Skip to main content

Hal Tatlidil

Halifax-based actor, musician and photographer Hal Tatlidil remains at the forefront of creativity in Atlantic Canada. Recently we spoke with him about his passion for the visual arts.

What is your own heritage?  
I'm Turkish. I was born in Istanbul, Turkey and grew up in Canada.

Where do you currently reside, and how old are you now?
I've been working between Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax for the past several years.

What first inspired you to take up photography?
Photography was never really a thought for me…I mean I've always been moved by images but I started as a musician and had found fair success in that, which turned me on to film and TV where I still work as an actor. I suppose I've always been a visual thinker and the fact that my great grandfather was a photographer, I'm sure that had something to do with it. One day, between gigs, I had a thought; that I would do headshots for other actors and friends and it all started with that…

Are they the same reasons you do it today?
Not exactly; I started because I thought I would enjoy doing it more than working in a restaurant. But now, and I think with anything, our thoughts about a thing become more refined. I'm more keenly aware of what is in my minds’ eye and am able to go after it more deliberately - focused. It satisfies a part of my artistic curiosity and makes the other parts more fluent and so I keep going because of that.
What are the challenges involved?
For a while I was feeling like things in the world of photography had become too saturated. Making a nice picture is probably easier than ever. And so that gives the impression that an image is maybe a little more disposable. But I realize now that while there are millions of images being made everyday -, it makes working photographs be at their best and find ways of showing their most unique work.
What are the rewards?
Being my own boss is really great! Standing back and taking in a new print is incredibly satisfying because it is the image that was only in my imagination and then to be able to recount the process of what it was before taking the shot, all the way through to final print and then have it turn out with that surprise only a well made print can have - its deeply satisfying and humbling.

What have been some career highlights?
Standing at Joshua Tree was transformational for sure. I think the deep connection when working one on one with clients, is always humbling - that recognition of trust and something very pure. For me it is always been about the experience and not really any single goal.

What makes a good photograph?
Soul. It is there or it isn't and no amount of technical work will make a difference! I've taken enough flat images to know, LOL.

Is your creative process more "inspirational" or "perspirational"?
Inspirational - 100%! It’s always obvious when it’s not 'happening' - I just have to stop and take a step back…

How has the internet helped, or hurt, what you do?
The internet is the greatest thing ever! Sure there's everything is coming at us all of the time, but it is selective. We can turn it off at will. We live in a time where its 'show me first' and people are smart. They really are. They can tell if something is good or not and I trust that. Having a website, actually three, has been incredibly valuable in 'showing' people and is a big part what I do.

What's next on your creative agenda?
I'm shooting a film this year. Yep, with all of the technical knowledge I've gained as a photographer; combining it with my work in Film/TV made sense, a good natural progression I think.

Popular posts from this blog

Charles Hsuen

Even after almost 30 years as the voice of jazz in Halifax, Charles Hsuen shows no signs of slowing down. His passion to preserve and promote the genre to listeners of all ages cannot be overstated. Recently we spoke with Hsuen about his roots, and his life-long love of big band, bebop, swing, Sinatra and more.
What are your own roots? My roots derive from a rather mixed background. My father is of Vietnamese / Tibetan / Chinese heredity, but grew up in India, before immigrating to Canada in 1967. While my mother’s roots stem from Indo-China, she grew up in Brunei before immigrating to Canada in 1969. Both extended families ultimately settled in Toronto and my parents met and married in the early 1970's. The last name “Hsuen” (now XUAN), pronounced “Schwen,” comes from the Last Emperor of China Henry Pu Yi who ruled using the name Xuantong from 1909 until his forced abdication in 1912. The story was of a tumultuous reign, his forced resignation and eventual attempt to reclaim his ti…

Danny Bilsborough

Danny Bilsborough, NSCC alumna and owner of Danny B Studios, has spent most of her days consulting various clients on software options for their new business endeavours. 
Although she’s been involved with assessing some really exciting projects, nothing makes her happier than grabbing her brush and splashing colour on a canvas. That’s why she’s decided to take the plunge into becoming a full-time artist.
“I was always so scared to try using colour, but when my daughter was born and the opportunity came to incorporate these new palettes into her life, they quickly found their way into mine,” she says.
Colour brings light to many things and gives people a sense of enjoyment. Markus Maier explained in his academic journal titled Color Psychology that colour carries great meaning and can have an important impact on people's affect, cognition and behaviour.
Bilsborough’s favourite pieces to create are those of nature and animals – a quick look at her online Etsy page confirms this. She be…


Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley, International World-Champion Elvis tribute artist, Thane Dunn and his Cadillac Kings, will perform seven shows throughout the Maritimes over the coming months. Recently we spoke with the King of Kings about his passion and profession.
What are your roots? I was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. I've lived everywhere from California to Toronto but Moncton always has had a special place in my heart. My musical roots have always been early Rock and Roll and also old Country and Western like Buck Owens and Stonewall Jackson. I’ve always been a huge Jim Morrison fan. He had a lot of similar traits to Elvis.
What first inspired the Elvis tribute? I always loved the man and I’ve had people tell me I looked like him and in early bands I was in people would say I sounded like him. I had a few months leading up to the decision to do it where it seemed every time I turned on the TV there was Elvis, the radio would be playing Elvis…