Guerel Sahin, Photographer and Jack Wolfskin Partner

Travel and landscape photographer Guerel Sahin is living proof that your long-held dreams can come true with enough passion and ambition. This year, both Jack Wolfskin and the native of Kaiserslautern, Germany, are celebrating their fortieth birthday. So, what is the story behind this partnership, and what motivated Guerel to abandon his career in order to dedicate himself to landscape photography?

Fotografer Guerel Sahin with his dog sitting on a bench, a fishing rod is just nearby

A rock-solid relationship

It is no coincidence that the paths of Guerel Sahin and Jack Wolfskin have crossed. The ambitious photographer knew exactly what he wanted – to work together with Jack Wolfskin. Back then, around ten years ago, partnerships between influencers and large brands were not so common. Yet, Guerel’s persistence and repeated inquiries eventually resulted in a cooperative relationship with his favorite outdoor brand. “I simply continued to annoy Jack Wolfskin until they finally agreed to work with me.”

When he received his first outfit to photograph, he knew his efforts would be rewarded. Since then, Jack Wolfskin and Guerel have grown together. Guerel has become a Jack Wolfskin Partner and responsible for many product shootings.

Incredible salt lake and view towards the horizon

A blessing in disguise

As with many of us, when Guerel Sahin was young, he didn’t really know which career path he should choose. So, he decided to pursue industrial engineering and, after graduation, many career opportunities were open to him. He started to work in construction.

It was only at his brother’s wedding that Guerel discovered his current path. He carefully observed the wedding photographer and was immediately inspired. A short time later, Guerel bought his first single-lens reflex camera. From then on, he was permanently captivated by the world of photography.

Guerel Sahin ontop of a small rock formation looking down into a valley with trees
“I hadn’t yet found anything that truly interested me, and then, when I was 27, I bought my first single-lens reflex camera.”

For the next three years, he entirely focused on photography, fine-tuned his skills, and gradually realized that he wanted to turn this new passion into a profession. The first step involved convincing his then boss to allow him to take photos for the company’s website. Three months later, as he was helping out at a construction site, Guerel had an accident at work and fell six meters through a roof. This led to a life-changing realization.

“Just do it! Your life could even end tomorrow.”

Although Guerel was lucky and suffered no serious injuries, he suddenly realized the precarious nature of life. He came to an arrangement with his employer and decided to turn his back on construction and become a freelance photographer.

a herd of fascinating alpaccas in the high mountains on a sunny day
“No one knows what the future has in store, so you simply have to take the plunge. And if things don’t work out, it is not the end of the world.”

A rocky path

Having made his decision, Guerel, now thirty years old, had to restructure his life. He moved back in with his parents and adopted an austere lifestyle. At the same time, he was deeply confident of his ability and evolution as a photographer. Even though some people doubted whether he had made the right decision, he held on to his belief and stuck to his plan.

“What you earn at the beginning isn’t enough to live on.”
incredible herd of red / pink flamingos with view of the mountain
“This helped me to realize that I could make it.”

There are a variety of strategies to develop one’s abilities. Guerel devised his own method to improve his photography. He searched out photos by his favorite photographers, then he borrowed his parents’ car and drove to the locations where the images were shot. There he took his own pictures and compared them with the originals. After critically analyzing the photos, he could see that his work was just as good as the photos that inspired him. In addition, there was a surge in feedback from the social networks existing at the time.

Bad weather creates the perfect mood

According to Guerel, it is not so easy to say what makes for a good photo. “It has to move you,” he says. With landscape photography, in particular, the right composition of the image and the right mood play a significant role.

clouds hanging over a grey mountain day viewed from high above

Guerel advises any up-and-coming photographer to identify the object they want in the foreground first and then create a frame around it. He describes his own style of photography as atmospheric, colorful, and cool.

“My greatest dream is to move to America and to expand my agency further.”

There is still plenty of excitement in store for Guerel’s career, and his affiliation with Jack Wolfskin, and both parties are looking forward to everything that the future brings.

rocky landscape looking down into a valley what appears to be a wild west like scene