Hi Martina! Thanks for taking some time to talk to us! First of all, could you introduce yourself to our readers? Who are you, where do you come from, where do you live now? Tell us a little bit about your personal background!
Hi, you're welcome! My name is Martina, you can find me on Instagram as @bergermargaret. By the way, Margarete is my middle name, which sometimes causes confusion. (laughs)
I'm 33 years old and I live in a small village in the south of Austria. I have studied applied cultural studies. Music, Finland, and photography are my greatest passions.
When did you discover photography for yourself? Are you a full-time photographer?
I do remember the moment very well. It was in 2008 - while looking for an internship, I’ve discovered a culture association in Graz which reports on concerts and festivals. I applied as a concert photographer and can still remember vividly the feeling when I was in a photo pit for the first time - I knew immediately that I would like to do that as a career. So, the internship did not only take one or two months, but I was an active volunteer member for many years and photographed more than 100 concerts and also a few festivals.
Photography is also part of my job now - I work in the field of PR & marketing, I create graphics and videos, organize exhibition appearances, manage social media channels and much more. My love for photography and my visual sense have also helped me professionally.
You seem to particularly enjoy sharing beautiful shots of nature on your Instagram profile. Does nature have a special meaning to you?
Nature plays an important role in my life, especially because it is a place of relaxation and retreat for me. My father and grandfather were foresters in their younger years, so I often accompanied them in the forest as a child. Even today, I like to be alone in the forest and enjoy the peace and silence – I like to take a moment for myself, stop and calm down, reflect, and sometimes even make important decisions there.
Is nature also a source of inspiration for you? What else do you find inspiration in?
Yes, nature is certainly one of my biggest sources of inspiration - the colour combinations, the patterns and shapes, the arrangements (Fibonacci spiral), but also the variety and diversity fascinate me.
Another source of inspiration is Finland - you can find a lot of nature there too (laughs) and creativity. In general, I like Nordic as well as Scandinavian minimalism and the Danish concept of hygge. Finland somehow always stays in my heart, there are also some Finnish elements in my photographs.
Your pictures have a very calming effect and make us happy just by looking at them! In which moments do you feel particularly happy?
Thank you so much for the lovely compliment, I am very happy to hear that! The small, but lovely moments of everyday life enchant me the most! I am usually a positive and grateful person, but I also like to choose and create happiness for myself. There are things that cannot be influenced, but you can also make life a little more beautiful with doing something nice for yourself – this could be a cup of tea or hot chocolate, a walk, your favourite series, candlelight, or music. I also try to transport this in my pictures.
Although I am very introverted and shy, I still have to admit that especially people make moments perfect. Many beautiful moments arise spontaneously because of someone else’s impact - special connections develop. I love to think back to a woman who gifted me two felted lucky charms before my cello performance, although it was the first time we have ever met, or the big surprise party for my 30th birthday at the department, organised by my dear colleagues with whom I have worked at university. Often also very small gestures, like kind words or even a smile, make me happy.
Can you tell us a bit more about your creative process? Do you like to plan your pictures in advance or do you prefer taking photos spontaneously? Is there anything you pay special attention to?
My nature photos are always taken spontaneously, often in the garden, sometimes in the forest. The light conditions play a big role in my photographs; I like backlit shots, as they highlight the details so beautifully. I prefer to take authentic photos in natural available light - the process is completed with minimal image editing in Adobe Lightroom; I very rarely use Photoshop.
By the way, I also like to take photos when I travel - I always get excited when I can explore places I haven’t visited before. When everything is new and waiting to be discovered, it is really easy to find great subjects to photograph. I get inspired by the unknown; it helps me to look at things differently and to find unusual perspectives.
Series of photographs for collaborations are often conceptual and planned in advance. So far, I have been very lucky to work with companies that have not restricted me in the creative process and have fully trusted my ideas.
Two of your pictures have made it into our calendar series "Botanicals" - do you actually like to use calendars yourself or can you keep track of all your appointments without one?
