Fashion photographer Ruby June recently decided to drop everything in her home of New York City and set off for her dreamland of California. She took the Lomo'Instant Square to capture the moments along the way. Here she shares the photos and some insight to her new favorite traveling companion.
Hey Ruby June! For those who may not have met you yet, can you tell us who you are and what you do? A little about your story?
Hi! I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan and always wanted to be in movies- if I could've been one of those toddlers in tiaras I would've been in heaven. But I didn't have a stage mom (probably for the best) so I had to create my own stories and characters and I began photographing them to sort of save them for later when I could finally make it to Hollywood.
Photography gave me a chance to capture whatever it was I was working on whether it was creating wearable hot Cheeto art or a rainbow fish scale dress I'd made.
We never had a ton of money growing up but we had the freedom to create in an open environment where anything was possible. No amount of money can give you that.
How did you meet Lomography? How does Lomography fit into this story?
I saw a photographer I loved, Nirimi, had just gotten this new instant camera and she posted about it - as soon as I saw it I HAD to have it.
It was truly love at first sight; I still have that camera and when I get it out to take photos people are so fascinated by it, it always steals the show. I found that I was able to capture images with my Lomography cameras in a way that simply wasn't possible with digital.
Then I met Katherine - and fell even more in love with Lomography. To know that the people behind Lomography are just as beautiful as the cameras only sold me more.
What is your craziest project up until now? Actually, we understand you might be living and shooting the craziest adventure right now...
Right now my husband and I are traveling across the United States with ALL of our possessions - we are moving from NYC to LA, we don't have a place there or anything but we are just going for it and excited to see what God has planned for us. When we got the idea to move two months ago we knew if we waited too long it would be too easy to talk ourselves out of it so we gave ourselves about a month to get a car, pack up everything and say goodbye.
Right now this definitely feels like the craziest project if you can even call it that! We've been on the road a little over two weeks now and it feels like we've spent our whole lives out here exploring. It took a while to get used to not having a home but we are finally at a place of embracing this newfound freedom! Every time a bug hits the windshield I am so thankful to not be in a horse and buggy. Those settlers had it rough!
Has the Lomo Instant Square camera been a faithful companion on this journey? What has it been like watching the memories develop before your eyes?
I have my instant camera sitting up in the front seat with me so that it's ready for any adventure. When we first decided to move our lives and make this trip I immediately thought about how special it would be to capture it with an instant camera. I have an old photo album with floral fabric on the cover that I've been putting all the photos in and writing captions next to them as we go. It's amazing to be able to capture a moment and have it in my palm immediately- ready to write the memory down while it's still fresh.
How does instant photography help you stay in the moment and connect to the world?
Oh my Lord, it has been a lifesaver for me.
When I used to bring my digital camera with me I had to take a thousand (or more) photos and it was really hard to stay present. It's no fun staring at a screen during a fireworks show and then looking at the images on a screen later, having never ACTUALLY stopped to look up at the incredible show above you.
The instant cameras give me the opportunity to still capture these moments without getting obsessive and spending all my time trying to document what's happening. With the instant camera, I have maybe 5 shots that I can use. If they turn out great! If they don't, that's a memory too and it's nice because unlike analog you get to know immediately how it looks so if you MUST take another shot, you can.
Do you have any tips for other photographers in the community who want to get started on their own larger than life adventures, on how to make your dreams a reality?
The unknown is scary, especially if you are comfortable and happy where you are. The only way to live that life is to let go of what's comfortable, what's working and what's good and dream dreams that seem so far past possible you feel strange even saying them out loud. I'm sure when Guglielmo Marconi talked about sending sound with radio waves for the first time - people thought he was insane. But had he not pushed through we'd never be belting our hearts out to Party in the USA as we cruise down the freeway.
I've found that whenever I step out into a place where I don't know what's next, I don't know how it's going to be possible, it goes against all logic, God is able to meet me there and fill in all the gaps. If I was able to fill in all the gaps myself there would be no room for miracles and that's no fun. I want to see the impossible brought to life, the broken pieced back together seamlessly. I like being comfortable but I love being surprised by dreams coming true that are so big I didn't even think to dream them.
If you have the faith to take that first step, even if you aren't sure God is even real, if you just have enough curiosity to get you to take that first step - he will always meet you there and blow your socks off. It's definitely not always easy, but I can promise you it is always worth it.
What did you think of the Lomo'Instant Square?
It's so crisp!! Always so exciting to have a new instant cam to add to the fam.
What do you like about the square format?
The square is classic! It's totally different framing with the square than the rectangles.
How do you like the pictures taken with the Lomo'Instant Square?
All of the shots I've gotten with the Lomo'Instant Square are so clear! It's been amazing testing the lower aperture- I can try no flash shots in museums, at dusk and all these places I never would've dreamed of taking a hand held shot with no exterior lighting! It's a dream.