This year marks a decade for me as a full-time professional Automotive Photographer. Prior to this, I trained and then worked in Product Design for 5 years, becoming a Senior Designer at a London-based agency before I made the move to pursue my passion for Automotive and Motorsport Photography.
I retain a passion for great design, which has stayed with me as I have built my photographic career and I’ve often found myself looking at the products on the market and seeing opportunities for improvement. I specialise in Automotive Photography but I have worked across various subjects over the years and built a wide network of friends and colleagues shooting everything from football to furniture and have heard a lot of the same feedback about the kit that’s available.
When Covid groundwork and travel to a halt, I found myself with the perfect opportunity to take all of this feedback and channel it into designing products designed by photographers, for photographers. I wanted to take real-life learnings from the photography community and deliver high-quality photography equipment at affordable prices. That’s how Togtech got started.
I knew I wanted the first product to be an all-new laptop hood. I first came across laptop covers early in my photography career when I needed something to reduce glare on the screen and provide some privacy. As I often found myself working in media centres, cars and airports with questionable lighting, I came to rely on a laptop hood to edit with greater accuracy whatever the lighting conditions.
The hood I purchased at the time was handmade, took over 2 months to arrive and was expensive and bulky but it did a good job and I used it for 5 years. Other photographers often asked where I’d purchased it from and I would point them in the direction of the hood and other similar products but I always heard the same feedback; that the products were no longer available, didn’t fit their particular laptop or weren’t very effective.
With my Product Design hat on, the first priority was the ensure that the Togtech laptop hoods could be mass-produced to achieve an affordable price point and short lead time to meet customer expectations. I used my experience and the feedback of fellow photographers to streamline the size and folding mechanism, ensuring a lightweight and compact product for travel that stores away neatly in a laptop or camera bag but gives great screen coverage when in use, whether outside or under studio lights.
Another key focus was ensuring adequate cooling with the addition of strategically placed venting designed to limit thermal throttling of the laptop and the associated reduction in performance and battery life. Finally, I wanted to ensure the best possible fit in seconds and therefore worked to produce the hood in two different sizes; for 13-14” laptops and 15-16” laptops respectively.
I worked through various samples and prototypes, tweaking the design and testing with friends and colleagues across all photography disciplines and on every available laptop I could find before reaching the finished articles. The hoods have now been on sale for 6 months and the sales and feedback have exceeded my expectations. It is great to see this first product out on the laptops of photographers around the world, from media centres and press offices to the bonnet of 4x4s in the desert at the world-famous Dakar rally and I am delighted that they will now be available at Clifton Cameras.
We have recently expanded the Togtech team and we’re taking on board all of the great feedback we’re getting. Following the success of the laptop hood, the plan is to bring a select range of new products to market, delivering quality kit, designed around the feedback from real-world users, at a sensible price. If there’s anything you’d like see come to market or you have any feedback for us, we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com.
Get yourself a durable laptop hood available in the following sizes:
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