After having worked for years in the industry, you sometimes find yourself working with a team that feels like family to you.
I remember the first time that I went shooting with Mufide Halaceli in Turkey, which was years ago in 2004. Nine years later we went on a shoot together again, my third time with the team of Mufide. Turkey is one of these places in which you can shoot at every corner possible, this country is one of the founders of being photogenic. This shoot, was again, a special one; the people, the food, the atmosphere, the shooting days, the weather…it all turned out to take place in perfect conditions.
The location was nearby this beautiful city Adana. We went with a team of 8: Mufide and Mustafa, Gerline Hornsveld (styling), Meltem Ayderlimi (make-up artist), Willem van Walderveen (photographer) and Avna Visser, Sherona Bakker and myself.
We got to ride on camels, had shots in the light blue waters of Turkey, at historical castles or just in the wild boosh.
Willem and Celine taking some safari pictures in the middle of nowhere…
Hereby some flashback moments from Avna Visser and Sharona Bakker…
Thanks for these unforgettable shooting days dear Mufide and the team!
x Celine Prins
Photographer: Willem van Walderveen, hair artist: Mufde Halaceli @mufidehalaceli.
By Sharona Bakker:
It is 5.00 ` o clock and the alarm rings, make-up time! The stylist is busy checking out the best items for the day and I am having breakfast in the meantime.
Once all 3 of us ( Avna, Celine and myself) are done with make up they take us on a ride. After an hour climb in the mountains we arrive at a little restaurant in the middel of nowhere. Willem the photographer went out scouting for great locations. The view was stunning and the staff of the restaurant super friendly.
After having found the perfect location we started shooting. After an hour we got overwhelmed by some journalists that heard about our shoot. Funny enough we found ourselves on covers of some big newspapers of Turkey the next day!
After this shot we went for a little walk and bumped into 2 camels. Of course a new idea was born and we went shooting on these animals which was an amazing experience and lots of fun!. It was a challenge to take the perfect picture with these animals, but in the end we managed to get some great images out of it. Back at the restaurant we had a delicious dinner and a little `party` where we danced in the open air together with the staff. It was magnificent! Back in the hotel I directly fell asleep.
The collaboration and the images we got out of this trip are absolutely stunning. The team was also great! It was an unforgettable shoot and a gerat way to meet new and nice people!
By Avna Visser:
Thursday was a day to remember. We had to wake up quite early to make some beauty shots at the pool. After this we went to have breakfast at the location of the shooting of the day before. Again, lots of plates with all kinds of food from their own garden and region, too much for the crew to eat. Mufide was the perfect host and told us all about the food and the story behind the castle where we had the photoshoot.
From left to right: Mustafa, Mufide, Willem
The castle where we had the shoot was once owned by a king. The castle (now a ruin) is next to the sea and has a good view on another castle build on an island, the Maiden Castle (Kızkalesi). As the story goes, a fortune teller told the king that his daughter would be killed one day by a snake bite. The king, who loved his daughter very much, built a castle on a tiny island for her so no snake would ever come close. Sadly, one snake got to the castle and bit the princess, which killed her.
Avna and Sharona having a little break
Mufide told this story while pointing at the Maiden Castle and showing the king’s old castle and all the fruit plants between the ruins. She told me this while Celine and Sharona where at the set, working. Every model had to do three different looks. So we had shorts breaks to explore the location in between. This made me feel like it was a holiday instead of work. With Mufide and Mustafa as our personal guides.
The backstage photographer, Eren, left us during the day and came back on his scooter with many flowers. Mufide and Burak created big hair-does with these flowers in them. Burak, the funny hair assistant, and I understood each other much better the last day. When he said “Avna” it, for example, meant sit on this rock, turn your head, or that he wanted a hug. After all the pictures were taken everyone had the opportunity to walk around a little more. Mustafa, the dad of the group, crossed my path and made me walk back to the top of the ruin where we made even more pictures of the sea and the Maiden Castle, often saying ” ‘tuurlijk meisje!”
From left to right: Geraldine, Mufide and Willem
We were invited by the mayor for dinner so went back to the hotel to freshen up. We had dinner by the seaside where the mayor (and the media team) welcomed us. We could see fishing boats from our table that came to the shore where a little bus picked up the fish they had just caught. This was then brought to the restaurant and not long after we had fresh fish on our plate. So delicious! After seeing (and trying) Turkish dances, and discovering really nice vehicles on the way to the toilet, the mayor told us about the climate, the food, and history of Mersin. He promised to be our personal guide when we return. Mufide gave all of us a gift for good luck and thanked us for the great and creative week. I, and I’m sure all of us, felt like we had to thank her for not only being a kind colleague but also for being such a welcoming and warm host and giving us this special experience.
We went back to the hotel and to bed as quickly as possible as we had only one and a half hour to sleep before hearing the morning bells. I would have loved to stay longer in Turkey (and longer in bed) but our flight home was to be an early departure. Mustafa drove us to the airport and the same day we were back in Amsterdam thankful for this unique experience, the great people we met, and gezelligheid with our crew.