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Office tale of Kristina Varaksina, freelance photographer and art director

Office tale of Kristina Varaksina, freelance photographer and art director

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you :
Kristina Varaksina

Your current job :
Freelance Photographer, Art Director

In which city are you located?
San Francisco

A word to define what kind of worker you are :
I’m a workaholic and a risk taker. I can have ideas come to my head in the middle of the night, I would get up and start writing or sketching them down.

What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One Pro, Dreamweaver, Dropbox, Youtube, Google apps like Gmail, maps, calendar, Hangouts, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. Camera in my iPhone, iTunes.

What does your office space look like?
I love my big desk that accommodates a lot of essential things. There is a smaller table, crates, and shelves to store books, documents, small photo equipment, a printer, paper, and art supplies. Inspiring pictures and books are also important, and I the amount of natural light in my room.

What kind of music do you listen when you are working ?
It very much depends on my current mood, or a type of work I’m doing. It can be anything from the 90’s Britpop, Beck, David Bowie, to Chopin, Tchaikovsky, to name a few.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work ?

I try as often as I can to write a plan in the morning or the night before. It’s important to assign each task a priority level. New things come up throughout the day inevitably, and you need to know which priority “bin” you should put them in, to keep the work going smoothly and to not jeopardize any deadlines.

What tips would you give to improve productivity ?
Don’t open social networks and other websites you like to read! Just kidding.

On a more serious note, a friend whose opinion I highly respect once told me, it’s important to take brakes. If it wasn’t that particular friend, I would have ignored, because it’s really hard for me to stop doing what I’m doing. But I tried and saw the benefits. Your brain and vision refreshes, and energy level goes up, so you make right decisions more often and move forward faster.

You’re better than your colleagues to:
Push myself and my team over the limits and surprise ourselves.

What is the best advice anyone has given you ?
Discover at least one new artist (that inspires you) a day.

What is your best tip for saving time ?
Sorting, prioritizing, delegating tasks. Make correct estimates of time you will spend on each task or a piece of work, and see where is the best time slot to fit in this task.

What is your routine start and end of the day ?
I start my day with feeding my cat breakfast and reading emails and other messages. Often I make a to do list with priority levels.

I finish my day with evaluating the work done, checking what’s left, what’s urgent, adding to a plan for the rest of the week, watching something inspiring.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?I can’t do anything on a computer without my tablet. I also always carry with me an external battery for my phone. When I’m shooting I like to wear my Pebble, because I can’t check my phone often enough or sometimes at all.