In a world where tales of resilience echo, few resonate as authentically as that of Field Made Co, a brand that emerged amidst the pandemic’s chaos, carving its niche in the expansive realm of photography and filmmaking. From the south shores of Montreal to a global presence spanning over 70 countries, the journey of J.F. and Vivian is nothing short of inspirational. Their brainchild, Field Made Co, has become synonymous with innovation, quality, and a relentless pursuit of excellence in a domain they know best.
It’s not just about crafting labels; it’s about embracing change, navigating challenges, and turning adversity into opportunity. From clandestine meetings with printers during a global lockdown to being spotlighted by renowned platforms, every chapter of their journey is a story in itself.
Today, we sit down with the dynamic duo to delve deeper into the vision, passion, and unwavering determination that transformed an idea, born during unprecedented times, into a globally recognized brand. Join us as we uncover the layers of Field Made Co’s story through the eyes of its co-founders, J.F. and Vivian.
“In a world where AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated, it’s imperative for photographers and filmmakers to highlight what AI can’t replicate: the artistry of capturing people, events, objects and locations to meet the unique needs of their clients.”
1. What was the defining moment or experience that led you both to start Field Made Co.?
Vivian: The defining experience was when we found ourselves on location during a complex photoshoot, frequently changing lenses to achieve the perfect shots. Quickly identifying the right lens became challenging because all the lens end caps looked the same. JF and I decided to create high-quality lens ID labels for our personal use, solving this issue efficiently while adding a touch of professionalism to our gear.
We decided to make this product available for other photographers and filmmakers because we believed that other professionals might find this solution helpful. We recognized that they also take great pride in their gear, and using a cheap-looking piece of tape or sharpie on an expensive lens seemed unprofessional and disorganized. We felt our solution could benefit others in the same situation.
JF: In 2020, the world was in turmoil due to the pandemic, but that’s when Field Made’s journey truly began. With nearly two decades of experience as photographers, we had spent years creating images for other brands. But there was a burning will within us to break free and create something of our own.
One unique twist of fate during those challenging times was that we suddenly had more time on our hands. The world had slowed down, and we saw an opportunity amidst the chaos.
Among the challenges of closed shops and uncertainty, we decided to take the leap. It almost felt clandestine when we searched for a printer who would help bring our ideas to life in March 2020. That’s the moment when Field Made Co. was born – right there at the backdoor of that printer.
This was our defining moment, our rebellion against the odds. The year 2020 was not about setbacks; it was about seizing the opportunity to make our mark. From there, we embarked on a remarkable journey of creating premium accessories for photographers and filmmakers.
2. As a life partner team, how do you balance your personal and professional dynamics to drive the company forward?
JF: In our dynamic duo, Vivian takes care of the essential operations—orders, customer service, and all the administrative tasks that keep the ship sailing smoothly. Meanwhile, my role is focused on the creative heartbeat of our company. I lead the charge in product design, with the invaluable insights from Vivian, and label production. I’m also the one behind the camera, shaping our brand through photography, steering our social media presence, and crafting our website. It’s a partnership where each role is vital and together, with trust and unwavering passion, we make it happen.
Vivian: As a life partner team, finding harmony between our personal and professional roles comes naturally. We deeply admire and respect each other’s work and the valuable contributions we each bring to Field Made. Our shared commitment to personal growth and success not only propels our business but also serves as a source of inspiration for our daughter.
3. How have you seen the photography and filmmaking industry change since you started, and where do you see it heading in the next 5-10 years?
JF: Looking back on the past twenty years, it’s clear that the photography and filmmaking industry has undergone significant changes. In the early days, traditional film photography was the norm, but the introduction of digital cameras changed everything. This shift democratized these art forms and made them accessible to more people.
Social media has been a key driving force in this transformation, prioritizing speed and convenience. It’s also important to recognize that the constant demand for images on social platforms will continue to drive the need for high-quality visuals. This means that both speed and convenience, as well as captivating visuals, will remain essential factors in the evolution of social media.
