Huffpost Arts

Istanbul Through The Lens Of Mustafa Seven (PHOTOS)

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Pablo Picasso reportedly once said, "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

This week we are featuring Mustafa Seven, a professional photographer whose raw photographs of different walks of life in Istanbul drive us wild. Scroll down for a slideshow.

16 mustafa seven 2005 istanbul

HP: Tell us about where are you from and what is your 'day job'.

MS: I was born in Sivas, Turkey in 1974, and I have been living in Istanbul since I was two years old. Today I am working as the photography editor for Aksam newspaper besides running my own photography studio, G.I.F. I am a professional photographer whose greatest hobby is documentary photography.

HP: When did you start using your phone as a camera?

MS: After working with professional cameras for years, I underestimated taking photos with a camera phone. But when I got my first iPhone in 2009, it became indispensable for me. In the beginning, my friends who are working as professional photographers [made fun of] the shots that are taken with camera phone. After a while they all became Instagram users, because they were eyewitnesses of my Instagram story.

HP: Has there ever been a moment you were especially happy to have had your camera phone handy?

MS: I started to feel safer with my camera phone. When you carry your 3-4 kilo-camera bag during the day, you generally don't want to step out with it because you don't have enough energy. The freedom to take shots with my camera phone gave me a clear conscience -- I knew that I am not going to miss any chance for a great shot! Once I was taking pictures of a famous Turkish director for the newspaper I am working for. My camera was broken down and I didn't have a chance to meet him again, so I took his pictures with my iPhone. The result was satisfying!

18 mustafa seven 1999 izmit

HP: Who are your favorite people you follow on Instagram?

MS: civilking, audiosoup, aditzt, eros_sana, raygun, ekalex, auroramichavila, konstruktivist, fashion, richnyc, sionfullana, thomas_k, jesusege, dariszcahyadi, darkolabor, teenbrogg.

HP: Who are your favorite photographers?

MS: Henri Cartier Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado, Ara Güler, and Yousuf Karsh.

HP: What is your favorite spot to find inspiration?

MS: The historic peninsula of Istanbul is my favorite place. You can see the history forming people's life styles in this part of the city. Old buildings, cats, dogs, people... I find inspiration there.

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Correction: An earlier edition of this article implied that Seven's photos were taken with his iPhone Instagram app. Although he does use his iPhone for photography purposes, the images featured were not taken on a phone. We regret this error.

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