Gabi Helfert

Do you have any personal traditions or rituals around Xmas?

The university where both my wife and I work is closed for 1-2 weeks over the holidays, so we get time off. We don’t have family living in this country, but we have two cats, one of them with special needs. Finding a reliable cat sitter in the holiday season is difficult, so we just stay at home. We don’t celebrate, but we go out to eat, meet up with friends, play board games, or binge-watch season after season of a favorite TV show. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Christmas itself or the days after. Any day between 20 December and 2 January is holiday for us.

Does the imminence of the new year affect your mood?

It’s a time of contemplation about the things that happened, the places and people I’ve visited, and the milestones I achieved in the past year. It’s also a fresh beginning, and even though I don’t make any resolutions, there’s a feeling of excitement and anticipation about the blank canvas the new year offers.

Further thoughts…

The day after Christmas was so far)the only snow day this season in Rotterdam. Unfortunately the snow was very wet and not really pretty, but I wanted to photograph it anyway. I love fresh snow. I love the way it mutes the sounds of the city, and the way it smoothens the little imperfections in the streets: the dirt, the trash, and the broken edges. It gives me a feeling of peace and quiet, even in the busy downtown area where I live.

The half-dozen contributions

Photographic resolutions…

This year I intend publishing more books based on my photography. I have started a project based on leaf forms and intend to continue with the occasional self portrait in 2015.

View her work…