Rope Dye Crafted Goods
ApparelArt

Cory Piehowicz Photography: Bringing Denim to Life

denimhunters_cory_piehowicz_photography (19)When it comes to denim photography, especially advertising photography, the images become rather formulaic. A picture of the jeans from the front, from the back on a clear crisp background worn by a model chosen for his or her physiques ability to show the fit in the best possible light. We may also get a close-up of the denim or any particular feature, selvedge ID, hidden rivets and so on. We get what we expect and we get what we trust. For the most part this is a good thing, it allows us to compare and contrast and if we are purchasing without handling the garment it gives a fair impression of what we will receive.

However, every so often you will see an image that is different in its conception entirely; images which not only shows off the garment and tells us what we need to know in terms of fit, fabric and style, it also tells a precise story in where the garment came from. In the world of denim these images are more than likely the work of Cory Piehowicz, the photographer of choice for brands such as Mister Freedom and Rising Sun & Co.

The images give the impression that, in fact, colour photography was invented in the 18th century, down a mine or in the desert. They hark back to the quality and honesty that is so often associated with images from over 100 years ago, this look is often attempted but seldom emulated in a way that successfully achieves authenticity in the way Cory’s work does.

Cory was kind enough to have a chat with us about how he found his way into this niche, where he draws his inspiration and his thinking behind what he shoots.

Can you tell us a little about yourself, what’s your background?
“I grew up in a small town in Ohio. I went to college where is studied film production and this is where I became involved in photography.”

me2You clearly have a passion for clothing with history, how did this all begin?
“I started collecting various old photographs from old crime scene photos to portraits of workers. From these photos I started to get really interested in the clothing that these people were wearing.”

“Most of the photos I collected and the films I really liked had some things in common. They were all gritty and real. The people in the photos had no make-up on, no styling, they were captured just as they were. I graduated hoping to move to a big city but ended up staying in Ohio but travel often.”

denimhunters_cory_piehowicz_photography (7)You take the product shots for many of the premium names in the denim community. How did you become involved with these brands and this area of the business?
“As I got more and more interested in the older work wear, I started searching the internet. I ended up finding forums and some photos of older clothing, like early Levi’s/miner photos etc. I ended up meeting some of the most important people in my life from some of those forums. Mike Harris and Charla Harris started a topic called Jeans of the Old West based on Mike’s book. I ended up messaging them and Mike clued me into a location for a shoot I wanted to do with a buddy. At that point The Rising Sun had remade a two pairs of pants that Mike had found from the 1870s. So I bought a pair of the pants and went out to shoot them on my own.”

denimhunters_cory_piehowicz_photography (16)“From there I created a blog and started posting photos of clothing companies that I liked. I also would search sites wanting to see how an item fit before I purchased it and couldn’t find any. So I figured I would post images of me or friends in them so others could see how they would fit and look. I don’t do any bullshit like clap my clothes so they look better in photos, I put them on and that is how I present them.”

“Meeting Mike, Russ, and Charla had changed my life. Finding other people that are that passionate about the history of denim and work wear was incredible. I could now talk to others about my passion and learn so much from them. I couldn’t ask for better friends and who would’ve known I would meet them on an internet forum. They continue to do so much to teach others about the history of denim. As well as Brit Eaton who is the largest dealer in vintage work wear. Without these people the denim industry would suffer a lot from private collectors whose stuff we will never see. I cannot wait for their future books, one coming out in fall called American Overalls.”

“I then started to email companies photos that I had taken so they could see what I was doing. I got some work from a few companies.”

How do you go about deciding on themes for the shoots?
“As far as themes and locations for my shoots I normally base them on the history of the clothes. If they are miner’s clothes then I will go to a mine to shoot them, if they are overalls I would choose a farm or railroad. I also believe in using real people not cut and paste models. I go on a bunch of trips with Mike and Charla and will shoot items on these trips.”

“Recently someone tried to accuse me of putting fake dirt on my face for a shot, which is funny because it was a personal shot and I had been in the mines for 3 days without a shower and was covered in dynamite dust and dirt. They also wanted to hound me about the two pairs of pants I had on which was common for miners, functionally it helps in the mines due to kneeling on the really hard rocks and also it is warmer. I think one of the most important things about some of my vintage images is seeing how the clothing was worn functionally, this was really important and how they would modify their clothing for these reasons.”

denimhunters_cory_piehowicz_photography (18)

Any particularly memorable photo sessions?
“One of my most memorable photo shoots was on a trip with Russ and Charla Harris. We were on a journey to a remote ghost town and had hiked in 120 °F weather for 14 hours, when we got to the destination I decided it was the best time to shoot some. We were all dehydrated and felt like shit. But I got some really great photos plus the atmosphere was incredible. On the way back it was a 12 hour hike and our water supply had disappeared, I got a few shots at that point that I will always remember.”

