Coalmine fashion shooting in Velenje – Slovenia
Yesterday came out the new issue of MODNA, the leading fashion magazine in Slovenia where you can find also my editorial shot 500 meters under the surface in a working coalmine… So how the hell did we end up shooting there? Well the story actually begins 2 years ago. I was commissioned to shoot a portrait of Dr. Milan Medved, the director of coal mine in Velenje. He is a huge guy, real miner, but really opened, talkative and friendly so I could not resist the temptation asking him if there would be any chance that I could do a shoot in the mine. He really liked this idea and he said that we should discuss that in details some other time… And than came an end of the summer so I went back to UK…and another summer came and I was thinking about this shoot quite often but again I didn’t find the time to shoot there, went back to London when I received an email from mr. Milan what is happening, when are we going to shoot in the mine… And this finally kicked me in the ass and not long time after that I went there to have a talk about the shoot and I went around the mine to check the location. After you step in the building on the top of the shafts you also step in completely new world. I got miners socks, underwear, shirt, pants, jacket, belts, shoes, helmet, gloves, protecting glasses, headlight, self rescue -breathing device and a tag. Than you enter the lift that takes you to the depth of 400m in just couple of seconds. Darkness, in some shafts there is cold in some hot, then you have the smelly ones, the wet ones, dusty ones… When you are walking around you meet a miner or two time to time and you greet with traditional SREČNO (good luck) and my ˝guide˝ Miran knew most of the man by the sound of their voice since you try not to flash everyone in the face with your blinding headlight. And it is quite funny when occasionally you almost step on some miner sitting on the floor in the dark eating his lunch…
We will return to the mine again a bit later… Well I suggested to Tadeja (PR of the coalmine) that we could do a shoot for Modna there… She was happy, Modna was happy so… lets do it… So in November I flew from London to Ljubljana for a weekend and we did the shoot.
You can imagine the reactions and the comments of the miners, when this aliens- women came to this exclusively mans word. It was funny for sure! I do not want to go into the details.🙂
But I have to say it was quite a hard shooting… Lots of different locations, different lighting setups, finding the right time to shoot on certain location so there is enough miners there or that there are not there… etc. We were working long hours again and when I came home I just collapsed into the bed.
And when I was shooting with miners (non of the photos of miners are in the mag😦 ) they gave me all sorts of typical miners tobacco products to try and of course they have a big laugh when they were looking a guy in skinny jeans making strange faces while trying that… But what the hell..When in Rome, do as the Romans do… And what was it…? Well there was a chewing tobacco soaked into the šnops (strong home made brandy). I don’t like even this things separated, not to mention the combination…😀 And then there were half of the miners… just don’t swallow the juice…and there was another half..of course you have to swallow… BUT… I know that, I guess from the Westerns (John Wayne) that swallowing would give you a nice diarrhea! :D… And the other thing that made us all cry was sniffing the tobacco… Me, because I am not used of that thing stucked in my nose and them because of laughing… Well we had fun indeed…
I had a fantastic team to work with me on this:
Styling by Alenka Birk and Barbara Žgalin
Mua: Saša Godejša
Hair: Matej Komar
Models: Una B. and Hana
Coordinator: Miran Beškovnik
Retouching: Mr. B
Least but not least my lovely assistants: Uroš Žuraj and Marko Ocepek
And thx to Rok – Nikon Slo.!
And the photos…My selection is a bit different that in the magazine…
Backstage photos by: Marko, Matjaz & Uroš
Hmm, I never write about the technical site of the shoot. So if you have any questions just shoot!
Aaaa… I wrote the MUST SEE link section but it didnt show up in the blog!😦
Weeell… The first link today is http://www.ted.com/ one of the most inspiring, interesting www ever. Here you can find videos about art, design, photography, business, ecology, science… Check it out!
And the other link is even more academic- http://www.americansuburbx.com/ Here you can find amazing interviews, articles, essays about different photographic legends. A website that keeps you busy for days!