Aaron Ruell, who is perhaps best known for his commercial work for brands including Burger King and Volkswagen, is currently showing an exhibition of his personal photography work at Colette in Paris…
Ruell’s photography has been featured in magazines internationally and he has exhibited it in the US, Milan and Buenos Aires. The show at Colette marks his first French exhibition, and includes a mixture of still life works and portraits.
“I tend to describe my photographs as ‘quiet’,” says Ruell. “I’m inspired by pieces of furniture or accessories that wind up in my still life work. Also by music and faces. My images usually start in one of these ways… While listening to music a visual will come to mind. Or, while watching people, a character will come to me and I’ll then attempt to build a world around them. Or, I’ll see a nice piece of design in furniture or in something as simple as a tea cup and that will warrant an image.
“I like to think of my personal photography as separate from my commercial work,” he continues. “But the reality is that they are tied together. Sometimes I’ll take commercials in order to build a set and then capture a photograph during downtime. Also, the money I earn from shooting commercials is what allows me to shoot my personal work. So while I like to say they are separate, I think they do intermingle in a lot of ways. The key difference between the two is that I don’t have to answer or explain myself to anyone in my photography. And that’s nice.”