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© 2021, Nihal Atawane

Are you happy?

It’s a simple question that is surprisingly difficult to answer, especially in advertising. 2018 studies in Australia and the U.K. underlined how increasingly stressful advertising life is becoming.

In a culture where we communicate with smiles, nods and how’s-it-going’s, James and I put some of our unsuspecting advertising colleagues in front of the camera, and captured their first reaction to that loaded, three-word question.

Photographer: James Saulsky