Meet ‘geometry seekers’, Daniel Rueda and Anna Devís.

Portrait of Anna & Daniel

© Francesc Planes

Join us as we chat with 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.

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

D: 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.

A: 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 just so much more I could do with a camera.

Obviously, 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. Which is why we like our images to be slightly naïve or playful, and most importantly, tell a story.

Anna-by-building

© Daniel Rueda & Anna Devis

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 it all started initially. But then we began experimenting with using the human element 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 elements are more spontaneous, but we always travel with a plan.

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.

Anna-with-umbrella

© Daniel Rueda & Anna Devis

What about a favourite location?

D: There are many, some are very insta-famous like La Muralla Roja. 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. A multicolour space in University Pierre and Marie Curie we discovered in our most recent trip to Paris.

Anna-in-orange-hat

© Daniel Rueda & Anna Devis

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 and 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!

Great advice! To finish, what’s next on the horizon for both of you?

D: For starters, this year we want to start selling our own prints. People have been asking to buy our images for ages, and I think it’s about time. We are also very excited to be working on a lot of exciting projects with several brands, but there’s so much going on, we don’t even know where to start. Also, we’ve recently arrived from Los Angeles. We haven’t really got over jet lag, but need to start packing again. In a few days, we are teaching a workshop in Vienna. Right after that, we are visiting Amsterdam too, so... Stay tuned for more of our stories!

Keep following Daniel & Anna's story on Instagram

Daniel & Anna’s Kit Bag

Cameras:

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS M6

Lens:

Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II

Printer:

Canon PIXMA PRO-10S

Answers edited for clarity and pacing.



Interview credit: Written by Donna Williams