Do you ever just get the feeling you want to roam around a launderette, on a Saturday, while customers wash their duvets? I have for the last year as I drive past one on my Friday journey home from work. A launderette, I thought apart from Eastenders, who even uses one now?
I contacted the owner of laundramagic, Helena, which was a big deal for me because this was my first official location pitch. This is where you say “what are you scared of? You do this for a living”, well actually a lot of my work was very studio based at the beginning or locations that are convenient to me. The pitch for the launderette was completely new to me, and I hate to say it, social media helped me combat that, I met with Helena through facebook and arranged a meet-up. Hindsight will tell me to create great art you need to get out of your comfort zone. Give up your preconceptions of people and attitudes because people want to be a part of something awesome, and that’s what this was. If only I was this sane.
It’s at this point where I highly recommend building a Pinterest board showing your ideas. No one tends to understand them until they see the finished result, in this case it’s a load of washing machines in a photo, how is that aesthetically pleasing?
I approached a friend of mine, Bex Sweeney, a makeup artist in Swindon and got a plan together. Filled with wacky and wonderful ideas that then stemmed to, why don’t we just have fun with washing machines as a theme? Original huh?
Our model Beats returned to work with us, who I originally shot in the image below, how skills change! And we went cameras in tow to the launderette.
By far the most exciting photoshoot I’ve experienced, customers trailed in throughout the day with socks and pants from the previous week, I met what felt like the entire family of Helena and was made to feel a part of it and the tumble dryers were too hot so were a shutter away from melting the makeup off! Helena was taking photos of the shoot to tell her daughter what was going on who didn’t believe this was happening in her mum’s launderette. I love telling people my ideas because they look at me like I’m insane and I get to prove to them that I am but I also take great photos!
To use the launderette, as payment, we made a donation to Mind, a mental health charity which I would recommend looking into, they do great work.