Mia Meets… Britta Burger

Interview by Mia Kingsley

Ok so this week I have been a rebel and instead of seeking out someone we don’t know at Cooler I decided to interview someone we not only all know but someone we love. Britta Burger, the one and only fashion editor at Cooler magazine. So I thought to myself, yes we all know Britta, yes we all know her her photography and yes we all know her style. But do we really know where that has originated from? Who Britta admires, what she’s obsessed with? So here we go, Meet Britta Burger…

What was the first piece of creative work you’re proud of?

I think it’s my first photographs. I went for a walk with my auntie when I was five. She had her camera with her and allowed me to take pictures with it, which was a big deal in the pre-digital age where people were a lot more precious with their relatively complicated film cameras than they are now with their smart phones. I chose to take a series of photographs of a frozen river, quite close up, abstract looking, there were lots of layers of ice, broken, and you could see wood and stones covered in ice. My auntie sent the photos to me in the post a few weeks later, I still think they’re kind of good.

Have you always been creative?

I used to do a bit of everything as a child. Like ballet and ski jumping, or acting and latin. I even liked maths. So quite a mix. But I probably spent the most time reading and drawing. Or sitting in my room on my own for hours and just imagining things, apparently I said I had to go and ‘think’, I remember it annoyed my little sister because I was completely unavailable. Maybe I was just being creative.

Which do you enjoy more photographing or styling?

It would have to be photography, I just have more control.

What has been your most memorable shoot?

I was shooting a street style story at New York Fashion Week on 9/11 two years ago. There’s only so many pictures I could take of style bloggers snapping each other in front of shows they’re not invited to. So I decided to walk over to the 9/11 ten year memorial event just around the corner. It was over by the time I got there, Ground Zero was almost deserted, there were endless white ribbons tied to a church gate, a sea of American flags, the people peddling them, a few stray conspiracy theorists determined to convince passers by that the whole thing had been an inside job. It was a strange mix of fashion and patriotism, capitalism and grief. In the end I just followed hundreds of firemen from all over the world on the ferry to Staten Island. And took photos of everything.

What would your dream shoot consist of?

Snow. I’m obsessed with it. I’ve taken a lot of pictures of snow and I like them, but so far it’s only ever been an approximation of how snow makes me feel. Maybe I’ll capture it one day.

What was the last exhibition you viewed that really impressed you?

I loved Daido Moriyama at the Tate Modern last year, it wasn’t only about his photography but also about how he edits his work, how he lays out his images in his books and so on, which is an extremely important part of photography, I spend a lot more time choosing the right image than taking it.

Magazines or blogs?

Both. But I noticed that a magazine has to be really really good for me to buy it these days. I guess people shouldn’t waste paper to print something that’s been done a million times before, there’s no reason for that anymore, they can put that on a retro blog.

What would be your dream magazine to contribute too?

I want total freedom so I guess it would have to be my own.

You went to America last summer, does it really fulfil the photographer’s dream?

I went to Southern California. I’ve wanted to go to Palm Springs in particular for years, it’s made for photography. The faded mid century modern glamour with its minimal architecture, old rich people, the recent revival, the hotel pools that are open pretty much all night because it’s so hot, the palm trees and cacti. And it’s in the middle of a desert, driving around was breathtaking.

Where’s your favourite place in the world?

Somewhere with a lot of snow and very little light. Maybe a snowy Japanese prefecture in the 40s, or Iceland in winter.

If you could use photography or fashion to support any course which would you choose?

I always have a bit of an agenda with everything I do, I try to be slightly subversive, there has to be an element of anarchy, otherwise there’s no point in doing anything. Is that enough of a cause, anarchy? It makes me sound like I’m fourteen. But whatever. Ha.

Do you think your work reflects you as a person?

Yes, I don’t really split my life up in work and leisure, it’s all the same thing, so my work is me.

What’s next for you Britta, any exciting projects?! 

I’ll have an exhibition in London at the end of next year so I’ll be working on that a lot. There will be a zine project and lots of collaborations too. And the next issue of Cooler is going to look pretty exciting!

Cool! Thanks so much Britta!! Can’t wait for the new projects 🙂

So we now know that our fashion editor is a snow enthusiast, an anarchist at heart, started her photography career at the sweet age of 5 taking abstracts of frozen rivers, needs time to ‘think’  & is all over pretty awesome! (but we knew that bit anyway!) To keep updated with Britta’s work click this link :

Until next week you can check out my previous interviews here ‘Mia Meets…’ or for more Mia Kingsley XXX 

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