Photographer and art director
Meet Ruben Hughes, an art director and photographer from New York who traded the hustle and bustle for a balanced lifestyle in Copenhagen.
With a background in fashion and tech, he contributed to global advertising campaigns before the importance of work-life balance became essential. After falling in love with the pace of the city through freelancing with Copenhagen-based brands like Bang & Olufsen and Menu, he made the leap now honing his skills in photography and art direction across the world. We sat down with him to learn more of the pivotal people, words and inspirations that have helped him choose a more intentional path in his career and life.
What sparked the move from NYC to Copenhagen?
I felt myself hitting a wall and wanting to live a different lifestyle. I didn't really know what that meant at that time. I was freelancing for some Copenhagen-based brands which led to visiting the city a lot and I fell in love with it really quickly.
I learned how locals lived—not just what you see as a tourist—and felt right away that I wanted that work life balance that I've been missing in New York. I didn’t want to stress myself out and get to the point where I won't be able to enjoy life. That led me to looking for a different path in my career.
What were some of the pivotal moments in your career?
At some point when I decided I wanted to be an art director and photographer, I told myself that I would never take a bad photo on my phone. So every time I would go on Instagram to take a story or a picture, I really thought about how I want to compose the photo.
I've done that for 12 years where every time I’ve had to capture something I've always thought about it from a photographer’s lens and not from just someone who needed to take a quick picture. I basically trained my eye for 12 years to think about composition and perspective and things that you will learn in school for, so that helped me a lot because it just became second nature.
What work of art - literature, film or music has had a big influence on you?
There's an LA rapper called Reason, who’s very lyrical and he has this line, 'I was told to trust the process.' That's always something that I keep in the back of my mind. You have to trust the process in life. Sometimes I might lose a job or sometimes something doesn't go the way that I want and I have to tell myself that you have to enjoy the process. You have to trust the process.