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A handmade camera for a handmade pair of shoes
A box, beer can, radiator key and kimono fabric were used to build a pinhole camera in a collaboration between photographer Steven Jones and shoe designer Hetty Rose which culminated in a photo shoot where the camera was as handmade as the shoes.
Inspired by Hetty's bespoke footwear, Steven used cardboard, a beer can and a radiator bleed key to build a pinhole camera that shoots onto 35mm film. The brown box with a tiny pinhole in the front was then delivered to Hetty, who used antique kimono fabric, eyelets and vintage ribbon to transform it from a little brown box into an object of beauty.
The pair then booked a model (Lauren) and organised a day's shoot, near Steven's flat in Putney. "Being based at the flat was necessary because each 35mm roll of film needed to removed from the camera in complete darkness," said Steven. Therefore, once they reached the end of each roll, Steven would disappear into his darkroom to remove it from the camera. Meanwhile, Lauren would change outfit and slip into a different pair of Hetty's handmade kimono fabric shoes, and then they would start the process again.
Steven said: "I've made a number of pinhole cameras in the past, but never one that shot on film, so it's always been something I'd wanted to try. I love the whole building process and how the cameras are really a part of the finished works - whenever I show someone a pinhole image, they also always love to hold and play with the actual camera. My cameras have never been decorated or made to look beautiful though, so I thought that it would be nice to try, as it would tie everything together as a collective - the shoes, the photos and the camera itself.
"I think that, especially in the digital age, there's something fun and magical in the way you can make a camera out of a box, a can of beer, and a radiator bleeding key. It shouldn't really be possible and yet there it is."
Steven found Hetty's work showcased at Che Camille Boutique in Glasgow and approached her to do a collaborative project together.
Hetty said: "Combining Steven's eye for an interesting shot and my bright shoes, we decided that rather than just shooting with a high tech camera, Steven would hand make a pinhole camera which I then transformed with a piece of kimono fabric. I like the concept of a handmade camera, using a traditional and simple method of capturing a moment combined with the handmade shoes, all styled in a modern way.
"We're so used to seeing an image as soon as it's taken on a camera, that it takes the element of the unknown away. I was really excited to be using the pinhole camera, seeing the negatives when they were developed, and then waiting to see the final images to see if it all worked."