We all have different methods to cheer up a family member who have spiraled into a bout with depression, for photographer Sacha Goldberger, the task was more than heart-wrenching. Seeing her then 91-year-old grandmother; Frederika almost tore his heart to pieces that he quickly thought of something to cheer her up: Therapy! but not the one all of us had in mind – as Goldberger devised a more creative way; letting his grandmother become the main subject of his next photography series. The result is a much-loved series “Mamika” (Hungarian for “Grandma“). It also spawned a photography book “Mamika: My Mighty Little Grandmother” published by Harper Collins in 2012. Indeed, Grandma’s Superhero Therapy did the job, and once Mamika Frederika started posing in front of Goldberger’s camera, she can’t stop projecting and smiling.
“I started to make pictures of my grandmother 10 years ago. (My) other Superhero (series) was done before that. (So) I was looking for a new idea with Mamika, and I thought doing another superhero series would be a great idea, and I thought about doing it with Mamika, because nobody ask themselves what happened when superheroes get old?” Goldberger wrote in an email to Resource Magazine when asked how the idea for this series came about.
By using his experience as an Art Director in an Advertising Company, Goldberger sets up each scene by simply sketching his imagined image on a piece of paper before directing his grandmother to pose for his camera. A process that contributed to the improved positive mood of Mamika. “When we started, my grandmother was feeling quite sad, and I thought it was a good way to spend some time with her and also to show my work.”
“The important thing for me is to tell a story. Everything must be in the direction of what I want to tell. The character, the costume, the location, everything.” Goldberger adds. Working with her grandmother not only afforded him more quality time with her, Goldberger also discovered what a great source of fun and inspiration Mamika could be. “I worked a long time with my grandma and whenever I thought I wouldn’t have any more ideas. I alway think of new creative things to do with her. She inspires me so much.”
Goldberger’s photography series is so perfect in portraying Mamika as a superhero, since she really is one. During World War II, Grandma Frederika saved the lives of ten individuals from the hands of the Nazi’s. When Goldberger asked her how she did it, Mamika told him “I hid the Jewish people I knew, moving them around to different places every day.”. After surviving both the Nazism and Communism in Budapest, Grandma Frederika then started a new life in Hungary and France.
Finally, we asked Goldberger about his next photography project. “I am doing a new series called secret Garden. It will take One year and a half to finish. You will have to be patient to discover it. I am starting the shoot this week.”
To see more of Sacha Goldberger’s work check out his website and his Facebook Page. To be considered for Photographer of the Day, follow us on Instagram @resourcemag and e-mail submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “POTD Submission.”