Mike Ruiz is a world-renowned photographer and creative director. After working for more than a decade as a successful model, his true calling came into focus branding himself as a celebrity and fashion photographer.
Whether it’s Kim Kardashian, Betty White, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry or Prince, Mike has seen and shot them all.
Ruiz spoke to the Von Boozier Twins about his brand, passion for photography and advise for aspiring photographers.
What artist do you idolize?
MR: Elon Musk. He is not a painter or sculptor but his creativity is literally changing the world we live in for the better.
How did your passion for photography arise?
MR: Getting a camera as a gift is what prompted me to begin shooting.
What was the best photo you ever took?
MR: The best photo I’ve ever taken always tends to be the last one that I’ve taken. I see, smell, hear, taste stuff every minute of everyday that manifests somehow in my latest work. Once I shoot something, i move on to the next so it’s impossible for me to look at older work of mine without seeing how limited my experience was at the time.
What’s your dream photo shoot?
MR: My dream photo shoot is to have access to an unlimited technology to create something 3 dimensional that no one has ever seen in photography.
Where do you find the majority of your inspiration?
MR: I find inspiration everywhere. As a creative person, I’ve opened myself up to everything so that I won’t miss anything big or small that might influence my next creative endeavor. The downside to being sop open is that a lot of bad stuff get’s in and I sometimes have to do a lot of mental gymnastics in order to not absorb it.
What has been your most memorable moment in your career so far?
MR: My most memorable moment would have to be working with Prince. He was such an enormous creative influence on me as I came of age that to have someone like him defer to me for creative insight was kind of mind-blowing to me.
What is your favorite post-production tip?
MR: I’ve refined my approach to post production over the years. I think less is more these days. Don’t get me wrong, I think post production has become integral in the process of expressing oneself through photography but I like to make things look polished without making them look artificial.
How would you describe your photographic style and how it has developed over the years?
MR: It used be hyper stylized but it’s become more organic. My concepts tend to be out of the ordinary but the way I shoot them is more relatable than it used to be.
Who is your all-time favorite celebrity to work with?
MR: I recently worked with Priyanka Chopra who is not only spectacularly beautiful, but she is extremely intelligent and articulate and most importantly, has the innate ability to make everyone feel good which is the quality I aspire to most.
Can you give our readers some advise on how they can improve their skills on taking photos?
MR: The key is to see the light. Sounds easy but most people don’t look for it when taking a picture. Make sure the light is flattering and even on a persons face (not harsh and unflattering) Always look to see where the light source is coming from. IE if it’s directly overhead, u do not want to take the photo.
Do you have any tips for an aspiring photographer who’s picking up a camera for the first time?
MR: Do the work. If you find it too laborious to shoot 7 days a week, chances are you are not passionate about it and will not be happy doing it. Learn everything you can and stay on top of the evolving technology.
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