• UO Goals: Workspace Renovation with Joe St. Pierre

    Get active: Check. Eat more greens: Check. Pick up a hobby: Check. Save up some money: Don't hold your breath. The goals we set for ourselves each year seem to be the same, and they're things that take a lot of effort and discipline. So how about we take one day to tackle a goal that can be completed in a matter of hours and will have a significant positive influence on your day-to-day: Efficient-ize your desk, workspace, or any area in your home you like to sit and get creative. 

    A neat and efficient workspace will help you get more done in less time. If you only have a few goals this year, let us and photographer Joe St.Pierre give you some pointers on taking your home workspace to the next level.
    Photos by Joe St.Pierre

    So who is Joe St.Pierre?
    I am a lifestyle photographer based out of the Boston suburbs. Apart from photography, I enjoy riding my 1975 Honda CB550, taking trips up North, cooking, and exploring new places with my friends and girlfriend.

    How’d you first get into photography?
    I became interested in photography pretty naturally at a young age. Growing up, I was always really into drawing and painting so for Christmas I asked for a camera so I could take pictures to paint. This quickly manifested into me taking more pictures and painting less. The following Christmas (I believe this was around age 13) I asked for my first DSLR and from there it completely took over my life! I don't think a day has gone by since where I'm not shooting or thinking about shooting.

    How would you describe your aesthetic?
    I would personally describe my photo aesthetic to be candid and somewhat dreamy. Calm and quiet has always been a theme to my work. I’m really just trying to capture moments that are special to me and that I think my viewers could immerse themselves in. As for my interior/home aesthetic, I describe it as rustic, yet modern. I like lots of wood, antiques, and pieces that are handmade.

    What’s your preferred workflow for photography?
    My workflow is pretty organic overall. I am almost always carrying a camera on me and love finding new places in my area or revisiting past ones with my friends to explore and shoot. I’ve never really been one to set up shoots with a specific idea in mind—usually the extent of planning is finding a cool location or landscape I’m inspired by and just seeing what else happens. Otherwise, my favorite photos are always the unexpected and intimate moments of my day-to-day. As for post processing, I try to keep it minimal. I have two base edits I apply to almost everything and tweak accordingly. I guess I strive to capture the natural moments of everyday life and my simple editing reflects that.

    What makes for a clean and efficient workspace?
    Organization is key. If it doesn't have a direct purpose or you're not using it frequently, it shouldn't be cluttering your workspace. I definitely have a minimalist approach to my desk (with the exception of having a piece or two that I just enjoy having aesthetically). For me, it really comes down to the things I use everyday to accomplish what I need to in a positive environment. Besides my essentials, anything else I put in or on my workspace is temporary based on my mood or the seasons.

    Oppositely, what makes a workspace less efficient and more distracting?
    Clutter is in my opinion is the enemy of productivity, calmness, and clear, organized thinking. This translates into all areas of my life and not just my day-to-day workflow. My best advice for this related to workspace is to start with a blank desk, add the bare essentials you need to get work done, and end by adding a few mood enhancing or aesthetically pleasing pieces as you see fit.

    Talk about the things you like to keep on your desk as you work.
    One of my must have items on my desk is a good candle. I like burning them regularly, especially during the winter months, for the scent and the calm, cosy vibe it emits. Otherwise, I enjoy surrounding myself with plants, some seasonal touches, and a good cup of coffee.

    Any workspace goals you’ve set for yourself this year?
    Making more of an effort to work from a different setting than my daily workspace every now and then to switch things up and possibly find some new, external inspiration is definitely a plan for the year.

    Any other goals you’ve set out to achieve this year?
    My main goal is to collaborate with more like-minded artists, brands, and people in general looking to create awesome work. This year also feels like a good time for me to learn and take on some new personal projects and hobbies I’ve been into for awhile like woodworking and videography.

    What goals have you set up for yourself in the past that you’ve accomplished?
    I’ve never been a big maker of resolutions at the start of a new year, but I do find myself setting up small goals, tasks, and projects for myself to accomplish as the year goes by. Ultimately, my goal is to always progress and build myself as a photographer and a business, and I think I continue to accomplish this in parts as time goes on.

    Anything exciting planned for the New Year?
    There has been talk about a possible trip over to the Pacific Northwest with my girlfriend that I’m anxious to start planning the details of. I’m also always looking to learn new things and love taking classes to stretch my creative limbs. Specifically woodworking, carpentry, and pottery are things I’m super interested in learning!

    What keeps you motivated and inspired every day?
    Having a general day-to-day routine that keeps me on track always spills over into keeping me continuously motivated. At the same time, giving myself a break to collect headspace when needed helps keep inspiration and positivity flowing.