Decorating an office can be more difficult than you think; adding “character” so that your work environment doesn’t look like an institutional corridor requires the right balance of professionalism and personality.
But decorating an office can also provide an opportunity to convey, visually, the values that your company embraces. When Bobby Ramirez and his wife, Irene Cejas Ramirez, moved offices to a new location in McAllen, Texas, they thought carefully about the design and décor for the law firm.
They turned to Brownsville-based architectural photographer Greg Phelps who is intimately familiar with this part of Texas having lived and worked the Rio Grande Valley for over 30 years.
The Ramirezes provided a list of places that had particular meaning to the family; my objective for the project was to give Bobby and Irene not only a visual representation of the natural, inherent beauty of these structures and their surroundings, but also to provide a more personal connection that can only be achieved through art photography.
The resulting photographs represent the strong cultural ties between Mexico and United States and are a fine example of how art photography as interior decoration for the workplace can make a powerful statement about your business and what it stands for.
My creative process is applied in two stages: capturing the images and post-production editing. When first arriving at a site, I like to take time to assess the structure and its surroundings. Each structure has its own story to tell — I absorb the scene and capture it with my camera.
It’s the post-production where the photograph is truly brought to life. For this project, I wanted to convey what it was like back in the days of Bobby’s ancestors, so a lot retouching was involved. Telephone and electric lines had to be removed — street signs, too. The textures of the old buildings had to be preserved and enhanced. Tonalities had to be adjusted to fit the B&W look I wanted for the images.
After selecting the final photographs, the Ramirezes sought further help restoring some old photographs from their personal collection. These were then reprinted and hung alongside the new photographs in the Ramirez firm’s offices, conference rooms and common areas.