It was a regular day at work but this time with a new supervision. I had to guide a photographer during a photoshoot of a completed commercial project on which I had worked during my office tenure. The deficiently grasped guidelines which were clearly reflecting in the output on immediate review raised a sense of discontent within me. Not doubting the photographer’s skills as he was a trained one but maybe not that efficient in the architectural content, the urge to have known the required set of skills benefiting my expectations to capture the exposure of that site crept my mind at that moment. This episode inspired me to begin my journey towards Architectural photography along with my earned Architectural skills through education and work experience.

Tweaking of perspective as per the assignment
Tweaking of perspective as per the assignment (google photos: edited and composed)

The amalgamation of this duo (Architecture + photography) has helped me to connect with the client and viewers with strong illustrations of diverse design stories. As both professions are defined as an art form, good patience and righteous time investment is required. At the start, the same was neglected by me but over time I realized the importance of it especially of time management.

Earlier I would rush to handle both the segments by a single-handed output allotting a short span which ultimately failed to achieve the expected product or at times comprising the quality of the products. After a few failed attempts I made myself practice to devote sufficient time and give required duration for each segment.

However planned, however scheduled, an Architect’s day can be full of surprises and many a times without any much time to even smirk. But the game changes when one startles the bombshell back provided the panic shift is swift with wise decisions. As said by someone, no day is the same for an Architect and syncing the already busy profession with another immerse one, modulations in a day’s schedule are expected , at times without any notification. Being an Architect and Architectural Photographer the precision of angles in both drawings and camera frames is pivotal.

When no outdoor call on, my typical day starts at 9:45am with a quick noting of activities to be done on an entire day. Descending with the minimal ones the important tasks are listed on top and even setting reminders so as not to hamper the schedule by negligence. Later is the scanning of unattended work emails from the previous day or received during the morning hours and reverting to immediate concerns. Phone calls if any are scheduled post 11:00 am as I give myself time to accumulate the call contents if the same is for the discussion of a fresh topic which was not taken up lately. But my main work does not start without a cup of black tea/coffee and some energetic music. The system continues to beat for the whole day if the schedule is bother-less.

Though not restricted, the golden hours before lunch are utilized for brainstorming concepts patterns and all possible creations/innovations/mergers, etc. Acquainted with my capacity, I avoid performing tasks of Architecture and Architectural photography on the same day as both together can be exhausting on occasions affecting the subsequent. Sometimes weeks pass performing tasks of only one segment depending on the priority. During exceptions when the clashes are unavoidable, I transfer some part of my load to one of my Architect friend who handles the 3D views and Photoshop edits for Architectural projects and a freelance editor for Photography edits , keeping the designing, planning, composition, edit instructions and write-up part with myself.

Compulsorily taken for an hour, the lunch interval is anytime between 1:30 pm and 3:00 pm.Intense day or not, alone or with a workmate, discussions related to work are strictly prohibited during that one hour. A moderate pace walks post-meal to detach self from the laziness which usually strikes after a filled happy tummy is a must. Before my attentiveness starts to sway, I initiate the not so required brainstorming activities or say the tasks whose patterns are fixed and need no variations, for example, working/detail drawings, analyzing and accentuating the rectifications if any, line work or photo edits, email or call follow-ups if any and many similar tasks which do not require any additional research. Post 6:30pm I invest my time to investigate and explore Architecture and Architectural photography contents. The search matter depends on the assignment requirements if any or on an experimental concept and also about business development. When not burdened, I continue with few random investigations on my personal likings which do pop out at regular intervals.

The day a photoshoot is scheduled, the tasks requiring me at my desk are not planned. As a photoshoot requires an efficient time dedication and concentration which consumes enough energy needs to be given first priority. If the venue for the same is located beyond a certain radius,I set a weekend date/dates for my traveling ease and for the reason being that the same can be converted into a leisure time post work.

Generally, I try to wrap up my day latest by 7:30 pm unless no top priority work is on-page. But yes! I do prefer to work overtime during the week rather than over a weekend. The time post-work during the week or during the weekend is prioritized only for self-creation.

I discourage the universal pattern followed by many Architects around the globe of working round the clock. Yes the profession and the current market demands it but as per my opinion, it’s unfair to not get a chance to decide about one’s own time. Every Architect is different and so is his/her priority and interest intensity.

I do allow myself to sway away from the planned schedule a little at times because constraining to it during a wandering mind can affect the output, the experience of which has already been noted.

I’m not here to say that I have a unique day schedule but I just wanted to convey that do not pressurize yourself to follow or maintain a day plan like other fellow Architects. Yes do mind the professional requisites but the rest can be edited as per your own capacity and acceptance.

Author

Sailee Sawant plays the role of an Architect in lead and at times of an Artist/Writer/ Photographer in the supporting role.She describes herself as a scanner,the one who scans the script of self observations and then directs the same by casting suitable characters mentioned above.

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