Robby Mueller is a Los Angeles based photographer that studied at Columbia College Chicago. Focusing on portrait and fashion photography.
Technology has drastically changed my photography – in many ways. As I was starting photography I was always working with film – black and white was my main focus at the time, I had access to a dark room and took full advantage of it. I was constantly developing film and making prints. Having those physical prints was such an awesome experience and I really think that’s what brought me closer to the art and really made me appreciate it. Once I picked up a digital camera all of my work from then on was viewed through the various outlets the internet provided. I believe my usage of Flickr is truly one of the main reasons I even work as a photographer to this day – I constantly made the effort to post new work so my fellow photographer friends could see as much of my work as possible. Once Flickr started to phase out everyone moved over to instagram – which has also been such a huge reason for any success I may have had. Luck, constant posting and consistency with an online presence is such a key thing to being a photographer in the modern day.
As of right now i’m working on as many things as possible to continue to push forward in the industry. A lot of my work has been by word of mouth so I hope to continue to keep that positive feedback coming my way. Aside from the jobs that I am doing I am trying my best to continue to meet new people in the industry that I can grow / help grow. Continue to push into something better with every shoot. So to answer the question “What am I currently working on?” is very broad. I like to think that everything I’m working on will help me get to where I want to be.
I started shooting photography because my Grandfather had some older film cameras that he would let me shoot with – once he showed me how everything worked I just started taking cameras with me pretty much everywhere, unfortunately I was a 10 year old kid so keeping track of the film I would have my dad get developed every couple of months never really saw the light of day (which may be a good thing). As I got older I got more and more into photography through film, which helped me visualize things in a totally different way. Still to this day hearing that my photos remind people of film stills brings a smile to my face, because at the end of the day that’s what I initially set out to do and i’m glad to hear those things are still being portrayed through my photography.
My parents most definitely like my work, I think anyone can appreciate a pretty picture, but one thing they can’t really comprehend is why? Why does it exist? What does it do? Well, everyone’s answer to that could be completely different which I am completely okay with. The wildest thing to them is that “photography” can become a job. They’re both Midwestern born and raised and have worked in nursing and package delivery for so long that their automatic assumption is that I could not get anywhere just doing freelance photography. When I chose to move away from Chicago after college I think it really set in for them that no matter what, I wouldn’t let myself fail. Not having a consistent 9-5 shooting job has allowed me to do more of what I wanted and I think that makes them realize how much you can really do with your life. So they are now living vicariously through me and my life journey as a freelance photographer.
The worst reaction i’ve ever had to my work was when a highly regarded professor asked me in a course “What is your intent? Because looking at these, I see absolutely none” to which I was taken aback, at that point I didn’t really understand that photography could be used to push a product or possibly project how beautiful a person could be. From then on, I’ve made a conscious effort to do so. Oh yeah, and to watch my cropping (at the time, I always had a ton of room on top of everyone’s head which led to a lot less of an intimate portrait)