I recently decided to photograph a series of ordinary objects. Many photographers have done this, and I was certainly inspired by Pati Hill, Jim Dine, and Walker Evans. Many of the tools in this series were left in my shed from over 20 years ago. It seems that many newer tools are not made as well as they used to be — or they just don’t seem to have the character of a tool that has travelled.

My goal with this project was to work with hard light to include the shadow and match a tool with a word beyond its function. My friend and writer Joe Hannan had the tricky job of making that word connect to expectations in a business relationship. 

We are ‘Ad’ guys after all.  Here’s what Joe came up with – with some interference from the photographer (me).


Calipers: Precise. It has to be this way: accurate and on point. Can precision be met? Exceeded? Or does it land in a visual middle ground? This is precise, because it is, and has to be.

Letters: Impactful. Your image is your message. It should leave a lasting impression. Clear, concise, and memorable, your visuals do the talking.

Monkey wrench: Reliable. There when you need it. Delivering without fail. Product images and photography services shouldn’t be something you have to worry about.

Brush: Refined. The details define your image. Tending to them with care helps your brand stand apart, conveying sophistication.

Shears: Discerning. What is it that makes a powerful image? And perhaps, more importantly, what detracts? Together, we answer these questions.

Trowel: Technical. Skilled hands build what lasts. We bring the same exacting detail to your branding and images. 

Saw: Timeless. A values-based approach to business is always effective. But in our opinion, it’s the only way to do business. 

Nails: Artisanal. Your business didn’t come out of a box. You built it from scratch. The images that represent your business should have the same level of craftsmanship. 

Clamp: Collaborative. We’re stronger together. Your input is paramount in our creative process. 

Roller: Dynamic. Your business is never static. Your success propels you into your next venture. You never settle. We won’t either.

Drill bits: Thorough. Elegant, impactful images aren’t superficial or shallow. We’re looking to create a new way of seeing.

Adjustable wrench: Versatile. Wasted time is a lost opportunity. We adapt to situations and circumstance to deliver as promised.

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