A person stands in front of a building with triangular windows larger than them, leaning diagonally. Photo by Daniel Rueda and Anna Devís.

ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Meet 'geometry seekers' Daniel Rueda and Anna Devís

Join us as we chat with colourful and creative architectural photographers, Anna Devís and Daniel Rueda.

Discover what's behind their imaginative and abstract way of storytelling and how their love of buildings and travel has turned them into Instagram stars (where they go by the handles @anniset and @drcuerda).

How did it all start for you both? What got you into photography?

Daniel: "Growing up, there were always cameras in my house, so photography was something I was able to experiment with from a young age. There was a lot of trial and error, but I was always very interested in sharing the images I created on websites like MySpace and Flickr. It helped me work out how my own personal style was developing, seeing all my images up there together as themes began to emerge in my feeds."

Anna: "I'm an only child, so I was always looking for creative ways to keep myself amused. When I started to get a bit bored of painting I began creating imagery through photography, and soon realised there was so much more I could do with a camera."

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Architecture features heavily in your images. How much of an influence has it had on your photography style?

D: "Well, we're both architects, so we find all aspects of architecture interesting and intriguing. It's something we're both very passionate about, but it's not necessarily something other people who aren't architects or designers would appreciate. That's why we like our images to be slightly naïve or playful – and most importantly, to tell a story."

We love the human element in your photography. What kind of stories are you trying to tell there?

D: "When you're shooting architecture it's really important to provide a sense of scale, so that's where the human element started initially. But then we began experimenting with using people in a more abstract way. Abstracting the scale or uniformity of a building in a naïve, human way helps us create some empathy between the viewer and the architecture."

A: "We try to make everything we create as minimalistic yet imaginative as we possibly can. I guess you could say that has become our storytelling style; imaginative minimalism. We just want to share our passions with other people in simple, beautiful ways that everyone can understand and appreciate. It's important that everything is accessible."

Your stories are all meticulously composed. How do you prepare for each shot?

D: "I'm more of a perfectionist. I'm always thinking about how the shot is going to be taken: what the ISO is, whether or not the levels are perfect, that kind of thing. Anna is more creative. She's less interested in the numbers, and approaches everything more intelligently from a conceptual point of view. I think the main reason our images work so well is because we're two very different people."

A: "We plan about 90% of our shoots at home before we travel. Everything we create is from something we've drawn out beforehand. We always know what props we're going to need to make each image. Some of the elements are more spontaneous, but we always travel with a plan."

"The best advice is to explore the places that aren't in your guidebook. That's where you'll capture your most beautiful images."

Have you got a favourite shot that you've created together?

A: "We believe that our best picture is yet to come. But we always seem to prefer our most recent image the most, as we feel we're always learning and improving."

D: "There's so much time, planning and failure that goes into the creation of each image. When you finally get the shot you were after and you get to share it, it instantly becomes your new favourite. You can't really help it, as that's always going to be the shot you feel closest to at that time."

Portrait of photographers Daniel Rueda and Anna Devís, taken by Francesc Planes.

What about a favourite location?

D: "There are many, some are very insta-famous like La Muralla Roja [where the pink photo, above, was taken]. It's this huge maze made up of wonderful pastel colours located here in Spain, in Calpe. Unfortunately this is a private residential building and accessing it is not allowed nowadays."

A: "Some others are simply well-hidden gems inside the city waiting to be found, like L'Atrium de Jussieu [where the picture above, with the multicoloured windows, was taken]. This is a multicoloured space in University Pierre and Marie Curie that we discovered on a trip to Paris."

What advice would you give to someone looking to capture their first city story this summer?

A: "I think the best advice is to explore the places that aren't in your guidebook. You won't find anything someone hasn't already noticed around the main tourist landmarks, so do your research before you leave to get an idea of where the more interesting areas are. That's where you'll capture your most beautiful images."

D: "And keep it simple!"


Written by Donna Williams

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