We are excited to share our another interview in collaboration with the folks from Hasselblad. I had the opportunity to share a few questions with the Hasselblad Heroine named Anna Devís who is part of the duo of creatives with Daniel Rueda based in Valencia, Spain. They are really incredible at creating 'perfectly executed poses' that will trigger your love for architecture, art and photography. Let's meet Anna!
Luckily for the next generations, that’s never going to happen again thanks to initiatives like Hasselblad Heroines. And, of course, being part of this selected group of professionals and inspiring female photographers it’s an incredible honor. A dream come true, really!
Tell us about yourself?
Ever since I remember I’ve been surrounded by creativity. My parents were window dressers and, since I was an only child, I remember lots of afternoons at their workshop playing with different materials and tools, and drawing! I’ve always loved painting and drawing, but when I started studying architecture, I struggled finding the amount of time a painting required. I needed a faster way to express myself, and that, for me, was photography.
How did your journey as a photographer begin?
My name is Anna Devís, I’m a photographer and the female part of a creative duo along with Daniel Rueda. We both met at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, where we graduated from architecture school. Architecture means a lot to us because it has shaped the way we look at things everyday. Nowadays we use our love for scale, geometry and minimalism to tell stories through photography, each one embedded in a light, playful and colorful snapshot. Our work together has led us to be involved in many projects for all sorts of clients all over the world, while creating a visual universe of our own.
What inspires your work?
Anything and everything, really. We enjoy challenges. We love not knowing what to do next, the endless possibilities of a blank piece of paper. In that moment, anything can be translated into an image. For example, we love creating images out of simple words like “music”, “science” or “love”. Those concepts are so vague, and yet so interesting, that they could be turned into several different visual stories.
Do you get creative satisfaction on commercial projects? How much time have you got for personal work?
Yes! We are constantly creating personal artworks to add to our collection, but working for commercial projects is one of our favorite things to do. We believe there is a very thin line between fine art and commercial images, when creativity is used wisely. It that sense, some of our favorite artworks are the result of a collaboration with a brand and it is actually during this creative brainstorming with the client that some of our best ideas have come to life!
What influenced you to begin shooting architecture photography?
As you already know, Daniel and I have a shared interest: architecture. We spent many years at university studying it, and we’ve acquired a very particular way to read spaces. Very soon after we met, we started traveling and visiting fascinating buildings together. For anyone else this can be as boring as it gets. But for us, this was really fun and exciting, and we wanted to share this feeling not only with our architecture colleagues, but with everyone! We love finding out that some of our images have raised the interest in a particular location or building in someone who’s not necessarily associated with architecture. Finding an appealing language to share this passion with the entire world has evolved into our own style, full of joy, color, humor and, of course, buildings!
Beyond architecture, you have any more subjects you like to photograph? If you do, can you tell us a little bit about how your work is different across these genres?
Even though buildings are always featured in our images I wouldn’t call ourselves “architecture photographers”. The thing we take pictures the most is ideas, actually! We love coming up with concepts that can only be expressed visually. I think our work is the result of finding the best location to shoot each idea, which can get really tricky! We are always on the lookout, trying to find interesting spaces where we can make amazing things happen. At the same time, we have a lot of ideas that we cannot wait to bring to life, but that won’t happen until we find the perfect idea-space match.
How does Social Media affect your work OR promoting your work, like on Instagram for example?
We love Instagram as a platform to inspire and get inspired. It’s where we share most of our recent work, and also the place we receive the most feedback from. We also love the fact that the app is so diverse now that you can find your next favourite artist on the same app that you are catching up with your friends’ life!
What is the one thing you learned at the beginning of your career, that you still go by today?
“Creativity goes a long way”! Anyone can take a great picture, but telling a story with an image is a completely different thing. We’ve also learned that patience and planning is fundamental, at least, if you create images from scratch like we do. Rather than capturing moments, we make them happen. From the location to the clothing and lighting, having everything under control is the key to enjoying and having fun during the day of the actual shoot!
From your opinion, what is the common mistake that most photographers make these days?
I don’t really think it’s for me to speak about other people’s mistakes, but I can tell you about ours as photographers. They say “the best camera is the one you have with you”, and we should listen to them. Daniel and I tend to worry a lot about the things we don’t know how to do yet. Gear we haven’t even tried but we feel like we should definitely have in our bag, software we haven’t learned how to use, productivity rules we know we’ll never follow, etc. When in reality the most important thing is to make the most out of what’s within your reach.
How has the Hasselblad technology affected your photography?
It has been an absolute game-changer for us. We like to think that our photography is all about realism. Although our concepts and ideas play with surrealism and fantasy, everything on the frame is real. The props and elements we use for each photograph are hand-made specifically for that shot. Our work is highly influenced by architecture, that’s why only shoot in the street with available light. Our images look the way they do because of our very particular workflow, and I think this is something you can really tell when you look at our images very close. The texture of the façades, the grain of the materials we use, the imperfection and realness of it all is something you can only share when the quality of the image you are working with is as good as the Hasselblad’s. Working with the Hasseblad X1D has allowed us to not only tell stories through photography, but also share how we do it without saying a word.
What does it mean to you to be recognized by Hasselblad Heroine?
When I was younger, I admired many great masters of photography, collected their books, went to their exhibitions… But barely any of them were women. Female photography, somehow, has been silenced and history has been told almost exclusively through male lenses. I grew up without female references in the industry and that saddens me a lot. Luckily for the next generations, that’s never going to happen again thanks to initiatives like Hasselblad Heroines. And, of course, being part of this selected group of professionals and inspiring female photographers it’s an incredible honor. A dream come true, really!
What’s next for you?
For starters, in September we are launching our brand new website. We are so excited about it! We’ve been working on it for a while now and we couldn’t be happier with the result. Also, we are working on a very special project for us, our first photography book! Putting all together our images in a publication is something people have been asking for ages, and it is also super exciting for us. We do also have several projects for different brands in the oven and we have a bunch of conferences on the schedule for this year, it almost feels like a tour! We love to get people inspired and it is also a great opportunity for us to keep on creating artworks in every new country we get the chance to visit. So… stay tuned, because there is a lot more coming!
- Image Courtesy by Anna Devís + Daniel Rueda