On this interesting photo shooting I had the pleasure of working again with Burcu Cetinkaya, one of the best female drivers in the world, and the first impresion that I had told me all about her. Judging by her look I wouldn’t say she is a rally car driver. She is very pleasant, elegant and cooperative and this photo shooting is probably the best example of a perfect communication between a photographer and a model.

I will never forget the moment I met a lady, the best rally driver in the world. Istanbul-Turkey, the hometown of Burcu Cetinkaya …5 p.m., the sky was black and it was pouring. It wasn’t just a regular rainy day in Istanbul. I was supposed to have just one stop during my journey – the shooting with Burcu! It was a situation that probably no one would have acccepted, but the inner voice told me to accept it. In the end there was more to it than just a challenge!
The rain didn’t let up all day. The opportunities for shooting sesion were limited and the only place to do the shooting was a small garage where the car was parked. From the beginning I was deeply impressed by Burcu. She was very kind and elegant and even though she didn’t look like a rally driver, she was one of the best.
I took a few seconds of running from the car to the garage with all the equipment to get soaking wet. We had only 30 minutes for shooting. Yes, just 30 minutes! How to set the scene in such a tiny place?
Setting the pieces of the equipment, brainstorming, the conversation with Burcu, all at the same time. The minutes passed…the seconds, and the photos were brought to life. The light and specific techniques made them look almost unreal. 30 minutes …and the shooting was finished. The moment I packed my equipment I got into the car and drove as fast as I could to the airport. Not until I got on the plane did I have time to think about what we had made.
My fastest shooting ever and the fact that I met Burcu Catinkaya made this event unforgettable. We parted with the agreement to do a new photo shooting soon…with more time on our disposal.
Here is how Burcu saw our meeting back in april 2009 and what she thought at that moment: “It was a rainy day in Istanbul when my Red Bull Athlete manager Doga called me saying I have a photo shooting with a great photographer in the garage, but unfortunately we had limited time. It is always hard to stop yourself from asking the photographer ‘Can I just see one picture from the LCD?’. I know it is annoying for the photographer but sometimes I just can’t stop the curiosity. But with Pedja, I just asked once and when I saw what he could create from a dark, small garage in 30 minutes I didn’t have to ask again. Of course when he wanted to show me it was a great pleasure and a great motivation seeing what he could create”.
A year after our first meeting I received an offer to do another photo shooting with Burcu. In the meantime, Burcu and her achievements have been recognized all around the world. Her participation in the most prestigious WRC rally, sponsored by Peugeot contributed to her becoming the well-known female name in the very top of the world rally scene.

Her promotive appearance was planned for „Rally All Stars“, which was held in the town of Porec in Croatia. At the same time that was the arranged location for our next photo shooting. First we met in the lobby of “Valamar Riviera” hotel, where we made a complete plan. Early the next morning we started shooting the portraits in the fascinating old part of the town, and we carried on shooting on the race tracks, where the promo rally “All Stars” was taking place.
Meanwhile I had prepared a few locations for the rest of the shooting sesion later that afternoon, after the qualification race.
All the requirements I had were met, and If I had to give a perfect example of successful communication between a photographer and a model, I would single out this very photo shooting. Burcu was smiling, she was lively and cheerful. The sky and the clouds kept changing so we had time for breaks, light shifting and talking about everything. We had all the conditions we had been deprived of during our first shooting. Moreover, we were very lucky since the weather conditions was completely different from the ones we had in Istanbul, Turkey, the year before.
We decided to take the last set of more elegant photos in the evening in a bar of “Valamar Riviera” hotel.
We spent the next day, which had also been scheduled for shooting, just lying in the sun and enjoying the wonderful weather, because the first day was perfectly effcient and our photo mission was successfully completed!
Based on her following words, I believe she had a good time.
“One year later when I met Pedja in Croatia, I had no idea I would have the photo shoot of my life. He is a real artist, and what he can create is trully unbelievable. Being able to show your feelings on a photo shoot you really need the correct motivation. Pedja is not just shooting but also giving you the motivation to become one with the camera. Normally after a while I get bored from photo shoots and I need movement, but these 2 days I enjoyed every minute. I am really looking forward to the next shooting with him, because I think he can create a whole new world from his camera”.


Burcu Cetinkaya is a twentynine-year-old woman from Turkey who menaged to show all the auto moto sports fans what she was capable of doing behind the wheel of a rally car. In spite of the fact that many people of her denomination have prejudice against the modern lifestyle, and don’t approve of gender egalitarianism, Burcu, a defiant and energetic person, has decided to reach the top of the world rally scene.

Obviously, she has been very successful, since not so long ago, in 2006, she was only an outsider and now she is one of the top ten reli drivers in Turkey. Back then the director of the Turkish Ford team treated her with disrespect and distrust, discouraging her not to participate in a race because of her lack of experience and male competition. She replied: “Anything that tries to keep me down gives me the desire to fight.”

The way to her professional career was many kilometres long and it started in her father’s car, the famous Opel Calibra, which she crashed several times, which is not unusual and it’s necessary for advancing in this sport.
In April 2009, she had a debut in reli Adriatico in her Fiat Grande S2000 and won the title in a “ladies” category, and the same year, she also drove Ford Fiesta ST reli car. Recently she has driven Skoda Fabia S2000 in a test Rally organized by Red Bull, and currently she is driving Peugeot 207 S2000 for the Turkish team and is ranked at No.12 in overall ranking and first amongst the national teams.
In the meantime, she has become famous and now has many fans, of both sexes, but especially men. Her performances fascinated even the well-known Michele Mouton, who is a four time champion in the World Championship relly. During her career she has been sponsored by Redbull, Ansell, Beta Utensili, Yokahama Italy, Mak Wheels, OMP and United Business, as well as Ansell, Narpost, Sonax, Sahsuvaroglu. Judging by her success, this lovely Turkish woman will continue reaching for the stars.