Kyle Berger is a young emerging photographer who really loves McDonalds and can capture the golden arches like no other. Find out why he likes to shoot fast food (amongst other things) and how he does what he does when he does what he does.
What is your full name and where do you live?
Hi! My full name is Kyle Leonard Ludwig Berger, and I live in Canada - Toronto to be exact. A city that has granted me the ability to meet so many amazing people and have so many experiences that have allowed me to grow into my own. I have lived here for about two years and I like it. I’ve lived in other cities for shorter and longer than this and have hated these places much more - so that means something right
Do you ever wish your last name was spelled Burger with a “u” instead of Berger with an “e”?This is the most triggering thing for me - and yet ultimately the most “manifest destiny” type of shit. As an overweight and late-blooming youth, the connotation my name has/had and the personal sense of self worth I had in relationship to it wasn’t the best. Getting asked all the time, “Hey you want fries with that burger?” wasn’t very positive but it stuck. Throughout Jr High and High School people didn’t even know my first name - they all called me “Berger”. My first email ever was firstname.lastname@example.org!
But now, yeah, if I could legally change my name to Kyle “Big Mac” Berger and cut a cold check from McDonalds, sign me up - Imagine the Royalties!
If a fast food chain came to you with a big budget and asked you for a pitch or to shoot something - which one would you want it to be and what would you give them?
McDonalds all day. I have friends that were Wednesday Wopper mawfs or Taco Tuesday mawfs but to me the memory of landscapes - seeing the golden arches in the horizon with the light spilling through them….My childhood home was across the street from a McDonalds and my high school shared a parking lot with one. If I could make some wild, dystopian, creepy photos for the mega conglomerate that I pretty much mock all day - I’d be down. It’s not selling out if you are inherently doing the thing that inspires you, right?
What are some of the things you always have in your camera bag? Do people actually have camera bags still? What does yours look like if you have one?
I feel like no one really has an official camera brand bag, but they get their friend that makes bespoke jeans to make them a custom bag to put their contact T2 into for easy access at the after hours party to take photos of B-list swag lords.
That being said, my camera bag looks like a lunch bag and I usually have my wallet (just in case), a pack of cigs (because there is nothing better than smoking while on a photo walk, the camera (most likely) and then I always have to grip a flash.
Do crazy things or visuals just happen to present themselves to you? I guess I’m wondering how you manage to find or see the things you photograph?
I see a visual potential for an image and snap it - A common setting, natural framing and lighting (the real work comes to me after I see the image). I sit on the photos that I take and I also have a lot of snapshot randomness to add, but they’re all oriented in a nonsense way of thinking….that all this bullshit you are seeing is real..the ads, the instagram self representation. An idealized and very cemented way of thinking about photography is that the image you’re looking at is a literal capturing of a real moment.
The way I shoot photos is inherently a part of how I store and re-contextualize the images’ narrative to how I’m feeling that day. I’ve been making a lot of butterfly and bug type photos - I even recently got a butterfly tattoo. There are a lot of flies in my room and being outside has resulted in more bug bites than usual.
Do you ever shoot fashion?
Yeah, for sure! I currently have something in the works. Someone who’s pieces kind of emulate my photo process…so it will be a very fun and organic experience. I’m just always afraid of being taken advantage of - in the sense that someone might eye me for something I find inherently personal or intimate - and then monetize my work before I even know where it is going…like they sell your dreams. For this reason I’ve stayed away from fashion. But I’m so excited to learn how to document other peoples’ creative intentions - like a weird meta kink. I just want to be in full creative control (Aries) and work with people that see that as a positive in terms of representing their own brand. That doesn’t happen often
Have you ever worn cargo pants? Or better yet, the zip off kind?
I would most likely wear zip off cargo pants because shout out to anything functional. In this climate (timid summer, rain showers, cold at night), sometimes you wake up needing pants and fall asleep needing shorts. The real question is: Can the zip-off pant legs be used as another garment? Or have an entirely different function? If I cold zip off m pant legs and have a hat or I could eat them when I get hungry - that’s what I’m talking about!
Images courtesy of KYLE BERGER
interview ASHLEY MUNNS
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