“My dream shoot would be to get a bunch of people and just travel around stopping whenever and taking photos. Not the regulated “you got 4 hours, you have to do this and that”, I like to freestyle shoot.”

denimhunters_cory_piehowicz_photography (10)Many of our readers like to take shots of their jeans or other related products and share them denim community. Do you have any tips or tricks to share with us?
“One tip for people who love to shoot denim and outfits/selfies is don’t blur or hide your face! You aren’t a celebrity and it takes away from the photo, also stay out of the dirty bathroom mirror and make sure the photo is in focus.”

Now, let’s have a chat about your personal history with denim. Do you remember your first pair of jeans?
“I don’t remember my first pair of jeans, but I remember wearing overalls as a kid with a really sweet big bird sweatshirt. From there I know the first pair that I bought that I was in love with was the Mister Freedom 7161’s.”

What do you love the most about denim?
“I think the thing I like most about denim is the history and durability of it.”

denimhunters_cory_piehowicz_photography (5)

How do you wear and treat in your dry denim jeans – any special routines?
“I use to be a raw denim person but then started to steer away from the heavy whiskering. So I will either give my denim a cold soak or wear raw for a month or two and then soak.”

Looking at your blog you seem to have a number of really great pieces of clothing, any particular favourites amongst them?
“I think my favourite pair of denim in my collection is a pair of 1920’s Levi’s that I found on a trip wrapped around a pole that was being used for insulation. It isn’t that they are super rare at all but the journey to find them and the beauty of the really worn denim. My favourite pair and fit that I wear all the time are my Rising Sun & Co./Mike Harris A.B. Elfelt repros. The fit is so great on them, a really high rise and incredibly comfortable. The pair is non-riveted and has an incredible back pocket.”

What’s your favourite brand/fit?
“Some of my favourite companies around right now are Mister Freedom, Rising Sun, Left Field, RRL, White Horse Trading Company, Jack/Knife Outfitters, Filson, Rogue Territory, Warehouse, LVC and Blue Highway.”

denimhunters_cory_piehowicz_photography (13)denimhunters_cory_piehowicz_photography (8)Are there any up-coming or unknown brands that you think are worth looking into?
“I think as far as new companies I can’t wait to see what White Horse and Jack/Knife produce in the future. White Horse Trading Company and Old North Clothing are currently working on a pair of work pants together. Also my buddy Zach of Zace Overalls is remaking a pair of old turn of the century Powell overalls for me and has several other projects he is working on.”

denimhunters_cory_piehowicz_photography (6)Do you collect anything (other than denim)?
“As far as collecting other items, I have a pretty big collection of vintage photographs from crime scene photos and workers pre- 1950s. I also collect vintage taxidermy and wax heads from old wax museums.”

denimhunters_cory_piehowicz_photography (9)And what are the plans for the future of Cory Piehowicz Photography, where do you see it taking you in the next five years?
“I have a few personal projects lined up and am very excited about them. I am also currently working on a new book which is a collection of original one of a kind images of workers and work wear from my personal collection.”

“One of my favourite recent finds is a late 1800’s photo of a Native American wearing two pairs of Levi’s, which I think is better than the image LVC has been using for years.”

“For this years Denimbruin in SF (August) I will be exhibiting some photographs with fellow photographer Farhad Samari at AB fits. I plan on continuing to shoot photos of work wear and denim in the future; it definitely isn’t a fad for me.”

You can see much more of Cory’s work on his blog and official website.

Related posts

Brand Profile: Nezumi Denim Co.

Red Wing Harvester: Meet Your New Favourite Winter Boot

Matt Wilson

20 Questions for Manuel Canova, founder of IMjiT35020 Manufactus

Matt Wilson

55 comments

Avatar
freddie November 10, 2013 at 09:13

Do you know the brand of jeans in the first photo? Been looking for a high rise pair like that for a loooooong time ..

