The office stories, Madri
This story starts exactly a year ago. On a rainy day in September I (Tami, Kern’1s owner) was in The Hoxton hotel in Amsterdam for a business meeting. When exiting the lobby at the second floor of the canal-side hotel, I passed a majestic-looking and inviting analogue photo booth on my left side. I happened to have my favorite little black Chanel jacket with me for a fitting later that day, and because I am always on the search for new ways to picture our gems, I spontaneously hopped into the booth with the jacket. The result: a black and white photo strip that physically captured the start of Kern1. A dear memory.
Fast-forward to February 2019. A request pops up on Instagram from Madri van Veldhuizen to help her find a vintage Chanel jacket for her wedding at Rotterdam’s city hall. We planned a fitting at her home and I brought a variety of white and cream-colored jackets. A piece with lion head buttons, as a reference to Lev, her firstborn son’s name and youngest son’s Koa’s star sign, was what she was actually hoping for, but a straight-fitted 80s jacket with clover buttons and delicate fringed trim turned out to be her ‘lucky jacket'.
Madri’s home displays a decent amount of analogue photo booth strips, and when I asked about those she explained that her company Photoautomat Amsterdam restores analogue photo booths from the 60s and places them in prime spots in the city, among them, the one in The Hoxton hotel.
It all started with her personal love for analogue photography, which landed her a job at Lomography, where she was responsible for developing the brand in the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg). She opened two shops for the brand, one in Amsterdam and one in Antwerp, and at one point she and her (future) husband even took over the shops. While she was looking for an analogue Photo Booth for the store in Amsterdam, she found out that they are no longer made and can’t be found that easily. She already gave up on the search when Stefan (her now business partner in Photoautomat Amsterdam) basically entered the store with a Photo Booth on his back, looking for a location, which was the beginning of their company. The brick and mortar locations of Lomography have closed their doors, but she still runs lomography.nl. With their cutting edge cameras, Lomography grew into an active global community dedicated to analogue photography for creative and experimental photography.
Recently Madri contacted me again. She spotted in the background of a picture I posted on Instagram a red and white striped jacket from Chanel’s 2008 spring collection. When I told her this jacket actually had the lion buttons she was hoping for, she couldn’t resist scheduling another appointment to try the jacket on. Even though she felt adding another Chanel jacket to her wardrobe might be a bit extravagant. Once she tried it on, it was clear. The jacket picked her and she decided to go for it.
Madri is often on the road to maintain her photo booths, search for new booth locations and give workshops. Both her jackets are perfect for both daily wear and special occasions. For work, she casually combines her jackets with jeans and sneakers to fit her busy days. Last Monday Madri gave me the chance to picture her together with her two Kern1 jackets. And what is a better location to picture the ambassador for analogue photography, than at her modern ‘office’: the analogue photo booth at the Hoxton Hotel?
The Photo Booths of Photoautomat Amsterdam can be found at The Hoxton Hotel, Hutspot Magna Plaza, Hutspot Van Woustraat and Pllek at the NDSM wharf.