In praise of Rohan clothes for everyday use
Whenever I visit a Rohan shop and I’m paying for my purchases, the sales assistant usually enquiries where I’m travelling to. I have so far resisted the temptation to say somewhere far-flung and exotic because I rarely go outside of the British Isles and my destinations are reached by car rather than rickshaw or camel. What I try to explain is that for everyday work and leisure wear Rohan is unbeatable.
So, while some photographers adopt the “I’m just off to a war zone” look, or others sport the “I’m just back from trekking in the alps” attire, I prefer the Rohan “technology disguised as clothing” philosophy
I’m a freelance photographer working all over the UK photographing properties and people. My clients require me to look smart so I need to emerge unruffled from a car after a two hour drive then climb, crawl and lug heavy kit around and still turn up fresh and un-crumpled at my next assignment.
In my business, one has to be a firm believer in the right kit for the job, be that the right aerial mast for a high angle shot of a house, the right telephoto lens for action images of a rugby match, or the right clothes for the environment.
And speaking of the right clothes, there are few trousers more comfortable for sitting in a car for hours than the Tangier Trousers. The touch of Lycra in the material means you don’t exit the car and begin doing that strange men’s dance in an attempt to separate bits of your body from bits of your strides. And in a pinch, one can stuff an 85mm lens in the pocket.
Rohan’s famous wash and dry in the blink of an eye policy has come in handy more than once.
On one occasion I had just started to shoot some exterior views of a house at my first job of the day. I was wearing a brand new Rohan Worldview Shirt and I felt smart and professional. The light was good and the front of the house looked photogenic except for a container of rusty water under one window which I proceeded to move out of the way. Unfortunately, as I put it down, it slipped out of my hand and landed heavily, splashing its contents upwards and over my Worldview Shirt. Disaster! No time to go home and change and two more jobs to do that day. I wasn’t going to make a professional impression like this. Time to put Rohan’s claims to the test. Luckily I was alone at the house, so I whipped off the shirt and plunged it into sink full of cold water, rinsed it through, wrung it out, put it back on and carried on working. By the time I finished the photography a couple of hours later, my shirt was dry and I dropped off the keys at the estate agents looking as fresh and clean as when I’d picked them up.
On another day I was pitching for a commission at a meeting in the afternoon, but the first job of the morning involved me trekking across some open fields to get a shot of a property. Laden with photographic kit, I stumbled and landed on my knees in the mud. Doubly annoying as the view of the house wasn’t even worth the trip! I was wearing my ever-reliable Rohan Freelance Trousers which can take everything thrown at them and still look smart at the end of the day. The house owner lent me a sponge to wipe the mud off and by the time I turned up for the meeting with a new client there was barely a sign of my mishap. Oh, and that meeting was a success. I got the commission!
The Freelance Trousers are fantastic all-round breeks with irrepressible creases. If you haven’t time to change, these will cut the mustard anywhere, anytime. I’ve photographed a football game in the afternoon and gone on to shoot an early evening Pimms and canapés do at a racecourse and they are tough enough for the former and smart enough for the latter.
Also worth mentioning in despatches are the Global Cargos – my first ever Rohan purchase – I’ve never done anything remotely exciting in them but they are the first thing I pull on in the morning when I go downstairs to put the coffee on and feed the dog. I change into them when I come home and I’m instantly more relaxed. They’re great for any casual occasion such as walking the dog, lazing on the sofa watching a “Burn Notice” marathon, or sitting at the computer catching up on my accounts.
While I do own some of the more technical-looking items like my Rohan Pilkington Hat, my Mountain Guide Jacket, my Trailblazer Trousers and my Bhaktapur Shoes which all came into their own on a recent variable weather weekend at Cheddar Gorge, I really appreciate Rohan’s subtle understated “undercover” clothing.
So, while some photographers adopt the “I’m just off to a war zone” look, or others sport the “I’m just back from trekking in the alps” attire, I prefer the Rohan “technology disguised as clothing” philosophy which means that even though I’ll only be visiting the wilds of Oxfordshire or the mean streets of Cheltenham, my clothing is up to the challenges of my work without me necessarily having to look like what I am, a busy freelance snapper.