He may be only 20 years old, but photojournalist Emirkan Cörüt is already making swift headway in his photographic career. The Turkish born Canon Ambassador received his first commission from Beyond Istanbul magazine aged just 18 and is the youngest member of the Middle East Images (MEI) photo agency. His shot of a rally held by would-be Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu prior to the mayoral election in 2019 also won him an Ara Güler Encouragement Award from the Turkey Photojournalists Association.
Despite his considerable achievements as a working photographer, Emirkan has continued his photography studies at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul and counts his degree as an integral step in his professional journey. "Studying photography at university is one of the most serious decisions I have made – and focusing on photography is an important step in dedicating my life to it," he says. "It enables me to work from different perspectives and approaches, and to constantly question."
His raw talent, combined with that ability to ask those difficult questions, has led to Emirkan covering a variety of stories about Istanbul for MEI, from natural disasters and political protests to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here, he explains how he has managed to achieve so much at such a young age, and offers advice for aspiring photojournalists on how they might emulate his success.