May 14, 2013
The shared home office of photographer Christy Cassano-Meyer and web developer Kyle Meyer is a charming blend of vintage and modern style. Take a look through their creative space in Portland, Oregon, in this tour led by Christy’s words and photographic eye. Read more
November 8, 2012
With a recent move from Los Angeles to Denver, photographer David Lauer traded a view of the Pacific for view of the Rockies. Take a look at the space he’s created in his new mid-century-built home – the headquarters of his growing architectural photography studio. Read more
September 13, 2012
Photographer Clark Lara expresses his art by taking pictures of weddings in Houston, Texas, and the surrounds. See his studio space — as well as what may be his most photogenic subject: his scene-stealing dog — in this tour filled with modern Herman Miller designs (we spy an Embody Chair at the desk) as well as an impressive collection of vintage Eames and Nelson pieces. Read more
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
January 30, 2012
In his latest series UK-based photographer Todd McLellan takes old technology – a typewriter or rotary phone – and explodes them, meticulously laying out every tiny screw and bolt and wire to create beautiful images. Here he shares his 3-studio workspace and a few things that inspire him.
How long have you been working as a photographer? What drew you to shooting? I graduated with a BFA in 2002 from the from Alberta College of Art & Design. Assisting for 4 years I officially started shooting full time in 2006. I originally went to college to specialize in graphic arts/design, but changed my major after the first year. I really had a hard time sitting in the same room working on drawings all day. Photography allows you the freedom to explore the environment around you. I appreciate this and wanted to fully discover the medium.
Tell us about your workspace. Any special considerations that effected the way it is set up? I actually share a workspace with two other photographers. It’s a large setup with a car studio and two smaller studios. I feel very fortunate to have the freedom of space. The first part of the series started in the studio space but found some of them would take me far too long with many interruptions. I recently moved it to my office above the studio and am able to work on the projects much easier.
Your new work, Disassembly, strips down electronics to their elements. You’ve managed to capture a real beauty in the bits and pieces that come together to form once ubiquitous pieces of technology. The typewriter and rotary phone certainly no longer have a place in our home offices. Was there a reason you didn’t choose a laptop or cell phone? Most everything that I have taken apart has been mechanical. If you press a button or turn a knob you can physically see it doing its job. They are very interesting and complex inside. New technology although very complex, is not on a level you can see physically. I have taken apart my iPhone before and inside there are minimal parts.
What inspires you in your work? Things I see, sounds I hear, conversations with people, it’s amazing what can come up if you let your mind wander.
April 25, 2011
I came across this work space on Etsy. It’s the Chicago home of photographer Debbie Carlos. You can read an interview with Debbie here. The light from those windows is wonderful.
January 27, 2011
I came across these images of writers on Unplggd last week. It’s not often you find such beautiful images of people at work in their homes. The lighting reminds me of a Rembrandt but the subjects, all bloggers, are thoroughly modern. I immediately emailed Gabriela to see if we could post them on Lifework. She agreed. So here’s a selection of the series and a short interview from the New York-based photographer.
1. How long have you been working as a photographer? I like to think of my experience with photography as a puzzle where I’m constantly adding new pieces to form a collective whole. I started in high school, where I would spend most of my afternoons slaving away in the darkroom, jamming to my Discman. When in college at Wesleyan University, I began shooting for the school newspaper and working as a darkroom assistant. While studying abroad, I broadened my knowledge adding more pieces to the puzzle. I moved to Mexico for a semester and was introduced to the color darkroom. In São Paulo, I learned the history of photography from an old Brazilian master. In Salvador, Bahia, I turned to documentary work. After college I moved to Sao Paulo and it was there that I decided to pursue a career in the field. From that moment I have completely invested myself in that pursuit. After working with several acclaimed Brazilian photographers I made the move to New York and started again from scratch. It has now been three and a half years that I have been living as a freelance photographer in the city.
2. What inspired the blogger portraits? I blog and I read blogs. A lot of them. Blogs have become my go-to source for information; they feed and comfort me. Today, bloggers are widely respected within their industries and have become our new decision makers as they showcase, analyze and filter information for us.
While it is heavily debated how modern technology can isolate us, there are undeniably many upsides to this online evolution. I believe bloggers are connecting us, bringing us closer. In some ways, bloggers are helping create a reverse wave in our technological age by forming an authentic exchange between blogger and reader. Bloggers allow for an interactive platform, a dialogue that allows for both online and offline relationships to form.
It is through our screens, these beacons of light, that the world opens up and we become literally linked to one another. I began photographing bloggers with this idea in mind, giving the viewer a peek into their intimate worlds by using their screens as the sole light source.
3. You’ve worked all over the world. Tell us about your favorite shoot? Ohh that’s a tough one! My favorite shoots are the ones where I come out of them with a new friend. Just yesterday, for example, I was sent down to Vero Beach, FL for an assignment shooting a couple who runs a boot camp and this morning we have been sending facebook messages and texts non-stop!
