Transfigure Photography ethos is to find the converging line between the world of film, fine art and commercial photography and bound all those agents together to cook up a dream and add it to a reality. I work with an idea, visualise it and create it. Transfigure Photography says as much about me than the name denotes. I have metamorphosed myself from a snapshot photographer to a professional photographer, photographing many different subjects, from seascapes, portraiture, to monster dump trucks.

Photography for me is walking hand in hand with film making, converging the demand for creative exploration and pushing the boundaries in liberating client’s realities to give their photo shoot a new perspective digitally.


I just don’t use my camera to take photographs I work, blend and arouse, still and moving images.

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personalisation in the workspace

Personalisation in the Workspace

Having worked in an office environment before, I’ve noticed some company policies don’t allow much evidence of “real normal” people working in their offices. They prohibit any signs of their employees’ private lives – like family photographs, plants, artwork or memorabilia, keeping the appearance of that of a work environment of impersonal and sterile workplace?

This begs the question do companies and employees benefit from focusing on the role of a worker and suppressing other aspects of employee’s identity? Or does office personalisation allow workers to see their workplace as their space and thus make them feel more involved?

Can this have a detrimental effect on coworkers. Do they see this personalisation in the workplace as office clutter?

This core study is to find this balance and ask employees why they consider bringing personal items into the workplace as an important element in their working life and photographing these items, these photographs will be more of a still life experiment but without the use of studio lamps, or on camera flash. This will be photographs of well lit offices, cabs of trucks, personal items hidden away in lockers, and decorative values of an under lit factory environment. I captured the darks and the shadows, and the personality of the people and their personal stuff.

Pat's Desk

Pats Desk

I’ve started to read “Office Clutter or Meaningful Personal Displays: The Role of Office Personalization in Employee and Organizational Well-Being”[1] http://www.informedesign.org/Rs_detail/rsId/1042

According to the author the personalisation of the office environment relates to the “deliberate modification or change of the workspace”[2] by the employee. It can “signify individuality and identity, mark one’s territory, and regulate social interactions.”[3] Personalisation leads to a “positive organisational and social climate, higher employee morale, and increased retention.”[4]

According to the study satisfaction with the physical work environment is “positively associated with job satisfaction,”[5] which in turn positively helps with employee well-being. Men are more likely to be “unsatisfied with the aesthetic environment”[6] and are less likely to experience emotional attachment to their offices than women. They are also less likely to make temporary layout changes to their offices when compared to women. Men most often personalise to “show status and usually display sports-related symbols.”[7]

Women personalise their workspaces more than men. They do so in order to “express identity,”[8] individuality and emotions and to improve the “workplace feel.”[9] Women display more “symbols of personal relationships”[10] than men.

After reading the research, I’ve come to the conclusion, personalisation is a form of identity, to distinguish oneself from others and is about marking a mark which is related around personal issues and it becomes a great talking point. Yet, I have noticed in the male dominate workplace, a calendar which has a nude woman can show an out of date, date, I asked why, he said “isn’t she gorgeous.” It’s not about the calendar; we could look at a calendar as a vehicle to show nude women in picture form in the workplace and it being ok, yet in many workplaces, nude calendars are banned, because it shows off a woman as desirable and objectification.

Jody Work Station

Jody Work Station

Personalisation may represent a demonstration to co-workers and visitors (and the occupant) that the workspace is, in fact, that person’s zone of control. If so, personalisation is a central component of territoriality in the workplace. Although apparently trivial, to anyone else, this is an important way of saying this is where I work, this is the sort of person I am and these items are an extension of me.

So much has been written on the subject of “The relationship between personal objects in the work and motivation” but what do the personal object mean to individuals. This is my intention and photograph. I’m not expecting to find a mass of items to photograph and this might even limit my photographs to take, yet each photograph will be individual and tell a story.

The story will continue on another post

All photographs copyright to Roland Keates aka Transfigure Photography

[1] Wells. M. Meredith 2000 “Office Clutter or Meaningful Personal Displays: The Role of Office Personalization in Employee and Organizational Well-Being” Academic Press

[2] Wells. M. Meredith 2000 “Office Clutter or Meaningful Personal Displays: The Role of Office Personalization in Employee and Organizational Well-Being” Academic Press pp. 201

[3] Wells. M. Meredith 2000 “Office Clutter or Meaningful Personal Displays: The Role of Office Personalization in Employee and Organizational Well-Being” Academic Press pp.210

[4] Wells. M. Meredith 2000 “Office Clutter or Meaningful Personal Displays: The Role of Office Personalization in Employee and Organizational Well-Being” Academic Press pp.211

[5] Wells. M. Meredith 2000 “Office Clutter or Meaningful Personal Displays: The Role of Office Personalization in Employee and Organizational Well-Being” Academic Press pp.115

[6] Pinar Dinç 2009 “Gender (In) difference in Private Offices: A Holistic Approach for Assessing Satisfaction and Personalization” Journal of Environmental Psychology pp.53

[7] Wells. M. Meredith 2000 “Office Clutter or Meaningful Personal Displays: The Role of Office Personalization in Employee and Organizational Well-Being” Academic Press pp.116

[8] Wells. M. Meredith 2000 “Office Clutter or Meaningful Personal Displays: The Role of Office Personalization in Employee and Organizational Well-Being” Academic Press pp.117

[9] Wells. M. Meredith 2000 “Office Clutter or Meaningful Personal Displays: The Role of Office Personalization in Employee and Organizational Well-Being” Academic Press pp.118

[10] Wells. M. Meredith 2000 “Office Clutter or Meaningful Personal Displays: The Role of Office Personalization in Employee and Organizational Well-Being” Academic Press pp.119

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