One thing self-taught photographer Eren Sarigul is intentional about while taking photos is being present. Known for musing over an eclectic range of subjects throughout Japan and his current home of London, Eren’s goal is to not only capture “good” shots of distinctive geographies and cultures, but moments. He leans into his curiosity and allows it and his passion for each place to unlock delicate details with a deeper narrative. It is safe to say that Eren is mindful of his purpose and driven by his findings of the world both in his everyday work and projects such as his 2021 book, Across Japan, that took us on an unforgettable journey through the country he has been enamored with since childhood.
For those who may not know you, how long have you been a photographer and what initially drew you to the profession?
I initially got into photography back in 2017 when I went to Japan. Moments before getting on the plane, I decided to pick up a camera at the airport to take photos on the trip. While I was out there, I really enjoyed documenting the trip and capturing people in Japan. That is what kicked off my passion for photography and when I got back to London I just continued shooting.
Japan seems to be one of the places you most enjoy shooting. What parts of the country did you find the most inspiring to photograph?
In Tokyo, I still remember the feeling of my senses being overloaded by the sheer scale of the city. Even coming from a large city like London, Tokyo was on a whole different level. Capturing the city sparked my passion for photography; the contrasts between the old and new, both in terms of the inhabitants and its architecture, were really fascinating.
Can this be said for your hometown, London, or is it a completely different appeal?
London is very different, a harder place to shoot, especially in my style, but I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of seeking out interesting locations and have come to love shooting here too.
I know you’ve mentioned in previous conversations that your style is always evolving, and you tend to go wherever your passion leads you. What is inspiring you today? Where has your passion led you, and do you think that has shaped/changed your style?
Over the past year I’ve developed a deep passion for film, especially neo-noir concepts and aspects of cyberpunk. I really want to explore these subjects deeply and let them come through in my photography too.
Has the pandemic changed the way you’ve photographed over the last few years?
For sure, I feel like it made me a better photographer. Following the lockdowns in London, I have placed more of an emphasis on shooting street photography, especially at night.
If people were to blindly look at a piece that belonged to you, what do you think they would say is your signature?
I hope viewers are able to attach stories to the images I take, it's an aspect of photography I concentrate on a lot. Being able to tell a story through a frame is the ultimate goal.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working through some ideas on a London book which I’m really excited about; releasing a book of work from my home city is a dream of mine.