Sophie Makharadze is a German Language student in Berlin. Originally from Georgia, she moved to the vibrant city three years ago and has been documenting her journey of getting to know Berlin and its citizens through her analogue portrait-diary. She talked to us about capturing the colorful, cultural diversity of Berlin's residents and what the inspiration was behind this project.
Hello Sophie and welcome to the Lomography Magazine! How did your journey with photography and especially analogue photography?
I have actually always had an interest in visual arts. I was an avid reader from an early age and spent hours absorbing every detail of the rich illustrations in my picture books. My journey with photography began in high school when my father gifted me my first Canon PowerShot SX 130.
By high school and university, photography had become simply a fun way of fulfilling art credits and documenting trips. After a while, when I moved to Berlin, I met a lot of interesting people and they inspired me to buy my first analogue Medium format film Camera Mamiya 645. I discovered that shooting with film was very enjoyable for me, what I like the most about analogue photography is the thinking process, between winding a film and pressing the shutter.
What Equipment did you use for the series and why?
Usually, I’m using different types of cameras and lenses, it just depends on what kind of shooting I want it to be, for this series I used my favorite cameras: Mamiya 645 (6cm x 4.5cm) Yashica Mat 124G (6cm x 6cm) and Canon 7 rangefinder with Voigtländer 35mm F2 Ultron lens. Medium Format Film Cameras have a wide field of view, Negatives get a beautiful creamy background, sharp subjects, low grain and for street portrait photography this is everything I need.
What is the inspiration behind this series? Can you give us some insight on how it came to be?
Sure! People, people inspired me! The streets of Berlin are always full of fascinating faces, full of individualism and cultural diversity. I remember, when first moving to Berlin I loved riding the S-bahn, They were agile, accessible to use, but best of all, they were often crowded with the most diverse people in the world. All sizes, ages, styles, and colors were imaginable. I wished I could photograph them…I started to work on this series last year in spring when the pandemic invaded our lives. During that period, photography became a kind of a way for me to stay in touch with people. I started to make a daily photo diary about people I’ve met during the day. Every portrait has its own little small-talk story and these stories tell the tale of me discovering the Berlin-Society.
What is your favorite Photo from the Series?
Such a challenging question, I would say this one, because it was the first from this series and the idea of shooting this series came to me after taking this photo.
Last but not least: do you have some tips/inspiring words for our readers?
Shoot and share, Try out everything you can think of in photography. The most important is the process of searching and trying.
Many thanks to Sophie, for sharing her story and her pictures with us! Check out her Instagram and leave some love!