Few things make me happier than photographing old, well-made and useful things with my old, well-made and useful cameras. Cobbling tools + film cameras = <3 <3 <3
Awl Together Leather is a queer- and woman-owned business focused on drawing in the people frequently left out and discriminated against by conventional shops. Tess and Ariss are on a mission to create a leatherwork industry that better reflects who they are and the clients they serve. That means they prioritize queers, trans folks, people of colour and women.
Another huge part of their brand is their location. They’re just off the Drive, the neighbourhood where they live. It’s important for them to highlight that local connection and demonstrate their investment in their neighbourhood. The business is in-person and tangible by nature, so place matters.
Because they were also in the process of having a new website built, they had a strong sense of the images they would need to showcase their services and values on the website. Our shot list started with the necessary images for each service. Then we added tools (some of the most incredible antique sewing and cobbling machines. They literally don’t make ’em like they used to.) and action shots. They share their space and frequently collaborate with shoemaker Amy Slosky so we included a headshot of Amy and some group shots
I wanted to use only natural light in that beautiful space (the FLOORS. I have a thing for floors.) so I asked Ariss and Tess to pay attention to what time of day they got the best light in the shop. We chose 10 am and it was perfect. It was unseasonably warm that day and the sun just poured into the low windows, helping me to create beautiful colours and contrast (with the help of some Fuji 400H film, RIP 400H).
Have a look at the photos, and don’t forget to check them out in situ on their website. Then go support Canada’s only queer- and woman-owned leatherwork business!