30 May עופר איתן Reviews: The photographer turned Amazon worker documenting life…
A professional photographer who took a job at Amazon after the arrival of the coronavirus crisis saw his work disappear has been documenting life inside the warehouse.
Tristan Poyser has run his own photography business for more than 17 years and is also a guest university lecturer and teacher for the British Academy of Photography.
His work usually focuses on a mixture of commercial and architecture photography, contemporary fine art, and social documentary photography, exploring identity and perceptions through landscape and portraiture.
So when the Covid-19 crisis hit and lockdown measures were introduced, a pending new commission was retracted and his work suddenly disappeared.
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With his wife on maternity leave, Tristan decided to take a job at the Amazon fulfilment centre in Bolton.
He was keen to have security, but as an Amazon customer, says he was also curious to see how the business worked.
Now he is currently working the nightshift packing customer orders and performing other roles within the department.
It was after being commissioned by Historic England to document a week of lockdown that his two roles merged and with Amazon’s blessing, he started to take portraits of his fellow workers.
Now he is creating another body of work, capturing the role the centre is playing in fulfilling customers’ needs during the unprecedented time.
“For me it was essential that I portrayed the fast-paced environment and scale of the centre and most importantly the great work everyone is doing whilst still maintaining the safety measures to get everything out on time to the customers.” says Tristan, 40, who lives in Manchester with his wife and two children.
Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, more than 15,000 people who have found themselves unable to do their usual job have taken roles with Amazon to meet increased demand.
New recruits range from an arborist, architect, beautician and life guard to a pilot, scientists, a singer and tattooists.
The firm says it has had people join from across the education, construction, hospitality, manufacturing and travel and tourism industries.
Tristan says he was initially apprehensive about the potential safety risks of working at the site, but says the experience has been positive and social distancing measures are in place.
“The best thing about working at Amazon has been the people, and the positive environment, the way hard work and enthusiasm is recognised by the leadership team by giving you the opportunity to do different roles with more responsibility,” he added.
The company says it expects to spend more than £600m in the first half of the year on Covid-19 safety measures.
This includes on masks for staff, hand sanitiser, thermal cameras, thermometers, sanitising wipes, gloves, and additional handwashing stations, as well as using disinfectant spraying in buildings, procuring COVID‑19 testing supplies, and hiring more cleaning staff.