I enjoyed creating this project because it required me to think of familiar imagery associated with accounting and then challenging that imagery to present a more nuanced view of the field. In my experience, public perception of accounting is radically different from its reality. For one, not every accountant is a math wiz. There’s often very little complicated math involved in accounting. Another misconception is that all accountants work in tax and are willing to do their friends’ taxes for free. I work in auditing, and the environment is project-based, social, and collaborative. I, like many other auditors, use TurboTax.
I had an idea of what I wanted the viewer to feel when they saw my image: Hope, Determination, and Confidence. To facilitate this, I tried to find a background that I thought would convey a sense of calm and order – two traits that lend themselves well to the accounting world. For inspiration, I reviewed the recruiting images from several public accounting companies, including my own company. I noticed those recruiting images had almost no information about accounting, suggesting that the viewer would already be familiar with accounting and is now trying to decide between firms. The goal of my image was to present an alternative view of accounting for the individual who may be considering a career path, not necessarily someone who had already made that choice.
I found all of the photos in my project from Pexels, a website with copyright-free images available for manipulation, and searched for “accounting.” I was immediately captivated by the bright, candy-colored photos taken by Nataliya Vaitkevich, and I loved that a picture of a calendar and 1040 could be so vibrant. It seemed like the perfect background.
I knew I wanted to include text to drive home my point, and my point was that through a career in public accounting, an individual could gain the skills to empower themselves in their career. From there, that person could help others with their financial knowledge and create a comfortable life for themselves.
I chose three additional stock photos for my project: a single woman with a prosthetic leg, two women and a man in a wheelchair working on a project together at a table, and a couple sitting together on a couch happily reviewing paperwork. At least two individuals in these photos have noticeable physical disabilities. However, I would like to note that not all disabilities are physical. Disability is a broad spectrum, and a person that may appear abled could very well be dealing with a disability that impacts their daily function.
I had a different reason for choosing each photo. I chose the image of the single woman on her computer because I liked her relaxed, confident posture and location. It looked like she was working from home, and as the accounting field has become more flexible regarding where its employees choose to work, it fits well with the ambiance I wanted to convey. I chose the group photo in the top middle portion of my image because it met several of my criteria: the man in the wheelchair is the center of the action, showing he is a vital member of his team. The location of the photo – a conference room – also created an appropriate sense of setting. Many auditors will conduct their work at the client location rather than in an office, and the environment is conducive for fostering a sense of camaraderie amongst coworkers. While putting this image together, I also had to consider common symbols associated with disability and knew that a wheelchair was wide-ranging and easily understood. I made a conscious effort to search for a photo containing a businessperson in a wheelchair.
I chose the last shot of the couple because I liked that the two seemed deep in conversation and working together to reach a solution. The couple’s body language conveyed a sense of collaboration, focus, and ease. The colors of the photo are warm, earthy, and inviting.
I wanted the three photos to pop against the background, so I included a stroke and drop shadow effect for each picture and arranged them so that the 1040 form, Calendar, and planner were visible. I also used the lasso tool to edit the background – I moved the “tax plan” stamp to the corner, shrank it, and used a combination of the eyedropper, paint bucket, and smudge to fill in the remaining space.
Photo Resources Below:
- Background (by Nataliya Vaitkevich): https://www.pexels.com/photo/tax-return-form-and-2021-planner-on-pink-surface-6863529/
- Single Woman (by Vlada Karpovich): https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-relaxation-laptop-house-7153906/
- The group at Office (by Kampus Production): https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-people-woman-coffee-6248977/
- Couple (RODNAE Productions): https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-brown-crew-neck-t-shirt-sitting-beside-woman-in-beige-long-sleeve-shirt-7821741/