The Melisa Kurtay Interview…Istanbul’dan Sevgi Ve Selamlar!

The Melisa Kurtay Interview…Istanbul’dan Sevgi Ve Selamlar

I discovered Melisa Kurtay as one of the Facebook followers of Dear Damn Diary. I was led to her blog, and became very interested in the girl that was living on both sides of the camera. The 31 year old Istanbul, Turkey resident is an Assistant Director by day, who loves to take raw and personal photographs of her favorite places, travels, and best of all…Herself.

“I always thought everything fades but the memories stay alive. Thats how I started taking photos when I was a child, but now its more like an escape from the real world and instead; creating my own world. I especially like capturing the lighter and more optimistic side of life.”. It was time for Melisa to get in my Diary…

MD: What scares you most in your world?

MK: I have this phobia of not living my life to the fullest. Not being able to
see all the interesting things, meet interesting people,travel,learn,try new
things etc. that I know exist in life. I’m scared of being stuck to one
life.  And of course the most frightening thing for me is losing my family.

MD: What makes you happiest?

MK: Sunshine and snow and being with the people I love. And of course music that
I love. Clichés are the best.

This was the first day that I got my Canon 50D and I was scared that it'll be filled with snow. This is a park that I love in my hometown Ankara. I go there every time I visit there. Snow is never that beautiful in Istanbul (where I'm living now).

MD: What are the earliest images you can remember that influence your style and
who you are?*

MK: The images in films must be the earliest images i remember. I loved films
ever since I know myself.That’s why I was obsessed about working in them. My
mom is a Hitchcock fan so when I was a kid we were watching a lot of his
movies, and also great European films that looked like nothing else I have
ever seen. Some of those are really stylish.

MD: If you could read one persons diary, who would it be and why?

MK: That would be Jacques Henri Lartigue’s. A french photographer whose
photographs has this paralyzing effect on me.I’m not saying this because
this is a photography interview. He actually has kept photography diaries
since he was a little boy and some bits you can actually buy. But I would
want to read also his words and the way he saw life as I believe he had a
very different way of looking and seeing things.

Melisa’s style left me wanting more of the girl that was pouring herself into everything she did. I asked her to partake in a little project. I wanted her to take self portraits, that portrayed her in her style, with the theme of her chronicling an introspective moment. A visual diary of Melisa in that moment in time. The results made me feel like I was looking back at her through the mirrors that reflected her image….

Melisa’s work can be seen at her website, Misu Misu. We’ve chosen some of your favorite shots of Melisa below, and she was kind enough to give us some background to them all….

Like a lot of people I like seeing street art and we don't have it much in Turkey. Its in NYC. I also believe I have a thing for gas masks. I realised I'm attracted to them.

This is in Antalya. In a very cheesy all inclusive hotel. I was up very early as I was going to the shoot of the film that I was working at. This >> view doesn't look like this when its filled with all those tourists and horrible trash music.

This is at a wedding of a very great friend of mine. I love that they have alcohol at the weddings. People are really serious when they fist arrive and than after some drinks they start having fun and be themselves.

I love palm trees. I just need to photograph them. I'm never bored with them. it doesn't matter if they are real or paintings.

This is at a fashion magazines party. I took some backstage photos with a camera that wasn't mine and a lot of them turned out to be underexposed. I was angry at myself.

This is Bergen, Norway. It was raining of course and suddenly there was this sunlight that says nothing beats the natural light. Magical light.

It was shot in the deserted mountains of Eastern Turkey with my little sandy Nikon Coolpix. I liked the feeling of loneliness when I was there and I saw this man. From his body language I thought he was enjoying a brief moment of loneliness there.

It was really cold but sunny at the same time. I was feeling fresh. I take self-portraits every time I'm photographing other things just to see later on what kind of mood I was in back in the day.

This is a street that I pass through a lot. But only that day I thought it was beautiful.

Thank you to Melisa Kurtay. We encourage any fans of Dear Damn Diary, that produce any type of artwork to contact us at so you may be profiled as Melisa was.

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4 Responses to “The Melisa Kurtay Interview…Istanbul’dan Sevgi Ve Selamlar!”

Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments

  1. d.c. says:

    the one i love for being so herself, and being such a beautiful eyes.

    thanks for the lovely interview! 🙂

  2. Patrick says:

    Fantastic… But from Melissa what else can you expect …great pictures…..

  3. graham & aylin says:

    Hi Melisa! Super pics and super girl! Nice too see photos of you and your travels.

  4. Inanilmaz keyif aldim fotograflarindan!

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