However, there’s a new challenge on the horizon. In a world where AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated, it’s imperative for photographers and filmmakers to highlight what AI can’t replicate: the artistry of capturing people, events, objects and locations to meet the unique needs of their clients. It’s not just about snapping photos; it’s about capturing moments, emotions, and stories in a way that’s deeply personal.
Furthermore, the human touch and the personal customer experience are irreplaceable. Building a strong rapport with clients, understanding their vision, and making them feel valued is something AI can’t emulate. It’s about the trust and connection that only a human can provide.
4. What sets Field Made Co. apart from other solutions in the market?
Vivian: At Field Made Co., we provide a wide range of labels designed to assist photographers and filmmakers, regardless of the camera and lens brands they use. This not only simplifies equipment management but also allows for effortless style matching, particularly if you own multiple brands.
Our labels are meticulously crafted for each brand caps and style, featuring essential information such as focal length, aperture, filter size, and designations. This guarantees photographers and their assistants won’t waste precious time searching for the right lens and filter during a shoot. Moreover, our new Front Cap Indicator Labels take gear accessibility and organization to the next level.
5. Your products are proudly made in Canada using North American materials. How important is it for you to maintain this standard, and what advantages do you believe it offers your clientele?
JF: Our commitment to producing our products right here in Canada, using North American materials, is at the core of who we are at Field Made Co. It’s not just a point of pride but a fundamental value guiding our business.
First and foremost, making our labels in-house ensures the highest quality and speedy turnaround when new cameras and lenses come out. We’re hands-on throughout the production process, meticulously crafting each label to meet our standards.
But it’s more than that. Sourcing locally-made and sustainable materials isn’t just about quality; it’s also about supporting our local economy and minimizing our environmental footprint, especially at the fabrication process. We take pride in knowing that our products don’t just travel around the world; they’re also born right here in our community. It’s our way of giving back and being responsible stewards of the environment.
So, when our clientele chooses Field Made Co., they’re not just getting top-notch labels; they’re supporting a commitment to quality, community, and sustainability. That’s what sets us apart, and that’s what we’re proud to offer.
6. What future innovations or expansions can customers anticipate from Field Made Co.?
JF: Our aim is to grow with our community of photographers and filmmakers, listening to their needs and delivering solutions that make their lives easier.
Looking ahead, we’ve got some exciting plans in the pipeline here at Field Made Co. We’re actively working on expanding our range of labels to cover all major camera brands. We want to ensure that no matter what camera gear our customers use, they can count on our labels to help them stay organized and efficient.
Vivian: We’re also exploring other creative solutions that will further assist professionals in the field. While we can’t spill all the beans just yet, we can assure you that our commitment to simplicity, efficiency, and quality will remain at the forefront of everything we do.
As our conversation with J.F. and Vivian draws to a close, it’s evident that the essence of Field Made Co. is rooted not just in innovation but in unwavering dedication. From the intricacies of their labels to the broader scope of their vision, this dynamic duo continues to revolutionize the way photographers and filmmakers navigate their craft.
Their journey, born out of a combination of necessity and ingenuity, is a testament to the transformative power of passion and persistence. From their garage in Montreal to the global stage, J.F. and Vivian’s shared values of quality, community, and sustainability remain their guiding star.
Field Made Co. isn’t merely about products. It’s about a community, a movement that understands the value of craftsmanship and the importance of details. It’s a story of love and partnership. Their journey intertwines the personal with the professional, a dance that continues to inspire.
As they forge ahead, charting new territories and crafting solutions for a rapidly evolving industry, one thing remains certain: the best is yet to come for Field Made Co.
Thank you, J.F. and Vivian, for sharing your remarkable journey with us. We eagerly await the next chapter of Field Made Co’s story and wish you all the best in your future endeavors.