She likes a specific kind of intimacy, asking people to open their fridges for her. Over 50 already did for young photographer Sandra Junker, adding to an archive of fridge intimacy. We talked with the lively woman about her longterm photo project, whose fault it is that she became a photographer and about South Africa.
One of these very chill days in Berlin – and we sit in the sunny corner of a café – talking about the most interesting fridges Sandra has photographed. There was that London fridge with a towel. A gluten-free fridge in France. Old ladies fridges crammed with Tupperware. A monks fridge packed with vegetables, all covered in plastic. Pickles and cold fries for breakfast in Turkey. The fridge of our colleague Christiane (on the blogcover)…
You can estimate the insights a fridge gives about a certain lifestyle, food decisions, class, gender, national differences. And Sandra agrees that the project she started a few years ago as the graduation project at photo school grew into an obsession on the one hand and into a wide sociological study on the other. There were doubts at the beginning: “Probably somebody took fridge photos before I did, there is nothing new on this world, but my teacher said – Ok, then do it better!”
Sandra is a skilled product photographer with a conceptual approach. “Show me your fridge” juxtaposes a portrait of the fridge and a portrait of the person in the living environment. She uses flashlight to create the same light situation for all the fridges of the series, cropping the edges and reflecting the size of the fridge itself. “I would like to turn the series into a book one day.”
First she had a collection of German fridges and added through her travels London, Paris, Turkey and South African based fridges. Asked about South Africa Sandra reveals that a part of her family settled in Pretoria and that during her stay at Cape Town she very much enjoyed the small town feeling despite the size of the city.
A refreshing fact from Sandras CV: She never photographed before in her life when her mum told her to choose photography as a profession and then bought her first camera for photo school. At the moment she is aiming to become a freelancer for visual concepts and product photography, but in the same time would like to pursue her own ideas. On the question “What is the secret of good product photography?” she answers, priceless: “It has to look good.”