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Episode 67: Seeking Inspiration In Unlikely Places with Reuben Krabbe

Failure and setbacks are all part of the creative process. This week we talk with action sports photographer Reuben Krabbe about his latest projects, how he gathers new creative ideas, how he prioritizes safety when working in the backcountry, and how he takes care of himself with such a demanding job.

Watch Nebula:

Follow Reuben:

​Follow us: @wheeliecreative

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Episode Transcript

Lisa: Hi, welcome to season four, episode 29 of Outside by Design.

Iris: Hello, hello. I'm Iris

Lisa: and I'm Lisa. Coming at you live from Whitefish, Montana.

Iris: Not live, but close enough.

Lisa: Yeah. It's live to us.

Iris: As we’re talking.

Lisa: and you're living your life now. [laughs] Um, today's a fun episode.

Iris: Yes. Today we have photographer Reuben Krabbe.

Lisa: Yeah, he's a cool dude. He's a true creative. This episode is kind of funny because the first half of it he recorded while sitting on a park bench, and then we finished up the recording in a different setting. So you might notice a difference in the sound quality and you can just smile it knowing that little inside joke.

Iris: Reuben is here to talk about a film that he recently worked on (which you can watch by clicking the link in the show notes) called Nebula, as well as some of his most recent projects. He talks about what causes him to keep going after facing setbacks, his tips on shooting in the backcountry and making sure safety is still a priority as well as how he takes care of himself in this crazy lifestyle.

Lisa: Yeah. Being a photographer is like the craziest lifestyle.

Iris: Yeah. Let's hear about Reuben's lifestyle.

Lisa: Cool. Well, Reuben, thank you so much for being here today on Outside by Design.

Reuben: Yeah, thank you for having me. It's great to be on.

Lisa: And the first question we ask everyone is to describe where they are and what they are looking at. And I think you have a pretty good answer to that.

Reuben: Um, well you might hear a Canadian goose in the background ‘cause I'm sitting in a city park in Calgary in between meetings out here. So occasionally they're getting a little bit vocal. And I'm staring into the sun and forgot my sunglasses. And there is a lady in a magenta jacket stretching her calves over there. So. It's a pretty funny scene over here.

Lisa: [laughs] That's hilarious. And you're normally based out of Whistler, right?

Reuben: Uh, Whistler and Squamish, which is the town just in between Vancouver and Whistler.

Lisa: Awesome.

Reuben: Yeah.

Lisa: Cool. Well, for our audience, um, who are largely creatives themselves, or editors or journalists, marketing managers, um, why don't you tell us a little bit about your work and a little bit about yourself and, um, we'll take it from there.

Reuben: Right. Uh, I've been working as a photographer for eight years now, and I do ski, mountain bike, general tourism, and then occasionally get called in for any kind of job from architecture to a wedding photo. But I spend most of my time in the first three categories there. Um, and I've ended up specializing mostly within ski photography and um, I like working on sort of self assigned projects as well that are, um, places where I can be as creative as I want and hopefully not have too many people peering over my shoulder wondering why I didn't do things differently. ‘Cause I still really love the full, open, creative side of photography that you can get to if you choose to do those self... self-assigned kind of projects.

Lisa: Totally. And so what are some of your current projects that you have kicking around?

Reuben: Uh, the biggest one would be this Nebula photograph and Nebula film, which I'd been working on for about two years. Um, and I think we'll talk more about that later. And then maybe another one to point to would be, uh... Uh, the snowflake that I created out of 32 nude bodies. And I think that'll be released sometime in the month around when this podcast is out. And then in the last year, I also started working on a personal hunch story where I'm trying to point to action sport and all of the outdoor activity that we like to do is this new generation of sport, sort of in the history of humankind. So that starts from thinking about like running or jumping like Olympic sports originally. And then the second generation would be, um, skilled sports that you might need to do for your culture. So archery or something like that, that might integrate some tools and some equipment. Then when the industrial revolution revolution happens, we moved into a lot of team sport because you would have regulated time off, so everyone would recreate at one point. And then they can also be sort of like war games of us versus them. You can be sort of nationalistic. And now we're moving into this generation of sport where everything is sort of fluid. You can be a little bit of a downhill skier or you could be a racer, you could be a backcountry freeskier, you could be someone working on creative projects. And we're sort of seeing this like blossoming in divergence of tons of different sports. And I've been trying to photograph that in different places, seeing how those sports, what they mean to different people.

