Community Gallery: The Beautiful Mess of Desks on Film


A lot of us spend significant amounts of time at our desks, hunched over our devices, books, or the current personal project. Over time, these spaces inevitably become evidence of our way of living and what we care about, unique in the way that each of us also are.

In this community gallery, we're looking at film photos of desks taken by our community members, and exploring the ways in which we connect with our surroundings through this space of our own.

Credits: framarzi, westinghouse, slobill, macferret & colonel_sponsz

It seems like a mundane topic, but when we truly look at it, the way we arrange our desks shows us a glimpse of ourselves. Some of us prefer it neat and organized, each item carefully tucked in its place, while some thrive in the utter chaos of papers and pens everywhere, a mug of coffee here and a roll of film there.

In a photo posted in his LomoHome in 2022, community member @westinghouse wrote an accurate caption on why exactly a messy desk works for some people. In fact, it's quite applicable to anyone who sees and considers their desks as a very personal space.

One thing I've learned, never clean someone else's desk. It's most often an organized mess. You mess with that, you're messing with someone's mind.
Credits: sszmq0223, kao-n, tomkiddo, gulcingenis & thefilmphotoproject

Our desks also hold memories, whether it's ours or other people's. Like community members Yörn's (@stereograph) darkroom desk, where he made prints for a postcard exchange, and details in Jérémie's (@joecool) desks such as a straw chameleon gifted by his sister from a Senegal trip a long time ago.

There's also something to be said about taking these photos on film, and of our decision to allot a frame or two in our roll for this space. It speaks of our desire to immortalize a memory, to keep a remembrance in a way that only a film photo could with its grain, old-time look and "happy accidents".

There can be pride in the way we take photos of these spaces, especially if a significant portion of our life's work and purpose occur while we're huddled over our desks. This is where we spend our time tweaking or unravelling our grandest plans and ideas, getting lost in thoughts, or simply enjoying our time.

Credits: stereograph & joecool

From the outside it might look like our items are stuffed haphazardly, but for us there is often a rhyme or reason for each placement. It could be that we keep a guitar close by so we can easily play it when we feel like it. Maybe our film stocks, cameras, or negatives are also somewhere in easy reach.

Perhaps the stacks of papers are arranged in an order only we know, or our glasses are actually where we'll always remember we put them. For some of us, these places could be sacred for these reasons.

Credits: cedricpola, baryon, framarzi, clairegravelines & clownshoes

It may seem like a silly thing, to connect our working spaces to the primordial question – who are we? But the next time we catch ourselves asking, perhaps we'd only have to look at our desks to find the answer. After all, what we come to value is a reflection of ourselves!

What's on your desk? Share it with us below!

written by sylvann on 2024-05-27 #culture #gallery #home #community #desks


  1. van3ssagonzalez
    van3ssagonzalez ·

    I love this!! I've always felt desks are sacred spaces where we focus on expression of the self. More of this, please!

  2. stereograph
    stereograph ·

    This is an amazingly entertaining article! i plus one the: More of it, please!

  3. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    @van3ssagonzalez couldn't agree more ❤️

  4. rolfmg
    rolfmg ·

    A great article...just shooting my desk....I can compete for sure...(-;

  5. joecool
    joecool ·

    This is a great article! It won’t improve the motivation to clean up my desk though… 😅 Anyway, thanks for the feat @sylvann!

  6. polaroidlove
    polaroidlove ·

    Great read! 😊

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