I'm really happy about the new cooperation because calendars are a very important tool for me. I have to admit that I am a pretty chaotic person, but I try to keep it as a secret (laughs).
I have to meet a lot of deadlines in my job, so I use a digital calendar. I like to write down my daily professional tasks in a pocket calendar. At home, I like to use monthly planners to remember birthdays and track all kinds of things. And of course, also a calendar with beautiful, large pictures is a must-have. The Botanicals calendar is by the way placed in our kitchen.
How and why did you start using Instagram as a platform to share your photography?
One moment, I'll have a look - it was 2014, but I rarely shared pictures then - I think 2018 would be the right answer. You have to imagine that I live in a very small village with about 190 inhabitants - it still fascinates me that I can reach people from many parts of the world from here. I see my account as a personal space for my ideas, which I curate myself. I have already received great opportunities - not only collaborations with some of my favourite companies, but I have also met lovely people, won photo competitions and got travel opportunities through Instagram.
Do you have a favorite photograph which you have created and shared? Can you tell us the story behind it?
That's a difficult question - I really like photos that tell my personal story, but I think my favourite photograph is this nature shot which was not planned in any way. I wanted to go for a walk and luckily, I had my camera with me when the fog and morning turned the forest into a magical place. I was overwhelmed by this beautiful scene, and I had to run as fast as I could to be able to capture this shot. I was so grateful and entirely happy - it was also a special form of happiness that I felt in this specific moment.
How do you feel about your Instagram community? Are you close to them? Do you communicate with them a lot?
My community is the reason why I love being on Instagram. Over the years I've developed great friendships that don't end at direct messages but have often moved into the private sphere.
I also sometimes get postcards and even birthday gifts from my community. My community is small but my followers encourage and support me a lot and I'm really grateful to be in touch with so many creatives. A few of my pictures have been turned into illustrations or drawings by my followers, last year I also started a small community project and was amazed that some people actually participated (smirks).
Could you name some of your favorite Instagrammers who inspire you?
Yes, there are many, here are a few names:
@dreamingofmidsummer - Nina's photos and illustrations are often inspired by Vienna and invite you to dream.
@anastasia.tasou - I discovered Anastasia's art on Instagram years ago - some of her products can also be found in my pictures.
@juliatrotti - when it comes to image editing, Julia has inspired me for many years.
Did you know Pickmotion before we started our collaboration? If yes, how did you become aware of us?
Yes, of course I knew about Pickmotion - I was already enthusiastic about the polaroid style and your beautiful motifs before the cooperation! I especially like the postcards with the dog motifs. It has been a wish of mine to be able to contribute a photo of mine to a Pickmotion postcard - for this reason I have actively participated in your hashtag challenges. In 2019 I received my first cooperation request from you. I am still amazed when I discover my card in a shop. Of course, I would be very happy to receive more postcards and cooperation requests from you in the future.
Do you still like to write postcards?
I think handwriting is fascinating and I am happy when someone takes the time to write a postcard - maybe also because I am a visual and emotional person. In my youth, I wrote a lot of letters, but now I mainly write postcards, small notes or words of thanks.
Would you like to share a little story or anecdote with us? Feel free to tell us anything!
A photograph is not just a photograph, there is often - as in any other art form – far more behind it. Unfortunately, in our society success is often equated with profit and I also get frequently asked about the benefit of my photography. In most cases my photos have no practical or classical use, but they do have an emotional value. A world without photography or music would be bleak and I think it's nice that there are areas in life that follow their own rules. Since we have also talked a lot about happiness today, I would like to conclude our interview with the following quote: “If you're happy doing what you're doing, then nobody can tell you you're not successful."
Check out Martina on Instagram and let her gorgeous pictures take you on a journey! If you want to have her pictures right at home, you should get our Botanicals Calendar, which includes two of her photos! You can also learn more about our calendars through this blog post written be Martina herself!