So one of those was like shooting some rock climbers in Shanghai where... out of all of the sports so that they could want to do, they're choosing rock climbing. Even though Shanghai is not a very, um, mountainous area. That's how people express themselves and how they recreate.

Lisa: Whoa. Where'd you come up with this idea? This sounds awesome.

Reuben: Uh, it actually, I started working on it after Eclipse, which was another one of these creative projects. Um, I was talking with the editors of National Geographic and sort of noticing that they have rock climbing and alpinism in their magazine, in their flagship magazine, but almost no other sport ever fits in that. They don't really see, um, all of these sports as culturally relevant. They... Um, because they are, they skewed towards wealthier sport. I think that they don't feel like they're representative of the world and overall. But I, I really do think that these things are incredibly massive, and we also don't... like, we use the word action sport, but it sort of seems like the sort of sounds like extreme sports to me, where that's like a... it’s just pointing to the freak show kind of side of these where there's a lot of people recreating in a very different way, and that's a really massive cultural change in the world, but we don't really think or talk about that in that way. We don't really see it as this new significant thing that everyone's riding mountain bikes, but it's actually really weird and really cool.

Lisa: Yeah. That's amazing. So how do you end up in conversations with National Geographic when there are, you know, thousands of photographers in the world?

Reuben: Uh, that specific opportunity comes around at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, which is like one part film festival. And then one part, uh, it sorta just feels like a… a staff meeting or like a staff celebration for every, all the freelancers in, um, action, sport. So a lot of people end up in this area and we can, you can run into anyone and chat with whoever you want at all of these who are from these really influential places in the, um, action sport industry.

And I ended up talking to Sadie Quarrier a little bit, um, after the premiere of the film that I was in called Eclipse, and then the next year I brought this idea forward to her and said, Hey, like, what do you think about this? And so far, I don't think it's going to end up being a project in the magazine. It's a little bit loose-ended and big and wide, and it's not... it needs a little bit of time to work on it, but maybe it's a two year project. Maybe it's a 20 year project. Maybe it's a lifetime thing. Who knows?

Lisa: That's awesome. I love that you are interested in the slow burn for your creative work.

Reuben: [laughs] I don't, I try not to aim for it, but it seems to be aware of most things end up that they take a lot longer to really get things through the process. Like this Nebula film one that I mentioned before. It's funny, it's a single photograph and the photograph takes maybe a minute to actually shoot the thing, but I've been working on it for two years, so it's a really ridiculous comparison.

Lisa: Yeah. Let's talk about that. Let's tell us all about the Nebula film and the, and the photograph and what that evolved into.

Reuben: Uh, so the first thing that I did in my career that... uh, the first photograph that garnered a bit of attention was this photograph of a skier under the Northern lights. And that was something that I was interested in doing creatively, but also looking for a single photograph that might gather a bit of attention, then be a good marketing platform. And then after that, I brought an idea to go shoot during a solar eclipse to Solomon skis, and we ended up making a movie called Eclipse. Um, well I shouldn't say we ended up making a movie. They made a movie about me without letting me... while they were trying to not really let me know that I was on camera as much as I was.

Lisa: [laughs]

Reuben: Um, I think, uh, I think it was a good decision by the director, but it was sort of funny cause I could, when there's a camera pointing in your face, you, you definitely know. But they weren't, they were trying to not lead on too much that it was actually going to be a movie mostly orienting it around the creation of this photograph. And then after the success of that, I had this idea for a Nebula and I didn't know if I wanted to chase it or not cause it seemed a bit grandiose and ridiculous.

And it sort of started from thinking, like, what would happen if I shot a photo with a massive telescope, like could I commandeer one of those like mountain top telescopes in, uh, like Hawaii or something, one of those ones that’s like huge building size. And could you figure out how to shoot an action sport photo with that thing?

