We all say wisdom comes with age but sometimes it is just not true. 19 year old Australian Ruby Jurecka grew up in Hong Kong and, despite her young age, she already feels very connected to film photography. In this interview, she shares a little piece of her refreshing and spontaneous memories.
Hello Ruby! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you have been doing in 2017 so far?
I’m a 19 year old Australian who’s grown up in Hong Kong. 2017 has consisted of so much art and experimentation, such as life-drawing, photoshoots and going through heaps of film and plenty of disposables. I’m a few days away from my next destination, being university in Melbourne.
How did you first get into photography?
I was born at a time where photography was already big and hugely accessible, but it was photo editing that was becoming huge and more noticeable. With so many options for
applications, devices, and cameras, photography became hugely about post-production. From early on, I paid so much attention to the construction of photographs. From my first experiences with a disposable at age 6, to owning my first DSLR at age 14, I began to consider my own art-making and reasons to photograph. My first real inspiration came from David Hockney, an artist who challenged the traditional limitations set around photography through his photographic collages and montages. His work showed frames and fractions of a second, and explored how limited a photograph can be. This idea surrounding photography challenged the way I was photographing, and creating.
As a millennial, why do you feel attached to analogue photography?
With so many phones, screens and electronic devices readily available, it’s very easy to take photographs and ‘memories’ for granted. You spend so much time looking through the screen, trying to perfect the photo; doing re-takes with this huge memory capacity, to then later enhancing and retouching the photographs digitally - you can forget you’re even existing in that very moment. Stepping back with an analogue camera in hand is pretty refreshing, and still extremely experimental. While I love taking photographs on my Nikon and iPhone too because of their rich attention to detail and I can have them on a screen, it’s shooting analogue that’s constantly pushing me towards a type of genuine photography. It’s just this different experience, sensation and aesthetic. They both have their differences.
We heard that you were accepted in a Fine Art Degree in Australia, congrats! Is Art generally important to you besides photography?
Thank you! I’m very excited. Fine Art ties into my analogue shooting and digital shooting heavily, as I’m constantly taking influence from contemporary artists, art-making techniques and methods, and looking for ways to speak to audiences effectively through visual communication. Learning about more ways to create, why we create, who has done what - it’s enlightening.
All your photos seem very spontaneous. What do you like shooting most?
I bring a disposable and/or my Diana F+ with me wherever I go, so I’m always shooting whenever I want, and of whatever I want. But I’d say I enjoy photographing portraits the most. There’s so much to a person's face already in general. People's faces particularly bring me back to different times in my life.
Do you have any particular memories from those shooting sessions?
Memory is huge to me. While sometimes I can shoot recklessly and spontaneously, some of my favorite memories consist of shoots with my family members simply at home in the garden, on the couch, in bed - nothing glamorous.
Where do you picture yourself in five years?
I don’t like to imagine a specific image of me, because I’m so excited to expand and change, especially as a practicing artist in Melbourne. All I know is that in 5 years time, I hope that I will continually experiment with different photographic techniques, films, and cameras, and continue to go beyond the ‘limited photograph’ as Hockney once said. In time, I hope to share more of my work with the world.
All photographs shown in this article were used by the permission of Ruby. If you want to see more of her spontaneous work, follow her on Instagram.