5 Questions for Ruth Masciarelli
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up around a camera – in my early years, my Dad was a portrait and wedding photographer, and my mom retouched and enhanced portraits with oils. I enjoyed taking photographs from a young age. I took a lot of snapshots as a kid with my first 110 film camera I received as a gift, and took mostly architectural detail photos when I lived in downtown Chicago and had access to an old 35 mm film camera. Briefly in my 20s, I worked both behind the scenes and in front of the camera in the Chicago commercial world. While in Chicago, I interned for a well-respected casting director, and also worked as a commercial print and hand model, (before I eventually ended up pursuing a career in healthcare.) Currently I use a Canon Rebel T5i (which is my first DSLR), and my iPhone X. Thanks to coffee and genetics, I have abounding exuberant positive energy, and love to explore the world around me. I love to discover new coffee shops, restaurants, nature, countries…and capture many of my adventures with a camera. I also enjoy focused attention-to-detail work, writing and editing.
What is it that interests you most about photography?
Spontaneity, joy and connection were emphasized in my undergraduate degree of Communications/Theater from Wheaton College (Illinois.) Though I work in a hospital setting now, and the path from Theater major to Healthcare career is a long circuitous story, my theater/artistic background and my current career in healthcare are tied together with the common theme of connection. I love to connect with people, both at my job and also through the creative arts. Tying photography together with my theater arts background, I love the exploration, discovery, spontaneity and joy that can be found in the process of creating and sharing photographs. Now that I am older, I am delving more deeply into the world of photography. I have combined aspects of my earliest childhood memories of my parents’ involvement with photography: in addition to taking photographs I also enjoy hand-coloring my photographic prints. I love to create and share works of art that inspire imagination, evoke joy, and reflect the beauty and wonder of this incredible world around us.
What kind of of photographs do you like to make?
Most everything. I love the whole artistic process of photography and everything about the act of exploring our world through the lens-from big picture scenes to the smallest intricate details. I like to take notice of it all, with my camera. The camera is my tool for spontaneous creative expression, so I enjoy taking photos of anything that inspires me in the moment. Macro, street scenes, architecture, travel, flowers, nature, colors, black and white, abstract, patterns, textures. I like to push my imaginative limits to see what I can create.
What is most rewarding about learning photography?
I love the whole creative process, which allows me to experience a sense of equilibrium with my career in healthcare. Both the process of photography and also hand-coloring my prints are a wonderful and relaxing break from my busy work life. The very act of creating a photograph requires me to stop, focus on the details, and truly be present in the moment. With photography, I can “just be” and be free to express my creative side.
Can you share any tips about your experiences with photography so far?
For anyone who wants to learn more about photography, I’ve found that the Internet is a great resource for learning new skills, and offers a lot of helpful how-to articles and online tutorials. Local classes and photo clubs are a great way to gain new skills and meet people who share similar interests. I suggest practicing with a digital camera and taking lots and lots of photos. In addition to the above recommendations: Study successful photographers whose work you admire, to get ideas of what sparks your imagination, and how composition and lighting work in a shot. Seek to understand the exposure triangle – this is key. And most of all, have fun and enjoy the process!