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Interview: Photographer Isabelle Ruen (USA)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I was born and raised in France, near Paris, attended the Sorbonne where I studied linguistics. I moved to the United States while I was still going to school, to Los Angeles, first. Now I live in Nevada. For now. I like it but I am not sure I will stay here.

How and when did you get into photography?

I remember being fascinated by my dad’s camera as little kid. Of course I was not allowed to touch it, so it seemed even more mysterious. Then I got a Kodak disc. I was still a kid and didn’t realize it back then, but that’s when it all started… However, I didn’t begin shooting professionally, nor even seriously for that matter, until a lot later... It started when a friend asked me to take photos of her for her website, she went in the good light, photos came out nice, she showed them to a friend, and it all snowballed from there!

What does photography mean to you?

Everything! Not only it’s an amazing creative outlet, in camera and in post, but it’s also how I earn a living. Some jobs are less creative than others, but it’s ok, work can’t always be play!

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I feel like I would need to be objective to answer that question properly, and because we are discussing my work, I can’t really be objective, so I’ll just say that I like I like bright, happy images, and I am particularly fond of backlight and lens flare.

Where do you get inspiration from?

From movies, desert landscapes, reading, music… I need to be isolated to feel inspired.

Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?

I always have a concept and a general idea of what I expect the images will look like, but I also know that shoots tend to take on a life of their own, so I am not fond of mood boards because I tend to find them restrictive, as opposed to inspiring.

Studio, on location or both?

I find location shoots a lot more inspiring but some beautiful studios with daylight can be amazing as well. I love mixing natural and artificial light! It’s all about the light and the vibe, rather than the actual location.

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I have been a photographer for a while and definitely consider myself a professional, but I still work on a lot of personal projects for fun as well.

What has been your most memorable session and why?

It was an assignment for and from Jimeye Designs, a jewelry designer who had a feature in British Vogue. We shot in May or June of 2020, I believe, during the Covid pandemic, in the heat, with masks, except for the models, Rachel Reilly and Joanna Borov, of course. It was so hot, I almost passed out. I was dehydrated because I kept refusing to drink so I was totally my fault, lol… It was also right when the riots and demonstrations were occurring in Southern California, and we later found out that there was one only a few blocks away from the park where we were shooting. That day sort of felt like out of a movie, especially retrospectively!

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

I prefer Canon because that’s what I’ve been using and I am used to it, but I hear that Nikon is great as well. I haven’t used it much so far though. I really think that as long as the camera is high end, the photographer matters a lot more than the brand of the camera. My favourite lens is the 70-200 2.8 with image stabilization. I love the compression!

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

I will just relay the advice someone gave me when I was starting out... Someone had given him that advice, he didn’t follow it. Neither did I… It really didn’t sound like a lot of fun so I guess I decided to be a dreamer instead, and I don’t regret a minute of it. That piece of advice was “If you want to make money, shoot weddings.”

What do you think of our new magazine?

Modellenland is a beautiful, modern and upscale magazine. I am flattered to be featured in it!

Model: Reign

Fashion Designer: Gordana Gehlhausen

Hair & Make-up: Reyna Khalil

Fashion provided by Maison Privée PR

Model: Pilar kanner

Fashion Designer: Bella Paradise Resort Wear

Hair & Make-up: Starr Sarkisyan

Model: Monique Weingart

Fashion Designer: Temraza

Hair & Make-up: Reyna Khalil

Models (from left to right): Candice Zhao, Alina Gorun, Anna Gupta

Fashion Designer: Merlin Castell

Make-up: Reyna Khalil & Starr Sarkisyan

Hair: Michael Harris

Model: Kaity Tainer

Model: Joanna Borov

Fashion Designer: Viktoriia Vlasenko

Hair & Make-up: Reyna Khalil

Model: Jill Billingsley

Skirt: OTT Dubai

Top: Charles & Ron

Fashion provided by Maison Privée PR

Model: Dustin Quick

Fashion Designer: Temraza

Model: Eugenia Kuzmina

Jewelry Designer: Segundo Lema Ruiz

Styling: Aaron Gomez

Fashion provided by AG Fashion Club

Models (from left to right): Mimmi Imani, Emma Karim

Styling: Aaron Gomez

Fashion Provided by Ivan Stylehouse & AG Fashion Club

Model: Izzy Young

Fashion Designer: David Tupaz

Hair & Make-up: Reyna Khalil

Model: Anna Vallefuoco

Hair & Make-up: Reyna Khalil

Jewelry Designer: JimEye Designs

PR: Bridgetta Tomarchio Wadjet PR

Model: Kelli Kickham

Fashion Designer: David Tupaz

Hair & Make-up: Reyna Khalil

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