film interview

An Interview With : Eric Rubens

1/14/2018Jake Ryan

Eric Rubens is a photographer from San Diego who posts takes absolutely incredible photos. You may have seen some of Eric's photos on social media under the handle erubes1.

Eric has turned his passion of photography into a career and his outstanding photography work has seen him work with clients such as Visit Jordan and Croatia Board of Tourism among many others.

I recently asked Eric some questions about his work, see everything Eric had to say below. 


Hey Eric, Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Eric Rubens and I’m a photographer/videographer based in Orange County, California. I grew up in San Diego and went to college for electrical engineering but decided to pursue photography after working as an engineer for quite a while. I love to travel and my goal is always to inspire people to get out and see the beautiful world we live in.

I’m always amazed by your photos, when did you get started out in photography?
I got started in photography when I was traveling playing tennis competitively around the US. In college I was an All-American and won a NCAA title so I was often playing tournaments all over the country. I wanted to take better pictures to help remember the places I visited so I invested in a cheap camera. It wasn’t until many years later when I was doing engineering when my interest grew even more. I’d go to the beach every day after work to try to end the day doing something relaxing. Taking pictures of the sunset became a fun ritual and Instagram made it easy to share my work with my friends and family. I never thought a lot of other people from around the world would take interest in my work and never in my wildest dreams did I think it would someday become my full time career. From tennis, to engineering, to photography, I feel like I’m on my third career!

What made you want to be a photographer?
The impact a nice photo or video has on someone is truly powerful. An image can provide someone a nice escape from a busy day or even inspire them to go on a vacation they’ve been putting off. My goal has always been to push the boundaries of color and light in my work and try to catch peoples eyes. We live in a beautiful world and I love trying to show off all the places that make it so special.

How important do you think equipment is in getting the perfect shot?
I think equipment starts to matter more and more the worse the conditions are. In the middle of the day or when there’s nice lighting, even cell phones take perfectly usable shots. Once it gets darker out, having nice gear starts to come into play more and more. I’ve been with Sony for years now and love how well there mirrorless cameras work in low light. They’re also super small and light which is essential when it comes to the amount I travel!

Who inspired you growing up?
When I first got into following other peoples photography, I followed Chris Burkard and was always amazed at the places he was visiting in the world. Following photographers who traveled extensively opened my eyes to how many amazing countries there are out there.

You’ve been on some amazing adventures, do you have a favourite?
I really enjoyed visiting South Africa with my fiancĂ©. It’s such an amazing and diverse country. From visiting the beaches of Cape Town, to the wine country in Franschhoek, to going on safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa has it all. I can’t wait to get back and explore more of the coastline and hopefully get some surfing in.

Have you learnt anything about yourself while travelling?
Traveling so much has made me extremely fortunate for where I was raised. I’ve seen a lot of poverty and run down cities around the world that I’ve never had exposure to living in Southern California. There’s a lot of people out there going through hard times and it’s my goal in 2018 to try to use my following for some charitable purposes.

How often are you on the road?
It really depends on the season and the jobs and it fluctuates all the time. On average I probably travel a week or two a month. Some of the international campaigns I do for tourism boards or airlines will last 2 weeks but often times I’ll do quick camping trips for 2-3 days when I’m low on content. The expression ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ really rings true sometimes when it comes to me traveling. When I’m at home I’m always itching to travel and when I’m on the road a lot I’m always craving some time at home. It’s important to find a balance which I sometimes struggle with.

What’s the most surreal moment you’ve had while travelling?
The first time I visited Jordan which was actually the first ever media trip I went on, the Queen hosted us for an event. Speaking with her about where I was from and my experience visiting her country was an incredible experience. It will most likely be the only time I ever speak with royalty in a country and I’ll never forget her thanking us for helping show off the beauty of her country.

What are your dreams and goals?
I have quite a couple goals long term. I’m fortunate to have a large following that’s growing quickly but I really would like to find charitable ways to utilize my audience. I’m taking a trip to Puerto Rico in early 2018 to help build houses and promote tourism post Hurricane Maria so that’s a good start. I’d also like to focus on ways I can help impact my local community and provide a platform for local artists or businesses to get exposure on. I don’t want to look back in 10 years on this opportunity and voice I was given and think that I should’ve done more with it.

What has been your proudest moment in life?
Proposing to my fiancĂ© was my happiest moment. It’s such a fun thing experiencing a relationship grow to that point and I can’t wait for the wedding next year!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was quit my engineering job to pursue photography full time. I spent 5 years in college getting the degree and 7 years as an engineer so that’s 12 years down a path that I walked away from. I was constantly reminded from people around my including my boss at the time that life is too short and you’ll always regret not taking a chance. It was such a weight off my shoulders when I took the leap and I’m so thankful those around me supported my decision and pushed me to do it.

And finally, what are your plans for the future?
I want to continue to travel and show off unique places around the world. This year I’m hoping to work with some local artists and businesses in my community to try to give them a platform to grow. I also have been working on helping a few startups which has been a fun experience for me. The one thing I miss about engineering is working on a team towards building something. Being involved with these startups has provided me a chance to collectively reach towards a common goal with others. I’m super excited for 2018 and all it has in store for me!

Thanks Eric for answering my questions. 

Follow Eric on Instagram - erubes1 
On  YouTube - erubes1
and see more of his work on his site here 

All photos in this post belong to Eric. 

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