Yucel, 27, British, Photographer
By Tolu Oshodi
What is your biggest struggle as a Millennial?
Social media is my biggest struggle. Not to sound too “I think I’m really evolved” but our generation is based around social media and people seek gratification through it. It’s diluted what we are as people and what we desire or what we think is reality. When you don’t think like that or you haven’t bought into social media, or you see the horrors of it…I sound too dramatic. But you see both sides of it, it’s harder to have a place in this world.
Is that because on social media everyone shows the good stuff and never the shit stuff, so it gives off the impression that everyone is doing great?
No, not even that because I don’t read into that, but it’s more about people seeming to have lost the idea of what true talent is. And people hype themselves up more than what they are. So it makes me not want to be a part of it.
There’s no foundation of reality anymore, you know, Dali in his time was Dali because he had talent, something to give and something to say but now everyone’s a fucking “Art Director” because they put together a semi decent photo. It also dilutes the industry because you get so many people being so eager to be a part of something they’ve bought into. My problem isn’t that anyone can do it, which I think is great, because everyone should have the same chances. But it cheapens…the magic, if you will.
What keeps you motivated?
The one thing that I say to myself that keeps me going is “no one is going to give it to you”. And it sounds corny, like every superstar has always said, but it’s so true.
As a photographer, it isn’t dependant on someone else giving you a job. It’s dependant on you creating your work so hopefully at one point someone will look at it and see something within you.
It’s not like “Oh, I wanna grow up and be a doctor, so I’m gonna study and apply for a job”. There’s no paperwork for you to fill out, so you need to carry on creating and making; and if it’s what feeds your soul, like what a singer would do to sing or a dancer to dance, then you will just do it.
If it’s true to who you are then it will just happen.
What is your biggest regret?
I don’t have one. Regret would suggest you can change it and you can’t. It’s gone. It’s done. Guilt is a pointless emotion that only riddles you with horror. The only thing to do with any sort of “Oh I wish I did this differently” is when it comes up again (because it will) is to know what to do. You can’t regret something you didn’t know how to handle.
What would you say to yourself 5 years from now?
I would say to stop acting so goddamn old and enjoy this moment and stop being so stressed because things will always work out the way in which they should.
What’s the dream?
The dream is to take portraits of phenomenal people who inspire the masses. I don’t even have to be mega rich, but somehow just accept life and enjoy it for what it is. And be able to go and eat what I want!