Having shot an award-winning campaign for Upwork, Emily was asked to come back and photograph a second project for the California-based online platform that connects freelancers with potential clients. Take us behind the scenes, Emily!

“This shoot marks my second collaboration with Upwork, an amazing client and some of the nicest creatives I’ve ever worked with. Both campaigns involved making character-driven environmental portraits, but this time around we broadened the scope of the environments, shooting in both actual offices as well as home offices.

This most recent shoot was meant to reach both the people who hire workers on Upwork and the workers who get hired on Upwork—the client side and the freelancer side. We also shot moments of collaboration amongst the two groups of people, incorporating multiple people into various setups."

"The creatives came up with nine initial character profiles that we would shoot over the course of three days. Each character profile had a well-rounded narrative associated with it, which really helped me visualize the shot: the person's styling, their interests, the workspace decor, knickknacks, etc. From there, I worked closely with them on all aspects of pre-production, from location selection to casting, styling, and set design. 

It was actually pretty complicated, given that we had specific character and job profiles that were already locked, so we had to find locations and casting that fit those profiles. Although we shot in a different location each day, the main challenge was finding three locations that could essentially pass for nine."

"Each portrait setup needed to look and feel unique to the person’s character and their job role. We didn’t want any one setup to look like it was shot in the same space as any of the others. We managed to find locations that had enough built-in variety or spaces we could dress to look different. 

I worked closely with the Upwork creatives, our set designer, Olivia McManus, and producers at Media Monks to put the puzzle pieces together to work out which characters would be shot at which location (and in what order).”