Reply
Avatar
Denimhunters November 11, 2013 at 10:09

Hi Freddie,
The jeans in the first picture are the A.B. Elfelt & Co. reproduction made by Rising Sun & Co. See more pictures here: http://banditphotographer.blogspot.dk/2010/10/rising-suns-ab-elfelt-company-jeans.html

Reply
Avatar
Uzzann January 2, 2024 at 08:09

best allergy medication for itching allergy pills prescribed by doctors doctor prescribed allergy medication

Reply
Avatar
Ejabug January 2, 2024 at 10:23

names of prescription allergy pills how long do antihistamines take to work prescription strength allergy meds

Reply
Avatar
Pimgzl January 5, 2024 at 01:24

best prescription sleep aids order sleeping tablets online uk

Reply
Avatar
Uuefly January 7, 2024 at 16:19

order deltasone 10mg online buy generic prednisone 5mg

Reply
Avatar
Xqmjeg January 9, 2024 at 17:54

heartburn medication new warnings order glucophage sale

Reply
Avatar
Hwvgjc January 11, 2024 at 16:58

prescription acne cream names cleocin 300mg uk acne treatments that work uk

Reply
Avatar
Nariyv January 13, 2024 at 09:48

most recommended allergy medication buy fml-forte generic prescription strength allergy meds

Reply
Avatar
Rrneio January 15, 2024 at 12:09

gastric tablet name list prescription heartburn medicine names

Reply
Avatar
Jvhhmk January 16, 2024 at 07:04

order isotretinoin 40mg generic buy isotretinoin 20mg generic isotretinoin buy online

Reply
Avatar
Kwdkmu January 18, 2024 at 11:59

buy generic amoxil over the counter buy generic amoxil for sale amoxil 500mg uk

Reply
Avatar
Yrpjbi January 18, 2024 at 16:49

diphenhydramine hcl nighttime sleep aid modafinil where to buy

Reply
Avatar
Lznjtt January 20, 2024 at 01:42

buy zithromax pills for sale zithromax generic azithromycin 500mg tablet

Reply
Avatar
Tkzxvk January 20, 2024 at 09:19

buy gabapentin tablets neurontin over the counter

Reply
Avatar
Qxhgpl January 21, 2024 at 18:09

azithromycin 500mg drug azipro 250mg cost azipro for sale

Reply
Avatar
Hawskq January 22, 2024 at 03:58

order furosemide sale lasix 40mg price

Reply
Avatar
Gqdncj January 23, 2024 at 07:42

cheap prednisolone 5mg omnacortil 40mg for sale buy prednisolone generic

Reply
Avatar
Fiiodi January 25, 2024 at 18:58

buy amoxil tablets amoxil over the counter amoxicillin 500mg for sale

Reply
Avatar
Aekauf January 26, 2024 at 00:26

buy generic doxycycline 200mg monodox online order

Reply
Avatar
Jaause January 27, 2024 at 05:41

order generic ventolin inhalator buy ventolin 4mg generic buy albuterol pills

Reply
Avatar
Bmkgej January 28, 2024 at 04:56

buy clavulanate pills augmentin 375mg pills

Reply
Avatar
Yiwgoi January 29, 2024 at 01:44

purchase levothroid pills synthroid 100mcg uk synthroid 75mcg usa

Reply
Avatar
Xxzuke January 29, 2024 at 12:23

oral vardenafil 20mg levitra ca

Reply
Avatar
Maovbn January 30, 2024 at 10:38

clomid 50mg canada clomid medication serophene price

Reply
Avatar
Ejljse January 30, 2024 at 13:24

purchase tizanidine online buy tizanidine 2mg generic oral zanaflex

Reply
Avatar
Prhbnj February 1, 2024 at 02:28

purchase prednisone online order prednisone 10mg pills buy deltasone online cheap

Reply
Avatar
Dzyvds February 1, 2024 at 06:04

buy rybelsus 14 mg pills generic rybelsus 14 mg semaglutide uk

Reply
Avatar
Byggby February 2, 2024 at 18:04

buy accutane generic order generic accutane 40mg generic isotretinoin 20mg

Reply
Avatar
Txpkir February 3, 2024 at 00:40

semaglutide for sale rybelsus 14 mg pills buy cheap rybelsus

Reply
Avatar
Uangzb February 4, 2024 at 02:59

albuterol pills cost ventolin 4mg albuterol 4mg ca

Reply
Avatar
Fjhxgp February 4, 2024 at 09:05

buy amoxil 250mg online cheap generic amoxicillin 1000mg amoxil drug

Reply
Avatar
Jhwgwa February 5, 2024 at 20:04

where to buy clavulanate without a prescription clavulanate pills amoxiclav over the counter

Reply
Avatar
Aepxqs February 6, 2024 at 02:00

purchase azithromycin generic zithromax generic zithromax 500mg sale

Reply
Avatar
Njtoff February 7, 2024 at 11:41

generic levothroid synthroid 75mcg pills buy levoxyl generic

Reply
Avatar
Ziekst February 7, 2024 at 17:51

omnacortil 10mg brand order prednisolone generic prednisolone 20mg cost

Reply
Avatar
Guavbg February 9, 2024 at 04:44

brand clomiphene order clomid 50mg online clomid price