Um, it turns out no one wants to let me rent one of those things, or they want to charge you $100,000 an hour. So after figuring out that that wasn't an option, I started looking into what you can actually shoot from earth. Um, and there's a whole culture of astrophotography. So a bunch of people with these big telescopes that will go out into the middle of farmers' fields and shoot pictures of the sky. And I started trying to figure out how I could create a hybrid of that really, really long lens photography and ski photography. And, um. Went out once, tried, failed, and then went out a second time and we got very lucky last year and ended up creating this ski photograph with the skier, Nick McNutt.

And then since then, we've been working on a film that, uh, should be online as of November 6th.

Lisa: Perfect. We will put a link to that film in our show notes for sure.

Reuben: Right on.

Lisa: Yeah.

Reuben: Um, so. It was definitely the most frustrating and biggest learning process that I've had sort of wrapped up in one. Um, the whole world of astrophotography is like, it's technical beyond belief. Because you're doing really, really interesting stuff with computer processing and with, um, big lenses and understanding exactly where the earth is in the universe at any point in time and how fast it's spinning and where you are on the earth and harmonizing all of this information to try to point a lens at one thing for 30 seconds or a whole night to get a single good photograph of some of the really cool stuff that's out in outer space. So it was really hard to figure out, and I'm sort of still surprised that we ended up getting the photo. Now looking back, I was watching some raw footage yesterday and man, it was a ridiculous experience.

Lisa: I love your approach with curiosity of just being like, well, huh, that won't work. How about if I try this? How about if I try this? And I think as a, as a creative that's... um, what makes you keep going instead of giving up?

Reuben: Um, I think I've just gotten used to failing often enough and working through that, that I just always understand that failure is part of the process. That failure is only really a failure if you cease trying anymore. So like after the, after the big failure two years ago with Nebula film, we're heading back and driving back on snowmobiles and I'm thinking to myself like, no, I, I had everything right. I - up until an hour, up until the hour where I could shoot the photograph, I thought that we were going to succeed. So it's only up to me to choose whether or not I'm going to continue pursuing this and choose whether or not this is actually a failure or just a learning experience. Um, and I, I think that with creativity, a lot of people think that they don't get to call themselves creative unless they create at a high caliber or that they're actually gonna create something good by the end of the process where I think it's just more of an expression of any time you want to try to make a thing and then, um, continue trying to learn and develop that skill. Um, like no one who picks up a guitar is good at it right away. It's, it's a learning process and the whole thing of it is actually really beautiful and good. It's not just when you learn how to play a guitar like Jimi Hendrix, can you call yourself creative and enjoy the process.

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Iris: I love what Reuben says about being a creative and being an artist. It doesn't have to mean that you're perfectly successful or everything you make is perfect, that you never fail. It's totally a process to be a creative.

Lisa: I agree, Iris, and I mean you're on our creative team here at Wheelie and I feel like that's a situation that we encounter every day. It's all learning and growing and changing, and especially what you do with social media, being able to adapt constantly to make sure you stay trending. Hashtag trending. Um. I think, I think, you know, enjoying that process and trusting that process is important.

Iris: Yeah. And don't be afraid to label yourself as a creative or an artist, because whether you have crazy gallery showings or you just like to paint in your spare time, you're totally an artist. You're creating art. That's all that matters.

Lisa: Mhmm.

Iris: Let's get back to Reuben.

Lisa: And the word of the month on our podcast is cultivation. So everybody is talking a little bit about what that word means to them. So when you hear the word cultivation, what comes up for you?

Reuben: For me, if I hear the word cultivation, I think that means, uh... I'm thinking about the inspirations that I have and where I gather new ideas. So if my Instagram is full of fluffy dogs and a whole bunch of ski photography from other people who shoot near me and, uh, create similar content to me, then I... I think it's inevitable that my work will be very, very similar to everyone else's. But I put effort into trying to cultivate inspirations that are much further abroad from my own discipline. So I'm trying to pull in ideas from science or from music, and, um, I don't want to be making stuff that's do similar to Blake Jorgenson or another photographer who's working in the same area as mee, I'd rather pick up ideas from somewhere really absurd and try to remix them into what I do. So if that's what the word cultivation sort of means to me, and, or at least today, that's what it means to me.

Lisa: Like surrounding yourself with ideas and concepts outside of your industry.

