Photographer Britta Burger on beating the Berlin winter blues

Britta Burger, the Austrian photographer famous for her 10-year portrait series (amongst other exciting projects) spends life between London and Berlin.

No stranger to the harsh weather conditions and dark days that engulf these countries for several months of the year, we chatted to Burger all about her winter escapes and vices. From keeping busy creatively to chilling out and going skiing in the Alps, Burger makes the most of these frosty months, inspiring us to do the same. Crucially, we find out how her photographs, which are known for breaking the boundaries and capturing femininity” through the ages are influenced by different weathers. And we learned about her secret places to escape the winter tristesse.

Café Ora, Kreuzberg: "On my road, in a beautiful old pharmacy, close enough to drag myself there even when it's freezing and I have the flu."

What’s your favourite city to take photos in over winter?
I tend to take fewer photos in winter due to the lack of light. But I’m obsessed with snow, and big, not overly pretty cities in the snow are incredibly photogenic. So far I’ve taken a few good snowy pictures in Berlin and London.

Photography is such a realist art form. How do you find escape in taking photos?
The end result might look realist, but taking photos I always feel I’m creating my own world. You look through the viewfinder and everything else ceases to exist. In that sense it’s the perfect escape.

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Britta's library: "Fiction is the very definition of escape from reality, and of course much more than that."

How does winter fashion influence your photography?
From a fashion point of view, I prefer winter clothes, there are more possibilities in terms of texture and layering, there’s more fabric to work with. For the kind of portrait style photography I do it can get too much though so I try to make sure the clothes don’t overpower the person.

How do you avoid the winter blues?
I go skiing in the Alps at least twice every winter.

What projects do you have coming up that readers can look forward to seeing over these cold months?
I’m working on a new Berlin boys zine and a more international women’s project, not sure I’ll finish them both in the cold months, you might have to wait until the summer.

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FSK Kino, Kreuzberg: "I sometimes finish work mid afternoon, the FSK is the perfect place for those wintry twilight hours before everyone else finishes work/the heating comes on in my apartment. One of the best selections of independent films in Berlin too."
Britta's bath: "An obvious one, winter blues busting colorful bath salts (from the kids section so hopefully not too toxic) tend to add to the experience."
21 Feb 2018 · NEUBAU EYEWEAR
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