‘I try to tell as much as possible with the minimum’ interview with Daniel Rueda

by | 6 October 2016 | Interviews

Daniel Rueda is a photographer, architect, content creator and creative from Valencia who has managed to combine all these sides in the same direction. Photography lover, he found in his architectural studies the taste for proportion, geometry and perspective. On the other hand @drcuerda (the pseudonym of Daniel Rueda in Instagram) found in Instagram a challenge to develop his more creative side.


We could say @drcuerda is defined by the union of all these elements, but definitely Daniel Rueda is much more. He is neatness, simplicity and elegance that he manages to convey in his instagram account with @anniset (the pseudonym of Anna Devís on Instagram) and in his real life as a photographer of architecture and professor at Drawyourdreams.

‘The look is also a muscle that should be exercised, and luckily architecture is a very visually stimulating career’


We know you’re an architect and you recently graduated in Valencia, but we do not know is how photography appeared in your life.

I like to think that is something that goes in my genes. Before becoming an aeronautic maintenance technician, my father was a photographer. He used to do something very different to what I do today, but I’ve always liked to have that connection with him through photography. In my house there has always been some cameras, so no one was surprised when as a small kid, I started to be interested in that machine that used to accompany us on all trips.

Having studied architecture is also something that determines what I do today. If I had not trained as an architect, I doubt very much that I could have found the architects, works and references that influence my work nowadays. The look is also a muscle that should be exercised, and luckily architecture is a very visually stimulating career.

You could say I discovered photography because of my father, or thanks to him, but there is no doubt that I am where I am today because of those studies.


When did you start with creative photography?

This creative side is more recent. The intention was to tell a common story in a different way while we taking photographs of our city. Anna (@anniset) was my partner throughout the process, and Instagram the perfect way to explore our possibilities.

Some people began to notice what we were doing, photographs were liked more and more, and our followers multiplied. Soon we were contacted from the application itself to share our profile with the rest of the planet. From one day to the next our images of our creative Valencia had gone around the world.

It´s been a long time since then: what started as a game  has become my job today. I’m so proud of the projects I’ve done over the years of my career as of the images that I have been taking in recent months.


drcuerda-daniel-rueda-more-with-less-magazine-photography-minimalism-influencer-5Photography by Daniel Rueda at @drcuerda


Do you usually work with Anna?

Yes, and although we usually work together, she also has her own account. She publishes some photographs and I publish some others. So we constantly feed each other. She appears in my photographs and I appear in hers. One always complete what the other does. We share ideas and language, so that sometimes it is even difficult to know who owns what image.


drcuerda-daniel-rueda-more-with-less-magazine-photography-minimalism-influencer-12Photography by Daniel Rueda at @drcuerda


 ‘It is not enough to just have an image that looks more or less beautiful; it has to tell something without the need of putting it into words’


Is there any practical reason why a character always appears in your images?

These “characters” serve to explain the scale of a space. The size of things would be higher or lower depending on the proportion it has with a human being. However, the role of these characters in my pictures is to tell a story that goes beyond aesthetics. That is, it is not enough to just have an image that looks more or less beautiful; it has to tell something without the need of putting it into words… While it is true that the texts that accompany the photographs are sometimes as important to me as the image itself.


drcuerda-daniel-rueda-more-with-less-magazine-photography-minimalism-influencer-3drcuerda-daniel-rueda-more-with-less-magazine-photography-minimalism-influencer-4Photography by Daniel Rueda at @drcuerda


What goes first, the text or the photo?

It is a process itself. Normally the idea is already in your head, or noted down in a note. Sometimes it is so strong that you can see the image in your head … Some others, you do not realize that there was something not fitting there until you start shooting. And then you improvise, test, search and play until you find the perfect image.

A few weeks ago, working in Munich for Smart, I had to embrace improvisation and get carried away by the situation, doing what I could with what I had. Despite having a number of ideas in mind to complete this session, once the test started, I realized that the distances are something to take into account when working with many locations in a short period of time … When things do not go as expected you have to be predisposed to think quickly and work flawlessly.


Do you go hunting buildings in your free time or do you find them by chance?

These places find me, or I am who has a hidden radar that is always on. Finding those buildings is not difficult if you know what you’re looking for. In addition, when transforming an idea into a picture, having a file of “settings” is really convenient; so I try to stay always alert.


Fotografía por Daniel Rueda en @drcuerda


‘I try to tell as much as possible with the minimum required; more with less’


How do you plan a picture?

First you have to is to have the story of the picture clear. What are you going to tell and how you will do it in one frame? To find out we will need paper and a pencil to draw it when it is not only more (or less) than an idea. That is when we play with the composition, geometry, with color and shapes; trying to tell as much as possible with the minimum required; more with less.

Then you will have to decide where that “scene” will happen. And that’s when that obsession for finding compatible architectures with what I do is very useful, as I mentioned before. When you find the perfect location and it is only composing, shooting and editing left; but this is what everyone already knows how to do. I think the hardest part of this work, and also the most beautiful, is everything that happens just before pressing the shooting button.


What story could you tell us about your experience with businesses?

I have been lucky to work with many brands in a lot of projects thanks to my photography: collaborations, advertising campaigns, contest promotion, etc. But surely I would highlight those works that have taken me out of my city…Thanks to this kind of adventures, such as those recently experienced with Smart or Netflix, I have travelled to places where I would never have come to visit otherwise.


drcuerda-daniel-rueda-more-with-less-magazine-photography-minimalism-influencer-11Photography for Daniel Wellington by Daniel Rueda at @drcuerda


Could you tell us about your adventure with Netflix?

Netflix was offering “the best job in the world”, as they said. It was to see series and movies while you were traveling around the world taking pictures of some of the most famous film locations for them. Almost two million photographs were  submitted to get that job, including three of mine. I was lucky, they liked what I did and how I did it; they tested me and I was finally chosen along with three more participants.


Photography for Netflix by Daniel Rueda at @drcuerda


We were traveling around Europe for nearly two weeks, each of us in a different country, going from one place to another by car, train, plane … Looking for locations of series and movies that were within the Netflix catalog as “Inception”,”Orange is the New Black”,”Luther””Doctor Who”…

It was a challenge. There was not a moment to lose, and sometimes it seemed that there was not time for all. Days still had only 24 hours! But I still enjoyed the experience, I slept in a different place almost every night, I discovered places I did not know and, after visiting many iconic scenarios, I learned that cinema is something truly magical.


Besides Instagram, What do you do?

I work as an architect, architectural photographer and professor at Drawyourdreams; almost all of my work can be found here … Although I do many more things because I can hardly say “no”. I have designed websites, recorded occasional video … We even had a radio show!


‘I think the hardest part of this work, and also the most beautiful, is everything that happens just before pressing the shooting button’


What does More with Less mean for you?

Minimalism, abstraction, cleanliness, attention to detail, sensitivity and delicacy are just some of the values that your web suggests to me and that I try apply in my daily work. Somehow one could say that it is the leitmotif of my life. As I said before, my great obsession is to say as much as possible with the minimum required, or what is the same: More with less.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Processed with Snapseed.

Fotografía por Daniel Rueda en @drcuerda


Interview: Jordi Iranzo, Borja Alcarria & Angela Montagud

Translation: Miren León

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