Reuben: Exactly. Um, I'm not sure if that fits for most other, um, crafts, but I think it's really important for photography to not be borrowing ideas and remixing ideas from buddy next door. You want something really absurd and further away. Maybe that's also just my style.

Lisa: I like that. What, uh, what do you think makes a great photo?

Reuben: Uh, I've been thinking about this sort of recently, but we never, we, we rarely use the word interesting, but I think that the whole thing just often boils down to just what is actually interesting. Um, is it interesting in what it's saying? It's, is it interesting in how it's being done? Is the photography of something that's topical or something that is new and fresh? Um, so... I don't need photography to be easily digestible necessarily, but I just need the content of it to be something that I want to pay attention to.

Um, photography to me is fundamentally communication. It's showing a person a thing and it's communicating in between the two of us. And if the thing you're saying, if the things that you're showing or how you say them aren't interesting, no one's gonna engage. So it doesn't... I don't, I don't know if that litmus test works for other people, but that for me is still fundamental to what I'm trying to do is just keep reinventing and finding new ways to look at something that might be, um, familiar or show something that is not familiar at all in a new space.

Lisa: And I'm super curious for you specifically, how do you rope athletes into this process? Because a lot of your photos are in the middle of the night, or it looks like maybe very early morning. So how do you as a photographer, bring athletes into your creative process?

Reuben: [laughs] Um, it's, it's, it hasn't always been easy.

Lisa: [laughs] Yeah.

Reuben: Uh, I think that because a lot of the work that I've done hasn't necessarily had a huge emphasis on athlete performance that it might be a little bit less interesting for the athletes to be involved in. So for Nebula, Nick only came out that one night and he's still really didn't even understand what was happening.

So for, for Nick, that he's a guy that I've shot with and I've skied with, and I could just sort of rope him into this idea and be like, look, man, this thing's not going to make any sense the entire time. Just stay safe and trust me that this thing is going to be pretty cool and pretty out there.

And I think now in my career, I've got a bit of validity to be, to convince people to do this stuff, but it would definitely be a lot harder earlier. Um. For the Aurora photograph, the one that sort of launched my career, um, the skier for that was Tobin Seagel, and he had been working with other photographers, specifically Jordan Manley prior to that.

And I think he started to develop also a little bit of his own sense of what is or isn't going to be interesting and new. So when I mentioned this idea of the Aurora photo- photograph, and I was expecting him to be like, Oh, that sounds a bit funky, like whatever. But all of a sudden his like eyes brightened up and it was like, yeah, this sounds interesting. That totally sounds like something that we need to do. Um, so it's sort of case by case, but it takes, uh, a lot of cracks at the bat. Talk with a lot of people until you can find the right people to collaborate with. You need to put yourself out there a bit.

Lisa: Absolutely. And you have to be out there physically as well with the skier. So, um, how do you navigate that? Do you have a particular like jacket and big gloves you use every time? Or what are some of your like pro tips for actually being out in the elements in the dark with your camera gear?

Reuben: Um, with, uh, photography gear, I think it's really important to just have really good gear. You don't want to have problems with anything that you're using. I've been using F-stop camera begs for a long time. Um, and they've been, they're designed for people who are moving in backcountry areas with photography. So it's exactly what you need and it's going to keep your back as happy as possible, as long as possible.

Um. You need to just take care of your hands and your toes. So I now have toe warmers on my ski boots and, um, other people look at me and sort of laugh being like, Oh, that's just for rich people and 60 year old people. And I'm like, I don't know. Frost- frostbite is not very cool. I don't know why you need to think that's awesome to just be getting frozen all of the time.

Um, and, uh. I don't know what other tips you necessarily need. A lot of it's just a learning process and also making sure that you keep an emphasis on safety in your process. Because you're like, when we talk about being creative, sometimes we talk about, like, getting a little bit of tunnel vision, like, or you get into a flow state and you really hone in on the thing that you want, and it could be really easy to wander under a crevasse if you're sort of just paying so much attention to the blue ice that's around you and then you stop really being concerned with safety. So that's, uh, one of the things that's really hard is harmonizing safety in the backcountry because, um, there's also no, there's no learning process for this in a, um, proper way. Like, you can't go to a ski guiding company and say, hey, teach me how to be a ski photographer in mountain terrain. They'll just be like, well, never stop on slope and never ski with two people on a slope. And you're sort of thinking like, well, all of these other photographers have done it before. How do I do it? And you need to develop methods and processes to know you're going to always be safe and, um, learn how to not bend or break rules, but to make sure you follow rules in very interesting and specific ways to stay safe.

