Playing Bingo

Michael Hess: Bingo And Social Club

Photographs by Michael Hess

There are plenty of photographs of bingo halls on the site here, but not a lot of the actual players themselves. Bingo players are typically very camera shy and not the sort of subject you see in photography very often, so I was intrigued when I spotted Michael Hess' book Bingo And Social Club and instantly ordered myself a copy. I was pleased to see the book was a respectful and engaging look in to the heart of playing bingo with its eye catching and engaging depictions of the players and hard working staff.

His aim was show the characters of the halls, and as you can see from the small selection below he has achieved what he set out to do. In my opinion these are a superb collection of photographs that truly show the humanity of the bingo hall. Not only are they technically excellent shots, the timing is perfect, each one capturing a very real and poignant moment. The quality runs through out the book, of which we feature a tempting selection below.

I think it's fair to say the book is more than just a collection of photographs, it is an important social document. He has approached his subject by taking the time to get to know the faces in the halls and spending time with the people he photographs. They stand up as marvellous photographs, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. In fact, I would urge you to go out and buy yourself a copy now - these sort of collections are few and far between.

All images reproduced with the kind permission of Michael Hess.

Bingo caller

Bingo caller in full swing.

Smoking ban

Before the smoking ban.

Laughter bingo hall

Laughter in the bingo hall.

Love bingo hall

Love in the bingo hall.

Sorority

Sorority in the bingo hall.

Balcony sketch 1

Eyes down!

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