During the shoots it was me, a camera, a tripod, and the client – I was working directly with the design director. There was also a leather consultant who had been helping Maharam to pull the right leather tanneries together, and then there was somebody from their quality control department, to help us get our heads around the more quite complex details.
One of the great things about the shoot was that it could have been squeezed into maybe two, three days to be tight on the budget, but it was spread over a week. The client wanted to create a freeness to be able to photograph things as they happened, and allowed enough time and breathing space to ensure I had captured the story, rather than feeling the pressure. It was also a very immediate process – since the client was there, they could answer any questions on the spot. If I didn’t capture something in time, I could go back and ask [the team at the tannery] to recreate something for me. I love working that way, and I’ve been looking for similar projects ever since!
I had at least a month to turn around the retouch work, and they wanted to have a realness to the places, so it was a very light retouch. Maharam had concerns about their competitors finding out which tanneries they were using, so I had to remove some branding, but the rest was making the story work together. Because we went to different facilities, they obviously had very different lighting – some were very dark, some were very light, so I balanced out the colour and contrast so they looked good as a complete set.