Alex has always considered her work as one of the most important parts of her life, devoting to it more time, energy and herself than most people do. She started from the age of 15 as a courier gradually getting better and better jobs. Now she’s a director at a starting and growing IT company and her favourite moment of the day is certainly linked to the work. This moment occur when all her staff leaves the office and she stays there alone. There are several reasons why she enjoys the moment the most.
Studies show that people working in micro-businesses are more happy than those who work in larger companies. And sometimes it can be even more effective to work individually even being in a team. Alex says that working in an empty office helps her to concentrate on work more efficiently. Furthermore, being alone lets her behave naturally – to take off shoes, to put feet up or to sit however she likes. And the last aspects of her favourite moments are the sunset and the quietness. All this together helps her relax, collect her thoughts and work smoothly.
Because she was telling me a lot about the beauty of sunset at her office, I decided to capture it. So when the sun started to go down, I quickly set up the light to create a primary source of light in the office and to balance it with the ambient light of the sunset (I used a speedlight and a shoot-through umbrella). When it was done, the sun set over the horizon colouring the sky in orange and magenta dyes and I started to shoot quickly because of limited time before it gets dark. I made some serious photographs showing her working and then we moved playing with symbolic images of benefits from working alone. It turned out that one of her memorable events is when she came to my first workplace 10 years ago when I was working late and alone and when I finished, we sat on tables with our feet up while talking. So during the shoot Alex started to act that way. She also took off her high heels and I thought that they are the best representation of her work-time being over, so we used them for a number of shots.
Since I had a couple of ideas for the shoot and thankfully to the Alex which acted quickly and enthusiastically, we finished the shoot just before it became completely dark outside.
The hardest work was when it came to retouching. I easily darkened some white surfaces that reflected the flash, but there was a large white reflection of the umbrella on the most images, so it took me some time to clone and paint the sky. Later I decided that I need a close-up picture of the shoes as a symbol of Alex’s favourite moment, but unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to reshoot it, so I cut the shoes out of another image. The problem was that they were put beside Alex’s legs, so after being cropped it look at least weird. So using Photoshop I cut the shoes with the Pen Tool from one layer and started to clone and paint the table to paint over the leg.
In overall I’m happy about the shoot and I was really pleased seeing that Alex enjoys the shoot.