4. What draws you to portrait work? Since I began photographing, I have always insisted on being in front of the lens, becoming part of the construction of my images. Photography has become my therapy, an exclusive dialogue between myself and the camera where we push each other to a point of exhaustion, both emotionally and physically. My work reveals this intimate process which I invite the viewer to partake in. In my portraiture, as I approach other subjects, I take this comfort with me and try to recreate the same intimate setting. This process from subject to intimate confidant is what drives me to keep creating.
5. Who would you most like to photograph? I hope to have the fortune of my family allowing me photograph then until the day I can no longer pick up a camera.
Balance, Design, Technology
June 9, 2010
We discovered the smart work of fashion-lifestyle photographer Anna Wolf after interviewing Design*Sponge’s Grace Bonney (Anna shot Grace’s portrait—see it here). Soon after, we happened upon her blog and thought, “Hey, bet she’d create a pretty cool playlist.” And she did. Take a look and a listen.
Do you listen to music while you work? When I work in studio, it’s a lot of really mellow music. I’m on the phone and writing emails a lot, so it needs to be something that can kind of blend into the background. When I’m on set, it tends to be more upbeat and more poppy.
How do you listen? In studio (which I share with my boyfriend), we’re all on a network. So our computers feed into a receiver and through really good speakers. On set, I’ll rent a portable iPod dock or a lot of times I bring this little red speaker that you plug your iPod/iPhone into. It’s small but super loud and is so easy to just throw in a bag and go.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? Well, I’m probably pretty late in the game, but I am really loving Pandora right now.
Does music influence your work? I think music most influences me when I’m working on personal stuff. Not so much on set or when I’m in studio doing all the back-end business stuff. There was a time in college when I was staying up super late, listening to Red House Painters on repeat, and making collages and little books.
Where do you find music recommendations? Most of my music comes from friends, people who know what I like and tell me to download a certain artist or album. I really do love Morning Becomes Eclectic on NPR, but don’t listen to it as much now that I live in NYC.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? Wow, that’s a really serious question! I’ve been totally in love with the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack lately—songs by Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The music is so hopeful, sincere, and beautiful. Some songs are really mellow and some move faster with more energy. When I first heard the album, I thought it was all different artists since the songs are so varied. I think I could get behind that album as representative of the range of my work!
Live to Tell the Tale, Passion Pit
Hideaway, Karen O and the Kids
Sorrow Tears and Blood, Fela Kuti
Into the Sun, Diplo
The Only Living Boy in New York, Simon and Garfunkel
Fun Powder Plot, Wild Beasts
No One Does It Like You, Department of Eagles
I Get Low, Timber Timbre
Re: Stacks, Bon Iver
Ash Wednesday, Elvis Perkins
Nickel Bags, Digable Planets
Send It On, D’Angelo
By Your Side, Sade
Hometown Glory, Santigold
Peace Train, Cat Stevens
Two Weeks, Grizzly Bear
Knife, Grizzly Bear
Turn Me On (Kevin Lyttle cover), CocoRosie
Everyman…Everywoman, Yoko Ono
Images: Anna Wolf; Studio Photos: Monica Pendergrass
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
March 16, 2010
Lara Parent is a Michigan-based photographer and blogger. We’ll be following her amazing office over the next year as she changes the ‘inspiration walls’ that surround her desk. The idea is to create a kind of visual diary of the space, so look out for upcoming posts tagged ‘Talking Walls’. But first we talked to Lara about working from home…
How much time do you spend in your home office? What kind of work do you find yourself doing there? Anywhere from 2-6 hours on any given day or evening. I mostly work on my photography: everything from exploring and editing to making photographs in my space. I have only been digital for a little over 4 years, so I feel like in this transition from film and the darkroom to the digital darkroom I am constantly learning. Lately I have also been making and editing videos and doing some occasional tiny sketches–some for a new body of work I am starting. When I first started out in photography, my focus was fine art for gallery and museum exhibitions, but I never lost my love for photographing people and collaborating with my subjects: I am fascinated by other people’s stories.
How would you describe your home office? What is the design aesthetic? I surround myself with objects from nature, man-made objects and images or illustrations that inspire me. I don’t know that I have a set design aesthetic…I guess it could be described as flexible and open, ever-changing. My office is a place where I can focus, create, think and just be. It has beautiful morning and evening light that never fails to inspire.
Does anyone else use your home office? I love it when my husband comes in to hang out, talk, or to give me feedback on my work. Our dog, Lucy, loves to nap in the space and bask in the patches of light throughout the day.
