Our Wripple marketplace is made up of talented professionals from all different backgrounds. Their dedication and passion make all the difference. This month, we are very excited to spotlight Mehmet Turan, an expert post-production artist & photographer.

First, tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from, what kind of work do you do?

I'm a visual storyteller who found my calling through the lens of my mother's film camera in high school. Captivated by the power of a single image, I set out to master the art of visual communication. My passion has taken me across borders—living and working in countries around the world—though my heart remains in Istanbul, Turkey.

As a post-production artist and photographer, I strive to create images that speak directly to the soul. Light, shadows, color, composition—each element is carefully crafted to evoke emotion and transport viewers into the scene. While consumer trends may ebb and flow, my commitment to the transformative magic of still imagery remains constant.

Whether through photography, retouching, or 3D art, I revel in the challenge of using visuals to inspire, educate, and connect. My work is for those who appreciate the profound beauty in a fleeting moment, forever preserved. I am an image maker and a visual storyteller. I help brands speak to customers without text, and tell their own story in a world where everyone is bombarded with hundreds of images every day.

What are the highlights of your career thus far?

Having my work seen by millions got my creative juices flowing. As a post-production artist, knowing that the images I retouch or manipulate will reach a massive global audience through big brands and Fortune 100 companies always gave me an exhilarating rush. The pressure of working for powerhouse clients pushed me to raise my skills, and my passion for excellence. It paid off.

In 2018, I was recognized as the #1 Global Freelance Retoucher by CreativePool. Propelled by this success, I set my sights on conquering new creative territory. I switched gears to focus on 3D design. Just two years later, I was named 2nd Best 3D Artist.

I'm fueled by challenge and driven to keep growing as an artist. Whether it’s retouching a fashion ad or designing a 3D world, I approach every project with the same devotion. My goal is to craft visuals that engage audiences and make emotional connections. I get a thrill from having my work seen and appreciated by millions. But even more satisfying is knowing I'm honing my skills and pushing my creative boundaries every single day.

What do you love most about your work?

I thrive on variety—it's what keeps my work fresh and exciting. As a visual artist, I've been fortunate to collaborate with companies large and small, from corporate giants to scrappy startups. One week, I may be photo retouching a campaign for a household brand, and the next, conceptualizing 3D products for a disruptive tech startup. The diversity of projects and clients keeps me creatively charged.

The global reach of my work also energizes me. To think that the images and designs I create are seen by millions worldwide is profoundly gratifying. Early in my career, I never imagined that a kid from Istanbul with a passion for photography would one day have their art displayed on screens in the New York subway or cover the walls in Hong Kong. It's both humbling and motivating.

The constant change is what I live for. I’m invigorated by exploring new styles, techniques, and mediums. Flexing creative muscles I didn’t know I had excites me. And I love the challenge of bringing fresh perspectives to every client and brief. My multifaceted experience enables me to craft tailored visual solutions that captivate audiences and connect with people from all walks of life. As long as I maintain this diversity, my work will continue to feel exciting and new. I can't wait to see where my work is viewed next!

What is your favorite project you have worked on for a client and why?

Of all my projects, one of the most memorable was a campaign for Isey Skyr—a top Icelandic yogurt brand. Their creative brief? Produce striking visuals for larger-than-life out-of-home ads at the Iceland International Airport.

This project encapsulated the excitement of a truly global collaboration. Our team spanned multiple continents and time zones: the photographer in Germany, the creative agency in Denmark, and myself—the retouching artist—n faraway Istanbul.

But geography was no barrier to creativity. We brainstormed concepts over video conferences, seamlessly sharing inspiration and feedback through the cloud. The photographer captured mouthwatering images of glistening yogurt and juicy fruit, then uploaded the files for me to work my retouching magic.

It was thrilling to know that as travelers flowed through the airport, they'd encounter these vivid, appetite-arousing ads. And that my subtle enhancements would help the vibrant visuals pop off the page. The global scope combined with the local Icelandic setting made this project truly memorable. This is the excitement of a globally connected creative team at its finest!

What do you think are the top 2-3 ingredients for a team to be successful on a project?

  1. Clear communication - Team members need to articulate ideas, goals, and feedback clearly. With remote teams, clear communication helps align everyone and avoid missteps. This also includes flexibility. We’re working on a global scale—across multiple timezones—and you have to be flexible to take calls when necessary.
  2. Collaboration - Projects thrive when team members collaborate, brainstorm, and leverage each other's strengths.
  3. Accountability - Each team member must be accountable for their role and contributions. Shared accountability helps ensure no tasks fall through the cracks.

Why are you so awesome at your job? :)

My love affair with still images began long ago in my teenage years when I’d sell photos I took of my classmates at school. Those were my first glimpses into the magic of frozen moments. Years later, when corporate life had me in its clutches, I still spent every free minute attending workshops to feed my photo passion in and outside of the country.

Now, I'm giddy that this once-distant passion is now my daily reality. As a retoucher and photographer, I revel in studying inspiring images, dissecting what makes them visually striking, and nerding out over aesthetic and technical details. I thrive on that moment when an image transforms into something luminous.

Just as fulfilling is when I get to mentor others in the community, paying forward the knowledge that was so generously shared with me. And thanks to the flexibility of remote work, I now can immerse myself in my young son's world in a way my father never could.

This profession has given me exactly what I crave—the excitement of honing my craft while prioritizing my family. Sure, corporate life promised comfort and security. But nothing compares to the rush of doing what I truly love. I'm grateful every day that I took that leap of faith because I landed exactly where I was meant to be.

Anything else you’d like to share? Maybe a hobby, community involvement, or special recognition?  

The seaside strolls—sometimes solo, sometimes with my wife—energize me before I disappear into my three-screen workspace after I send my son to school. My mind resets as I listen to a podcast at a steady pace.

I unwind through watching sci-fi movies or catch-up coffees with old colleagues and fellow freelancers. Human connection amidst the solo grind keeps me grounded. My wife and I have also been podcasting for over 7 years now, journaling topics we like to talk about to 15k loyal listeners.

I recently launched a new podcast called "Freelancer's Coffee Break" with a creator friend. We nerd out over everything from budgeting to burnout—all the real-life ups and downs of freelancing.

These pockets of joy sustain me. The sea. The conversations. Work is not all I am, though my craft is a huge piece of me. I safeguard and honor these small moments, for they are what truly rejuvenates my spirit to dive back into the work I love.

If you would like to check out Mehmet's portfolio of work on Instagram, check it out here.

If you have any questions or are interested in working with Mehmet, please contact us at ClientTeam@wripple.com.


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