Lisa: Absolutely. And qhat is your response when people…. well, sometimes people are like, let's not bring cameras. Let's just be present. But for me, having a camera in my hands allows me to be the most present I can possibly be because I'm looking at lighting and I'm looking at, um, you know, the way that that slope may be, or how an athlete moves and it like makes me hyper aware of everything around me. And I think that's kind of that flow state you were mentioning earlier. So like, what does that feel like for you? Uh, I can affirm that I really do find, I’m, uh, extremely present when I'm using a camera. But I also am interrupting the normal way that a person recreates when I am shooting. So I think it's just important to have both of those things. And also allow for like carefree fun during the shoot for a little bit and then go back to work. And make sure that you keep, um, a good energy going through a shoot so that the athletes still stays invested and happy. “Cause like... also, if you're shooting lifestyle, often it's pretty boring stuff to shoot for the model. They're just hanging out and trying to smile a lot, but if you can keep joking with the person and keep making the process enjoyable, that'll help.

Um. But for, for myself, I, I definitely ski without a camera almost as much as I ski with a camera, but then when I ski with a camera, it's like a workday and both of those are their own flow states for me. One is more like an athletic pursuit and the other one's going to be more of a creative space.

Lisa: Yes, and I am really enjoying what you're saying, kind of about the customer service side of being a photographer and like, making sure your athletes are happy. What... like, what can you say about that? Because I don't know how many people are talking about that right now.

Reuben: Well, I've talked with other people, like other amateur photographers, when I teach a session that they have a hard time getting people to stop during one of the times that they're going out skiing or something. But if skiing, if, if photography isn't the explicit, um, goal of the day, then I don't think it's sort of right to be interrupting everyone else's recreation to concentrate on your own thing. Um, you need to be working in a partnership and a collaboration. Um, so that, that is really important to make it sort of explicit, I think, and just choose, is this a shoot day or is this… run a shoot run and the next run we're going to like, party.

Um, and then as far as trying to... I think empathy is super important in both the photography you're doing, photography with the models, but then also just anytime in business, in any respect, empathy is always going to be helping. Like, know your client, that phrase is basically empathize with people, empathize with the people that you work with. And it's really important to understand what their goals and needs are, what their struggles are. Is there a year hard in business right now? Then just like knowing that and then relating to that can also make the shoot more enjoyable when you're talking with everyone.

Um, you can share what your tips are for self care in the action sport creative space. So how do you actually make sure that you keep your head on your shoulders and stay happy and that kind of empathy with the people that you're working with is always going to make everything better.

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Iris: Lisa, we talk about customer service a lot here at Wheelie, obviously.

Lisa: We do, um, we call it custy serves.

Iris: Mhmm.

Lisa: ‘cause it's more fun than saying customer service. But we talk about custy serves all the time because tons of people create, and tons of people have a platform for creating, and that's, that's fantastic with what Instagram has done for the, I guess, the entire creative industry. But I think at the end of the day, people hire you. You know, who's our listeners and Reuben and us, like, people hire you as a specific person because of your customer service and because of what you as an individual bring to the table. So it's phenomenally important to show up and look people in the eye and know that you're capturing, you're in someone's world when you're behind a camera and there's honor in that and joy and love and craft.

Iris: Yeah. It can be hard to get caught up in that flow state, so you always got to keep in mind that you're working with other people and their needs have to be important too.

Lisa: Mhmm.

Iris: Let's get back to Reuben when he talks about how he takes care of himself while he's traveling and shooting.

Lisa: What's your answer to that question? How do you keep your head on your shoulders and say, happy?

Reuben: Uh, I, I try to make sure that I recreate enough. That's super crucial. Um, and then... and that means probably without a camera. Um, and then I try not to avoid also taking care of my body. Uh, it's a pretty demanding job. And currently, I'm still working through a bit of a knee injury that sabotaged half of my winter last year, and I need to take care of that and take care of myself in order to be able to do my job or take care of other people. Um, so I, I think we can sometimes shrug things off for too long or hope that things will get better, but I think it's really important to be making sure you take care of yourself properly.

