Michael Warren and the Soul of a Professional
We think of companies as faceless organizations with their own whims and desires that are markedly separate from the heart of humanity. But that’s inherently false. Companies and corporations are made of up people, and those people come together to pursue common goals and objectives that bring them through their own corporate worlds to leave a mark on their industries. When Michael Warren got the call from Boston based investment firm Eaton Vance inviting him to help them create a photographic identity it was something that he knew he’d be able to tackle for them in a way that no one else would. “They wanted the humanity of their employees to come through is really what it boils down to,” Michael says. “They knew I could achieve that for them because they could tell that I’m more interested in real people. And this was all about real people.” It’s not enough to want to take pictures that truthfully show real people, Michael had to get in there and work it out so that his images would be a faithful representation. There’s only one way to do that: do it for real. It couldn’t be faked.
For Michael that meant treating the project almost like a photojournalist. Instead of bringing the staff in one at a time to get portraits, he decided to almost embed with them and get a feel for what it’s like to really be a part of Eaton Vance. These images were going to be seen by potential clients and business partners, and they wanted to give a portrayal of what every day at Eaton Vance is like, without pretension or a false patina for the sake of PR. “I get to know my subjects before I photograph them, orif we’re shooting a situation, I try to make myself a part of the group,” Michael says. “I’m a fly on the wall documenting a real discussion. I’m there to get a moment that feels real, is unobtrusive, and honest.”
“Every corporation has their own soul,” Michael explains. His photos show off this company unadorned because that’s who they are. He’s showing the truth behind the company name. This is a company of people who are proud of their staff and their accomplishments. What Michael had to do was show who they were, truthfully, and that’s exactly what he did.