How do you organize the space? With great difficulty…a consistent way or system of organization is something I have yet to perfect. My husband who is an industrial designer, did an incredible job at laying out and creating a wonderful office space from a spare bedroom. He designed and built my main work surface and also helped me to figure out which work areas would work best for different projects and tasks. He also found ways to create the maximum amount of storage–control the clutter–in the existing space by knocking out a section of a wall to create a more accessible closet, to utilizing the space next to a dormer for built-in shelves that house my files and photo equipment. I have three main work areas in my office: the main desk [below] that houses my computer, scanner, printer, external hard drives, and Wacom tablet. I do a lot of my editing and other work on the computer at this area; another work surface on casters where I do most of my writing and sketching; and three of IKEA’s Malm cabinets that make up a nice work surface (when it is clear of stuff!) for cutting and packaging.
What piece of technology helps you most in your work? My laptops and my iPhone. I love portability and on occasion, the ability to work on a few things at one time. One of the things I enjoy most about the iPhone is that I always having a camera with me. I am forever stopping on walks or pulling over in my car to capture something beautiful or interesting.
What impact do you think color has on a workspace? A great deal of impact. I absolutely love color and always find it incredible when someone can make bright and saturated colors on their work space walls work for them. Because so many of the images and objects on my walls and shelves are full of color, when the background isn’t neutral, the color ends up competing with those images and objects and I have a hard time focusing on what I have posted. I get my color fix by the other blocks of color in my space: Goldfish FLOR carpet tiles, a window seat cushion in a similar orange, and my green office chair.
What desk accessory can’t you do without? My set of Prismacolor colored pencils (and a black marker, and paper with a bit of a tooth to it).
Is there a piece of furniture you’d love to replace? Furniture-wise, no. I adore my green Eames Aluminum Group chair and all of my work surfaces. I love that my chair and one of my tables are both mobile. Casters are essential! If there is anything I’d like to change, it would be the color that I painted my west facing tackboard wall. I love green. I love color. But after living with it for a few years and seeing how the green competes with the images, I’ve realized I must repaint in a more neutral color–likely white.
What inspires you? I am fascinated with people…how others see and what their stories are. I was always that kid who loved looking at other people’s photo albums, home movies, and the art and objects that people had in their homes. My husband also constantly inspires me: his thinking processes, the objects and spaces he creates and his kindness. I am inspired by people who are thinkers, who create, who are dedicated, who have passion, and who work to make things better. Light, nature and color are another a huge source of inspiration. I do my best thinking on days when there is a lot of light or at the lake when the clouds are dark and the light is dramatic. So much…
March 5, 2010
Earlier this week we ran an interview with photographer Ellen Warfield about her Brooklyn office. I promised we’d put together a slideshow of her lovely “Work” series. Here it is. If you’d like to see more of her work check out the photo essay she shot for the Sundance Channel’s Full Frontal Fashion of Frank Tell’s Fall/Winter show.
March 1, 2010
You’ve seen photographer Ellen Warfield‘s work in the Village Voice, WWD, New York Times, Daily News, Nylon and here on Lifework. We posted Ellen’s photographs of Nicholas Felton in his office which was part of a series she did on people in their workspaces (look out for a slideshow of that beautiful series soon).
Where is you home office? Home is Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I grew up in Manhattan and have lived in Brooklyn since graduating from RISD in 1999. I have been in my current space for a little over 2 years and I am fortunate to have a separate office room in my apartment.
What does your typical day involve? I don’t really have an average work day, and that is just the way I like it, to keep things fresh. Lately I have been scanning in a lot of older negatives and I often try to get some of that done in the mornings. I have been working frequently with Sundance Channel/Full Frontal Fashion and we were all over New York, photographing different designers studios, which was a lot of fun. Then I go home and upload all the raw files, make selects and work on them.
Have there been any advances in technology that help you in your work? As a photographer, there are very obvious technological updates that change the way in which I work. For my artwork, I used exclusively film and darkroom methods until the past year or so, and I have been using digital cameras and computer programs a bit more. I like to look as digital photography as another great tool to use in my work, and use it to my advantage, not let the medium guide the images.
What accessory to you rely on the most? I have to admit that I am a bit addicted to the iPhone, and use all the ical, mail apps, etc. As a freelancer, it is indispensable to have access to my schedule and contacts when not near my computer. I have a separate client area on my computer and try to keep everything backed up for at least a year. And recently I bought a new powerful Epson film scanner and it makes working so much easier, so I would say I cannot do without it.
What is your favorite piece of furniture? Besides my boyfriend, my favorite piece of furniture is probably my desk, it is glass and very simple.
What inspires you? Inspiration can come in many forms, but I definitely feel that I want to be inspired by whatever it is that I find. For instance, I have not always been that interested in high fashion or followed it too closely, but the recent work with Full Frontal Fashion was super interesting and seeing how the collections come together and the processes involved made me see the industry in a completely different light. At its best, it is just another form of creative expression. Also it is one that can directly affect the culture at large very quickly.
My own work is inspired by a search for something intangible but present, a stillness in the world around me. That can be in the sky, the sea, people, buildings, animals, work, play, travel, everything.