And if you work from, and if you work from your home office, make sure you get a good espresso machine.

Lisa: Yes. Yes. And, and, um, are you, you travel a lot, right? So, um, you know, how do you kind of work on your self care while you're on the road for work?

Reuben: Um, I don't, I don't travel too much anymore. I've been strategically trying to change my business so that I can actually spend a bit more time at home. And then also to be conscious of my carbon footprint as I travel. But then when I do travel, and now when I'm saying I'm going to be in Banff for the next week, I've got my foam roller. I'm going to commit to the fact I'm going to be in the gym three days a week.

And it sort of feels funny to spend your time inside of this hotel when you could be out in nature. But for me, I need to do those things in order to get better. So it's just... sort of treating more things like a job and making less things optional, like for myself in my head, I'm, no matter what, I'm going to have to go take care of myself. That's, that's part of my job now.

Lisa: Yeah. That's a really good way to approach it too, that your body is your job.

Reuben: And unpacking properly in a hotel room, like putting things into drawers and into the closet is actually such a nice experience. If you're ever going to be in a hotel for more than three nights to try it out and you're like, it's a mind blowing experience.

Lisa: [laughs] It’s the little things.

Reuben: Do you ever do that? Do you do that?

Lisa: Um, no I don't, I don't. I tend to just build a pile. [laughs]

Reuben: Try it out next time. And you will be like, mind blown that you, you have happier experience while you're traveling when you do that stuff.

Lisa: I will, I will try that out. That's a good tip. Um, what's, what's your advice to other photographers when they want to work with agencies and how is that different in your experience than working directly with a brand.

Reuben: Uh. If you're going to be working with agencies, uh, I think it's still important to try to make sure that the conversation still involves the client and the agency to make sure that you're not suffering from a game of telephone where one person says one thing to the other and then to the next one.

So make sure that to keep communication is really clear, is definitely incredibly useful. Um, and then in order to develop a good relationship with anyone, I think it's... or to work well with anyone. I always think it's good to develop a better relationship with people. So if you can end up meeting people in person or actually spending time skiing together, biking together in order to just sort of get to know each other, that's always going to be useful in any creative process or any lifestyle process really.

Lisa: Absolutely, absolutely. And I think, you know, as an agency owner, having, having a roster of photographers who can, you know, go out in the middle of the night to get a shot and they are dependable, um, is, is totally invaluable.

Reuben: Mhmm. How do you end up sourcing and choosing photographers to work with? How does that process work for you? ‘Cause even for photographers, that always feels really, uh, uh, really vague. Like sometimes you get an email in your inbox and it's like, did my marketing actually work or is this just chance? Like how do I, how do I learn to cultivate this and make this actually happen more? There's our word of the month.

Lisa: Yeah it is. Um. It's really fortunate to work in the outdoor industry because we get to go to these cool events and... like Outdoor Retailer or the Jackson Hole Powwow or anything like that, and we get to meet other people within the industry and just sort of grow this network organically. Um, so most of the time we meet photographers at events or, um, through a friend of a friend, or they just stop into our office and Whitefish and ask which trail they should ride while they're in town. Um, you know, so, but usually it just is like a face to face meeting, um, by chance almost.

Reuben: Mhmm. It's, it's beautiful and it's also frustrating, ‘cause sometimes if you're like, if you're hungry and if you don't have enough work and you're trying to think, okay, how can I actually do some outreach marketing? Unfortunately all that stuff is a little bit interruptive and it's, it, it doesn't have that same beautiful feeling of, um, a serendipitous meeting. It's sort of like, uh, if you're at a wedding and the wedding story of how the two met, did they meet on Tinder or did they meet in real life? [both laugh]Like as much... as much as all of those tools are good and okay, we still sort of love those other versions a little bit more. So I think that makes sense to point out, like, yeah, it's still about face to face meeting and putting yourself, uh, putting yourself in the right situation where serendipity can happen. Does that sort of sound right for you?

Lisa: Oh, absolutely. And... and photographers are wonderful, wonderful humans. Uh, you know, some of them or any creative personality doesn't really like the sales side of business, but it is just so important to bring your personality into your work without a camera as well as with the camera.

