Interview with Aaron Berger
26-year-old guy from Los Angeles suburbs, currently living in New York City. I have an obsessive personality, with a tendency to get interested in something and then dedicate every waking hour of my life to it. First it was soccer – until I realized I wasn’t ever going to be Steven Gerrard. Then online poker, which I made a living at for several years while living in Thailand. Then videos/filmmaking, and now photography — plus several others along the way that didn’t last. Playing guitar has been the only casual hobby.
The streets, generally — usually Manhattan because I live here and I like how busy it is. Although if I’m in a grocery store, train, restaurant, airplane, car, anywhere; I’m compulsively taking pictures wherever I am. I’d like just as much to be taking pictures in places other than the street, but I don’t have a social life and I don’t seek out unusual circumstances. I’m quite happy to walk outside everyday and react to whatever is there. I’ve come to prefer mundane context.
Every day during the week, as soon as I wake up and get myself together. Usually from morning-ish till dark. If I find myself outside for any other reason, which is rare if I’m being honest, I’ll have a camera with me then as well. On the weekends I shoot a lot less as I spend time developing film and being with my wife.
I react to whatever interests me. More often than not, it seems to be people; particularly when they’re moving or something is happening. But I can only give that answer because I’ve seen enough of my pictures now to realize I keep doing that. I don’t have pictures in mind that I go looking for. I like spontaneous pictures, pictures that happened, nothing so obviously made or contrived. Snapshot feels like a good word. I take plenty of other pictures too – pictures that are still, pictures with no people, pictures that have more empty space – but they’re usually no good. I’m working at it all, trying anything.
Because I love it as a daily practice, but why photography and not something else? I don’t know. Surely there’s some amount of chance in me stumbling upon photography, but now that I’m here, I’m addicted. Going out and shooting every day has become an escape from my head and an exercise that benefits me. Whatever it is, I get a lot of fulfillment out of being out photographing and then looking at the pictures and then doing it all over again. I’m curious about the medium, interested in people, and it’s all just been the right fit.