A self taught photographer, Çetin was born in Istanbul in 1960. In 1982, he graduated from the Department of Psychology at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul and received his MFA degree in Visual Communication Design at Istanbul Bilgi University in 2009.
He opened his first solo exhibition "Familiaria" in 1988. Comprised of hand coloured paper negative prints, his work attracted considerable attention with its alternative approach to photography. Numerous solo and group shows have followed ever since.
Today, Çetin earns his living as an artist, a photographer, a consultant on photography and photographic technology, and as a lecturer at Istanbul Bilgi University, Bahçeşehir University and Galata Academy of Photography. He is currently a member of the advisory board of Istanbul Modern Art Museum Photography Gallery.
As well as having worked in the photography sector since 1985, Çetin has participated in several training programs abroad and held many local and international workshops himself.
Since the end of the 1980s, Çetin has contributed to photography education at various institutions including Istanbul University Faculty of Communication, Galata Academy of Photography, Yıldız Technical University Vocational School of Arts and Crafts, Yeditepe University Faculty of Fine Arts, Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Communication, Akademi Istanbul among others.
He also works as a photography editor, translator and photography writer. His personal works, essays, and critiques are published in various printed periodicals as well as e-zines. In his exhibitions and performances, Orhan Cem Çetin is recognized for his focus on a conceptual and interdisciplinary approach.
In 2000, Orhan Cem Çetin released a mini-album, Renk'arnasyon through Karakutu Cep Photograph Albums series, and his book, Bedava Gergedan (Rhino for Free), a "black humor" collection of photography and literature was published by Okuyanus Publications in 2004.