Reuben: Mhmm. Yep.

Lisa: So how is your process different when you're doing these amazing films and long projects as opposed to. A commercial project for some of your clients, like the North face or G3.

Reuben: Uh, when... I'm going to start from a funny spot on this. Uh, maybe about six years ago, I ended up going to a lecture at a local university, and the conversation was about the difference between creativity in science and creativity in artistic pursuits.

And, um, the lecture sort of was pulling apart these two types of creativity and acknowledging them both. But in a scientific field, you're, you have a direction that you sort of have to go because there is going to be success or you're going to find that your experiment- experiment works or it doesn't work. But science is a very creative space as well. And then on the art side, he was saying that like it's a place of blossoming, of divergence, where everything gets different over time. And commercial to editorial or self-assigned is sort of similar. That in personal projects, you can continue to diverge as much as you want and you're not necessarily only trying to get yourself to one point, where in the commercial sense you're going to be looking for certain things. They're trying to pull out a certain aesthetics from a landscape and certain emotions from models. So you have sort of a direction that you have to go to to succeed. And that is one of the main things that is governing the difference between the process of how to shoot one or the other.

Lisa: And do you like doing commercial work?

Reuben: Yeah. I enjoy most of my work with photography and sometimes I'll do other work, like maybe architecture, interior design, and I still would say that like commercial action sport photography is still such an enjoyable experience compared to some of those other ones where there's even less creativity or the process. You're not out playing around in the mountains. You're at home or in some city working on a, um, on a commercial set. So, um, all of the commercial work is still really, really inspiring and a whole bunch of fun. And sometimes I think it, I think, I think that the... I think commercial work is also sort of harder, because there is sort of a finish line that you have to achieve.

So I think I get more nervous about commercial work than I do about, um, creative stuff cause creative... you can call anything your final product, Where commercial, you, you don't get to call it quits until you achieve this aesthetic.

Lisa: Yeah, that's a really good point. And also, you know, when you're making work for someone, how much of it really belongs to you?

Reuben: Um, if the, you get lawyers to look at contracts, then most of it or all of it actually actually belongs to me as a photographer. But, um, I think I get, thank you. We're at a point where, as the conceptual side of what you were saying, that yeah, not that much of it, um, belongs to you as a artist, um, in the same way. That it doesn't feel, um, like, uh, um, authentic, um, organic expression of yourself.

Lisa: Exactly. Exactly that. Yeah. But it's still, you know, being a photographer or being a creative or a designer is still so, so fun, uh, compared to a lot of jobs out there. So I would take, I would take the most boring commercial project in the creative industry than a lot of other jobs.

Reuben: Yeah. Absolutely.

Lisa: Yeah. Cool. Well, I watched Nebula, the film, um, and it was amazing and I would love for our audience to be able to watch that as well. Is there a place online that they can find it, or how can our audience find that?

Reuben: Um, if you search my name, Reuben Krabbe, there's a link off of my website. If you just go to, that's the film's home site and you can find it there.

Lisa: Awesome. And where else can people follow you online?

Reuben: Um, I'm pretty much on Instagram only. I have Twitter and Facebook, but they’re sort of not as useful. And my head on. Instagram is R-E-U-B-E-N-K-R-A-B-B-E. Reuben Krabbe.

Lisa: Yeah. And your work is beautiful. Everybody should check it out.

Reuben: Thank you very much.

Lisa: Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Um, is there anything that I didn't ask you about that you think our audience would like to know?

Reuben: Um, no, I think that would be about it. Um, and then maybe on the Nebula side of things that even also for your podcast, um, sharing work that you think is cool and interesting. And so if that's this podcast or if that's Nebula film, all of those shares are extremely valuable to us. So if you liked this stuff, please share.

Lisa: Awesome. Thank you so much for being here.

Reuben: Thank you for having me.

Iris: Thanks so much, Reuben, for being on the show today. We loved having you, and thanks for sharing all of your knowledge with our listeners. You can follow Reuben at all the links that we have in the show notes, as well as find his latest film Nebula, and you can just click the little show notes and it'll take you right to it.

And with that, we'll see you next week.

Lisa: Bye.

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