Interview with JB Ribleza

JB Ribleza is a photographer from the Philippines. Her work is a blend of portraiture, fashion, glamour and street photography, or she likes to call it neo-expressivism photography. She also blogs about food, travel and daily adventures. She enjoys web design, plus a mother to her two children.

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What is your most favorite photo that you’ve taken and why?

This is hard. I have to choose this one because it is so me when I shoot. Also, it is of "neo-expressionism". We were in a hotel in Bangkok with no proper lighting. A photographer’s eyes and vision will always be different and I improvised to show it in this photo. Art is fluid, always moving, always improvising. The hallway is an ordinary, with crappy yellow ceiling lights which looked like a spotlight when I underexposed and burned everything else.

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What inspires you in doing your photography?

The art itself inspires me. Photography is my self expression. I feel connected in every shoot/ project, which is why it was so hard for me to choose a favorite. For me, photos are fragments and stories of my creativity. I feel giddy just talking about it. People around me would know how I am when I see a good light or any frame that has potential for a good photo. Whatever project and genre, having the opportunity to create this art as an expression and an extension of your soul in a frame, that itself, inspires me.

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How do you prepare yourself before shooting or doing any assignments?

I charge my batteries and make sure I have enough memory cards! Seriously, I don’t prepare that much aside from knowing my subject or the goal of the project. It has something to do with my first love - street photography. I prepare by being open to all possibilities and to create something I will fall in love with.

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What is your one tip/tool/mantra when you’re shooting or creating work?

“Art is fluid” - my art is never about constants and constraints, it is all about freedom, exploring everything it can be and cannot be. Once you understand and in sync with this idea, you maximize every potential and making everything work in your favor. 2nd mantra because it’s so

“Do everything with good intentions” - that balances out our creativity and prevents us from going overboard in a bad way. We all are passionate about something. We just have to remember what’s our intention in doing what we are doing and make sure it’s all good.

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Is there an element that you incorporate in your photos?

Neo-expressionism and movements. As mentioned earlier, my first love is the streets. I am in love with raw emotions, movements (both natural and weird) and dramatic lights. I love seeing those in my photos. I also love post-processing. Although I experiment, I tend to have (try to achieve) a signature editing style.

What are your go-to songs when you’re shooting?

I don’t have that. I am boring and weird at the same time. I am super expressive though, I feel everything personal when I shoot, I get comfy with the people around me and I talk a lot.

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What is ultimate goal in your photography?

Goals are flexible. My goal when I started was to escape anxiety and depression. Then my goal eventually is to get my work out there and get paid. Then I realized, I want to inspire others and create something beautiful and positive through art.

Photography is a happy pill for me, at least. Which is why ultimately, my goal is to create tons of photos, improve, experiment and get my work out regardless if a million people or no one appreciates it but me.

What is your advice to other photographers? 

They should give me advice, I barely know what I am doing technicality wise but I create photos anyway because my art for me is pure goodness. Seriously though, the tragedy for a photographer is when we lose our identity and compromise our values just to get the highs of photography which eventually hurts the purity and awesomeness of the art itself. So whenever I am asked with this question, my answer has always been consistent - do it with good intentions. Do it because it makes you a better person or it helps other people. Do it because creating photos makes you feel good. Do it for whatever goal or reason you always do it with good intentions!

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You can find more of JB's work on her blog and web folio, Facebook and Instagram