Istanbul Photography Tips

Istanbul Photographers Guide


Istanbul, “The Bridge between Europe and Asia”, “The world’s most multi-cultural city”, “Crowded! 20 millions population”, “The World Capital of Culture”. However you call this amazing city, it is one of the best cities for photographers. Istanbul is an unique city with its location which lays between Asia and Europe. The city have unique architecture, multi cultural population and stunning landscapes. Istanbul is a huge city, total population of Istanbul is over 20 millions which makes the city more interesting for photographers. Beside this huge population, the advantage of the city for photographers is its shocking multi cultural nature.

Need Some Inspiration?


Before jumping into the most popular photography spots, I would like to introduce you some photography museums and events in Istanbul.

Here are hardly any places that are worth clicking on your camera. But 1st let’s begin with a small stop motion that shows them all makes this one of the most clicked places in the course of Istanbul for photographers!

Istanbul Photography Tips

Visit Istanbul Photography Museum


I strongly recommend you to visit Istanbul Photography Museum before jumping into city to take photos. Istanbul Photography Museum is located in Fatih district which is also a popular area for tourists and photographers.

Museum is located at “Kadırga” neighborhood where is a popular area for landscape photography. With this advantage you will be able to discover around the museum and take some landscape photos maybe.

The museum have two different collections. First one is the photography collection of “Çetin Nuhoğlu” and the second one is “Banu Vargı Tümay” photography collection. In these two collections you will be able to see many different photographs from different photographers. Nuri Bilge Ceylan is one of them as you might heard his name from Cannes Film Festival. Nuri Bilge got the “Best Director Award” at Cannes Film Festival in 2008 with the movie “Three Monkeys“.


Istanbul Photography Museum is also holding many exhibitions during the different periods of the year. As the museum’s main goal is to create durable visual memory of Turkish photography. The museum is holding both permanent and temporary exhibitions during the year. In the permanent exhibition you will be able to see “Masters of Turkish Photography” and also you will be able to see 5 more temporary exhibition.

“Photography’s Poet Exhibition”, “Contemplating Jazz Exhibition”, “Press Photographers -1- Exhibition”, “Women Photographers Exhibition” and “Synthetical Landscapes Exhibition” are the latest temporary exhibitions. During the year, you will be able to visit different exhibitions in the museum.

Address: Istanbul Fotoğraf Müzesi (Istanbul Photography Museum) Şehsuvar Bey Mah. Kadırga Liman Cad. No:60 Kadırga – Fatih/ Istanbul



After visiting the Istanbul Photography Museum you might want to join some private photography tours maybe? This tours are nice to join but really expensive also! In my experience, the price to join a private and famous photography workshop costs between 1000-1500 Euros. I personally never joined them but keep in mind if you are thinking about to join one of them.

Visit Ara Güler’s Web Page


Are Güler is one of the most famous and talented photographers of Turkey. Really, his photos are taking my mind, he is simply genius and God blessed him with talent. Before going for a photography tour in Istanbul visit his webpage and search for his photo shoots. I recommend you to read his complete biography but still I will try to summarize his successes.

In 1953 he met with Henri Cartier Bresson, joined Paris Magnum agency and “Photography Annual Anthology” which is published in England described him as one of the best photographers in the world. In the same year he accepted to ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) as the first and only Turkish photographer. In 1962 he got the title “Master of Leica” in Germany. He travalled the world and interviewed famous people like Ismet Inönü, Winston Churchill, Indira Gandi, John Berger, Bertrand Russel, Bill Brandt, Alfred Hitchcock, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Salvador Dali and Picasso. As you might know, Picasso never accepted to pose for photographers but Ara Güler succeed to convince him to pose.


His photos are exhibited in Paris National Library, Rochester Georg Eastman Museum in USA, Sheldon Collection in Nebraska University etc.

Now you got some idea about photography in Istanbul and in Turkey. I’m pretty sure you are ready to take your camera and go out as soon as possible. But except spontaneous photography which places are “must” to visit and take photos? I will try to list some popular destinations in Istanbul for photographers.

Famous Spots for Photographers

Grand Bazaar


Grand Bazaar provides lots of interesting oriental figures for both photographers and tourists. Carpets, jewelry, architecture, hand arts etc. there are many interesting items are waiting tourists and whom interested in Anatolian culture. Grand Bazaar would be a nice place to take photos.

Topkapi Palace


Topkapi Palace was the residence of many Ottoman Sultans and their families. The palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire for ages. It has a different architecture style and it is absolutely attractive for the one who is used to visit European style castles or palaces. There are plenty of great things to snap. This amazing place also makes Istanbul for photographers, a great place to visit.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, or “The Church of Holy Wisdom” is considered one of the world’s greatest architectural achievements and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Other amazing locations

  • Bosphorus
  • Karaköy
  • Sultan Ahmed Mosque and Park
  • Galata Tower
  • Anadolu Kavagi
  • Galata Bridge



Istanbul is certainly a must-see location for photographers and Istanbul really comprises all those exact places by which a photographer can renovate his photography skills. This astonishing place with its photographic sites always proves to be the profitable places of Istanbul for photographers. There are also many events currently going on in town such as a protest. Which may be a great source of income for the photographers and also there are various issues on which upcoming photographers can carry a lot of researches which may be suitable for their career. At concluding mode we can state that all the market places an tourist places are crafting this towns batch of vital places in Istanbul for photographers.

Useful links for Istanbul travel