Canadian Interiors "Designers at Work" photo essay
Canadian Interiors Editor-in-Chief Michael Totzke assigned me to create the images and text for the photo essay "On the Job."
These photos would have to tell a story, catching seven leading interior designers in a posed yet casual-looking gesture, showing how and where in their office they like to work.
There would have to be enough “stuff” to show the materials each designer typically works with, and what their work environment is like, but not to the point of looking cluttered. Contrary to popular belief, the camera may not always add 10 pounds, but it exaggerates untidiness.
One designer might like being at his or her desk; another might like to wander through the office, my editor speculated. Well, no-one wandered and only two designers sat at their desk. Another, Anna Simone, denied even having her own office.
My editor asked, “I've always heard that how a person keeps his or her workspace says so much about him or her. Messy and creative? Organized and creative?”
On this score, I confess, I pulled my punches. Wanting to show everyone at their best, I did some styling, moving extraneous items out of camera view. This wasn’t necessary, however, in that most pristine of offices, Pulsinelli.
I noticed a trend: Several design-firm principals are married to a staff member. Inger Bartlett’s husband, Marshal, who holds the title of partner, is the firm’s business manager and doesn’t design. (I quipped that with his first name, he should have chosen a military career because he’d always outrank his commanding officer.)
He reacted enthusiastically: Michael Totzke, Editor, Canadian Interiors: “Oh oh oh oh oh: This is going to be fucking amazing! I say that after seeing two images. I’m so thrilled, I really am. You’re bringing the human element to the magazine. And you are a fantastic photographer, making the subject feel totally at ease.”