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When I was diagnosed with _„_high sensory-processing sensitivity_„ñ during my years at university, I didn't know what to make of it. It's not a disease but something you live with every day. That news couldn't have come at a better time though, because I quickly realized that being a _„_highly sensitive person_„ñ can be a major plus in design & photography. So since then, I'm always keen on using my unique perception to the advantage of my work. I see and interpret things others are oblivious to. It brings me joy to show others my perception through my photography _„_ every drape of a dress, the texture of a fabric, the highlights in a model's face _„_ I try to give them as much presence in my photographs as they have in my perception. This gives my work a balance between minimalism and absolute focus on details.
Ruby, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as Photographer?
It may sound a bit cliche, but there is just one word that instantaneously popped into my mind: traveling! It's my passion, and because there's no end to it, there's always a new aspiration for me when it comes to traveling. Traveling is also what got me into photography _„_ I wanted to catch the vibes of the places I've been to. Then through Michelle Dowery, who is a fashion designer/stylist and liked my photographs, I got into fashion photography.
Who is your inspiration in life, Ruby? How do you stay inspired as a Photographer?
There are so many sources and different kinds of inspiration _„_ all of them equally important. It helps me to learn from the titans like Eve Arnolds, Phyllis Posnick, Kurt Weidemann, Paula Sher _„_ but to look at what architects, product designers, and scientists are doing gives me the biggest inspiration. I think interdisciplinary inspiration is what moves the design industry forward. But I find it important also to be inspired by something other than design and photography. For example, when it comes to working ethic, my mom is my biggest inspiration, and she has nothing to do with design whatsoever.
We all make mistakes, Ruby; we wish we could take back. What was the mistake you made in the past that you wish you can take back?
Having an idea that' a bit outside your comfort zone, then not trusting my guts, then seeing it done by another designer/photographer. Those are the small but painful mistakes, and they taught me to GO WITH IT. The worst that can happen is that you go with the save choose in the end, so try stuff out on the way.
Ruby, How do you describe yourself in terms of working with clients?
I seem quiet in the beginning, but that's just me soaking it all in and gathering all the visual and conceptual information that gives me ideas which cannot be planned before a shooting. I love to come up with additional thoughts on the spot that complement the circumstances of a shoot, thus making each shooting unique.
Please tell us, Ruby, how do you prioritize work, social life, friends, and family?
There is not one without the other. Only if there's a balance between all of those areas, true creativity can be achieved. They complement and inspire each other.
Ruby, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
Working part-time in an almost all-male team in an advertising agency can be challenging to make your ideas be heard. But when I believe in an idea learned to be bold, to make my arguments and to make peers and superiors listen to them. I realized I don't need to change my behavior, do the research, prepare my case well, and then patiently answer every question they raise. This is how I convinced a whole management board to go with a more modern logo design for the _„_Konzerthaus MÍ_nchen_„ñ (the new philharmonic hall in Munich).
Ruby, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer.
I've loved photography for many years now, but as a professional Photographer I see myself as a newcomer, so being contacted by model citizen mag after my first Instagram post ever, was a very proud moment for me. But I also feel proud every time I get booked to shoot something personal like a wedding or a clothing collection someone put their heart and soul into.
Ruby, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
Being booked for a wedding abroad gave me creative choices concerning the location. I've never been there before, so I had to come up with compositions on the spot. But after I had a few shots I liked, the lust for adventure settled in, and the couple got some unique wedding photos that represent their adventurous spirit.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
I'm not sure I'm in the position to give out advice. And I kind of hope that never changes because I love to be a student of others.
photographer: Ruby Weidemann fashion designer/stylist: Michelle Dowery