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“The most special moment I've fallen asleep I think was in front of my (back then -future-) boyfriend on our sofa, while he told me that he may have a crush on me.“

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Helga is a freelance photographer for T Magazine and regularly contributes her artistic work to other fashion magazines. When she is not traveling the world to shoot fashion shows and other stories, she spends most her time between New York City and Austria.

June 2015
Vienna, Austria (GMT +2)
Photography: Helga Traxler 
Find Helga's photography work here

and make sure to follow her on instagram
Interview: VM

“I sleep best on the countryside in my parents house in Upper-Austria, where I grew up as well. Whenever I am on my 'Austrian-Vacation' - usually during the summertime - I love to go there and just enjoy the country silence.“

What are you doing during the day?
I am a photographer - my work is located at the interface between fashion and art, with strong attention paid to details and color schemes. Places and structures are superimposed in order to visualize ideas - the focus is always squarely on people. Oftentimes, my projects draw their titles from personal influences and things I love. I am usually looking very carefully – walking fast – traveling much – often for work – always for pleasure. Since 2012 I mainly reside in Brooklyn/New York City.

What time do you usually get up?
Mostly around 8AM - sometimes earlier. I would totally describe myself as an early bird. Love the early hours of the day - they are the most productive ones. Living in a shared apartment with 3 roomies for the last 3 years made me appreciate the quiet morning hours even more.

How does your alarm sound?
This annoying (well, I guess each and every alarm-sound is kind of annoying) i-Phone ringtone - for sure - everybody knows… ;) 

What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Checking my mails - and skipping through instagram and facebook. Yes, so it is.

Do you like having breakfast? And what do you have?
First: Have a cup of coffee with a grumpy-face on it (basically how I look and feel like right after waking up). Best thing in the morning is definitley the smell of the fresh brewed homemade coffee or sometimes on the to-go. I do not need much more for a perfect start to the day. Weekends are mostly exception: Having brunch with friends is best - preferably in the sunshine.

What time of the day are you most productive?
Mornings or late night (starting 11PM through 4AM).

Do you think sleep influences your work?
During stressful working schedules I very often feel like less sleep is more and makes me even more productive although I feel somehow weak.

Would you describe yourself as a good sleeper?
There was a long period of time in my life where I -  for sure - didn´t get a “healthy” amount of sleep but the past two years I would say I am pretty satisfied with my sleeping habits.

Where do you sleep best?
I sleep best on the countryside in my parents house in Upper-Austria, where I grew up as well. Whenever I am on my “Austrian-Vacation” - usually during the summertime - I love to go there and just enjoy the country silence. A loud and constantly busy city like New York made me look very much forward to this and it is a perfect way of recharging my batteries.

You travel a lot, do you adjust easily to different timezones?
I´d say yes … my body got used to changing time-zones a lot over the last few years. I feel you can totally “train” your body to adjust easily to different time-zones by just not thinking about it too much.

Do you have any rituals before going to bed?

I write down everything that happened during the day into my Moleskine.

Do you remember your dreams?
I only remember that I am sometimes very disappointed that a few dreams are not true. But I am sure you also know that feeling of waking up and being extremely happy about figuring that it was - thank God - only a dream.

Do you care about what you wear for sleeping?
Not really - mostly an old washed-out shirt and pyjama pants (just threw out pants I have had over the last 14 years. They made it a quite long way...
I hear you, still own a pair of Snoopy-print pyjamas I got ten years ago...

Describe your bed in 3 words.
Kingsizeblanket, twinsizebed, stripes.

What is the most special spot you’ve ever fallen asleep.
The most special moment I've fallen asleep I think was in front of my (back then -future-) boyfriend on our sofa, while he told me that he may have a crush on me.
He is the man portrayed in the image in the beginning of this interview.

What do you think happens while we sleep?
For me it´s very often a “replay” of stories that bothered me during the day.

How many sheep do you count?
Zero - I immediately fall asleep as soon as I lay down in my bed and sometimes can not even make it to say “goodnight”.

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Helga shared a series of sleep-inspired photos with us.
“This photoshoot wasn't really planned. I happened on a Sunday trip to Long Island with my good friend. Beaches always give me this lingering dreamy feeling. Like a bubble you dive into. Feels similar to falling asleep.“

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