The Smokers

There was a time when it was common to see people smoke in the workplace, it was totally acceptable to smoke at your desk, even if that was in the middle of a shared office. As workplaces and attitudes towards smoking have changed, smokers today have to find a place outside where they can smoke. Even with smoking only being possible out in the open, the sight of someone smoking these days has become much less common. This project was a challenge I set for myself, to create a series of impromptu, in situ portraits in a single day around a simple idea. On a chosen day I went around the city with my friend who would hold the key light, I chose to use flash for my lighting and use ambient light as a fill and to light the background. Walking around the city finding people standing outside their places of work taking a smoking break, I approached them as they were minding their own business, asked them if they would pose for me while they smoked, got the shot and exchanged contact details to send them a copy of the photo. This whole process would take about 2 to 3 minutes, I had to work quickly as I knew most people would say on and that meant approaching a lot of people. After three hours, these photos are the result.

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