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Touching and Emotional Faces

Interview/ tutorial by editor Michel Romaggi  in collaboration with the artist / author Emel Sefer.
Published the 1st of October 2021

Emel Sefer blends her portraits and faces with the environment, giving her work a touch of humanity mainly expressed by the eyes.
  Her photographs are intriguing, beautiful and unique.  Endlessly triggered, I wanted to know more about this osmosis and particularly about her images titled 'Stairs'.



What did inspire you to create this sublime image, Emel?
My photo titled "Stairs" was born from the thought: Women deserve the top rung of the ladder.  I grow up in the eastern culture and in many parts of the world, women are considered either housewives or suitable for simple jobs that do not require brain power.

This image is actually a protest against this. A woman can be both beautiful and a mother.  She also has the intelligence and skills to rise to the top in business life.

I started out with the idea that the element expressing this thought could that would best express this thought could be stairs.

I chose the most suitable staircase among the photographs in my archive.  While combining the woman and the staircase, I placed a part of the wall decoration on the woman's head, like a sultan's turban.

How did you achieve 'Stairs' technically?
I don't have a lot of equipment.  Previously, I had a Canon 6D.  But now I'm using a Fuji XT2 and a lens Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8 and that's it.

I don't feel like I need anything else.
You are the photographer, the camera is just a tool, and if you have a photo in your mind, you can do it with any equipment.

I use natural light to take my photos and process them in Photoshop using layers when processing double exposure photos.

How did you choose the images combined in 'Stairs'?
Most of my double exposure photos were made while isolated home during the pandemic.  I chose all images to combine from my archive.

First step is to decide what I want to tell.
In other words, I create my pictures in mind based on a thought and then the next step is to look for the photographs I will use.

Then, I select some photos expressing my thoughts and gather them in a file.

And finally, I make a choice using the most appropriate images to work with.

The main subject of your photos seems to be the human face. Can you tell us why?
As you have emphasized, the main subject of my photographs are people in general, and human faces in particular, because that is where emotions first emerge.

Emotions in facial expressions are universal, so no matter what country or culture we come from, when we look at a person's face, the emotions we read are almost the same.



If you ask me why I care about people's feelings, the answer is very simple: it’s because I love people. My aim is to be together with people, to get to know them and to get to know myself in the meantime.


'Through children's eyes'

Using faces and combining them is your artistic choice and style.  What did inspire you to get there?
Taking photographs is not just documenting a moment, showing only the visible.  We should be able to express our thoughts and show 'the unseen' with images. Many photographers do it with success in the category 'Conceptual Photography'.

I found my style in double exposures using human faces ;-)



You're aiming for emotions and aesthetics in your work.  What is more important to you?
Of course, I think both aesthetics and emotions are indispensable.  As I mentioned above, my aim is to express some thoughts. 

For example, in my photographs 'Mother Earth' and 'Through Nature', I wanted to refer to the cult by identifying nature and woman. The word 'Nature' comes from the Latin word 'Natura, which means birth. I wanted to emphasize that women and nature are the ones who give birth.


'Mother Earth'



'Through Nature'

Finally, can you tell us a little about yourself and about your passion for photography?
My biggest regret is that I discovered the world of photography very late.  I only have 5-6 years of photography background. In the past, my main goal while travelling was to know new places and new cultures.  Later, when looking at work from master photographers, I realised what photography could achieve and changed my opinion.  So starting now from in my own environment.  I really want to do something with photography within the framework of a project for a more liveable world.

Many thanks to the 1x editorial team for giving me the opportunity to express my photographic thoughts.


Emel hanım gönülden tebrikler
Çok teşekkür ederim Feyzullah Bey
tebrikler Emel Hanım... yürekten kutluyorum. eserlerinizin hepsi birbirinden güzel. emeklerinize sağlık, zevkle izliyorum... :)
Ne güzel sözler bunlar İnci Hanımcım, çok teşekkür ederim.
Beautiful work! Your Photoshop skills far exceed mine which are mostly portrait retouch and the restoration of my old black and white negatives.
Thank you very much dear Travis. I'm sure yours are great too, you've never posted here, I haven't had a chance to see any of them.
tebrikler Emel, keyifle izliyoruz
Çok mutlu oldum, teşekkürlerimle..
Many thanks dear Hans Lahodny
Thank you very much my friend
I have recognized myself in the last part of this beautiful article. My compliments Emel happy to follow you here.
It is nice to meet in an environment where there is a unity of feelings and thoughts. Thank you very much dear Federico.
Truly inspiring and exciting work, Emel—Congratulations.
Thanks so much, dear Sydney, for your kind appreciation.
Harikasınız hocam. Gönülden kutladım.
Çok teşekkür ederim Savaş Hocam
Tebrik ederim...
tebrikler Emel, super ....
Çok teşekkür ederim Hasan.
Tebrik ederim Emel Hn. Hem fotoğraflarlarınızla hem cümlelerinizle çok güzel bir sunum olmuş. Başarılarınızın devamını canı gönülden dilerim. Selamlar, sevgiler...
Çok teşekkür ederim Adem, takdirin ve güzel cümlelerin için.
Emel stunning work and something I have been doing also over the last year but really need to up my game the staircase image of wonderful. Inspirational article.
Thanks so much dear Colin for your kind appreciation.
A nice article and great work, very inspirational!
Many thanks for your kind words dear Gerda, greatly appreciated.