The streets are now lined with glittering fairy lights, the flower stores have begun stocking up on deliciously smelling pine trees and the cities are slowly being pulled out of the winter dullness and into the Christmas spirit. The holiday season is well and truly upon us and to celebrate Frame of Mind has asked generation Y photographer Antonia Mayer to produce a series of golden festive themed stills. We sat down with the photographer behind the dream like images in photography books ‘Being Y’ and ‘Dos Almos’ to see how she’ll be soaking up the festivities this month.
How old were you when you first started taking photos? What prompted this?
I was taking photos since I was around 14 years old, but I started to take it serious when I got my first 35mm film camera for my 18th birthday.
If there was a time you could go back to in your life when would it be and why?
If I could travel in time I would rather go 15 years to the future for a day, that would make some decisions easier.
You’ve published two books with your images both based around the concept of youth in different cultures. Why are you fascinated by this topic?
I started to document the lives of my friends about four years ago at an age where one starts to emancipate from home and develop into certain direction. Back then I started to realize that it’s a very interesting and emotional time we are all going through and I began to put my focus on people in my age and their habits and characteristics. Also, I thought it would be interesting to portrait ‘Generation Y’ from an autobiographical view and question its definition.
What is your next project you’re looking forward to working on?
I’m very fascinated with Lourdes. It‘s such a strange place and I’m planning to spend some time there, take some pictures and hopefully witness a miracle.
Something you wish you knew about the photography industry before you went into it…
I should have listened more carefully at the economy class when they talked about taxes and accountancy.
How do you get your subjects to act natural when photographing portraits?
It always depends on the person. I like to take my time, start a conversation and every now and then take a picture without instructing much. But some people need to be given directions, because they wouldn’t feel comfortable otherwise.
The most creative city you’ve ever visited is…
How did you find the two men you photographed in Dos Almas?
Tito is a ‘Bicitaxero.’ He drives a trishawtaxi in Havanna. He drove my friends and I to a restaurant and when we came out again he was still waiting there, after that drove us everywhere. We became friends and he then introduced us to his best friend Taquechi. Thanks to them we had the chance to experience Havanna from a point of view that is not so easy to access as tourists.
What are your favorite areas to visit in the Neubau area?
I like walking through Spittelberg, especially in the night when it’s even more peaceful and quiet. It’s like a movie setting.
What is your number one Christmas tradition?
Playing the one and only song I can play on a guitar (“Ihr Kinderlein kommet”), have my family sing to it and then putting the guitar back into its case for yet another year.
What will your Christmas dinner table consist of?
There have to be pastries of Demel which are overpriced, but worth it. Then there is fish and two different types of potato salads because my sister and I have different opinions on that. And for dessert there is my mother’s Grand Manier parfait. It’s exactly like this every year.
How do you travel? Do you research before going to a destination or just prefer to explore?
I do like to read about the destinations I’m going to, but it’s still very important to me to not plan it all out and let myself float a little.
Where can we find you on a Sunday?
Either in bed or at Pizza Mari.
Find all our festive golden frames here!
By Caitlin Hennessy