Interview with Mary Ruffinoni

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Mary Ruffinoni took a camera for the first time at a very early age, fourteen. This was followed after school by an apprenticeship in photography and a bachelor degree in marketing. Inspired by the glossy images from renowned fashion magazines and the social media presence of a wide variety of exciting photographers, she developed her very own take on fashion. Mary likes to create timeless and emotional images. She is inspired by female strength, beauty and elegance. Therefore, very often you can find expressive, confident protagonists in her pictures.

editorial shots of two women.

Photo: Mary Ruffinoni - Aude-Jane - 2020, Paris / - Tiffany - 2019, San Francisco

Why do you particularly like photographing women? 

It makes me proud to be able to photograph women, to be able to convey an emotion, a feeling through photography and also to be able to make them beautiful with the look I have. 

You work in a field where the spirit of competition is strong but you seem to have a relationship of complicity with all the women you work with? 

Yes, it's true that there is no competitive spirit for me, I am really there to make them feel good. I try to establish a relationship of trust, to transmit positivity, and to put forward the power of beauty, as I see it, since beauty is subjective. And it's true that conveying this through photography is something very exciting. 

portrait of a woman.

Photo: Mary Ruffinoni - Stéphanie - 2020, Besançon

Are you looking for perfection? 

I am quite a perfectionist and I look for perfection in my photos. For me, the most difficult challenge is to be able to transmit an emotion through my photos. When I photograph a model I will often give guidelines in terms of poses or moods and emotions that I want to convey through my work. It is necessary for me to direct the model a little, while letting her be creative. 

mary ruffinoni holding a camera giving instructions to someone off camera.

Photo: RED TOWER FILMS - Mary Ruffinoni 

What inspires you? 

Contemporary photographers, especially women. Like Nima Benati and Lara Jade. An Italian and an American. They photograph almost exclusively women. They have a vision of women that I particularly identify with and their work is a great source of inspiration for me. There are also men who inspire me, for example Peter Lindbergh and Jeanloup Sieff. 

editorial shots of two women.

Photo: Mary Ruffinoni - Mily - 2020, Faust Magazine / - Flora - 2020, Paris

And for young women too, who want to do the same, become a photographer. What message would you like to give to young women? 

 Through my work, I have learned to persevere. It's true that sometimes you can be disappointed with yourself at the end of a photo shoot. You don't get the result you would have liked. But you get there one day. My job has taught me perseverance 

If I had a message to give to young women who want to be photographers, I would tell them to first of all be passionate. Because photography is above all a job of passion. And above all to have confidence in themselves, because it's a rather masculine world. But I have never felt restricted. I have always felt free to do photography in my own way. 

portrait of a laughing woman.

Photo: Mary Ruffinoni - Fatou - 2020, Vogue Italia

What are your greatest achievements so far? 

One of my proudest achievements so far is when Vogue Italia published one of my photos. I was really super happy. And also, I am very honoured to be part of the WhiteWall ambassador programme. Even though I am very active on the networks, I attach great importance to prints on paper. A form that I find particularly valuable. 

Why WhiteWall?

I heard about WhiteWall’s excellent reputation from other professionals and I was keen on testing them. First of all, they have a very large selection of printing papers, which I particularly like due to the fact that I am working on different projects. When I received my photos, I was really impressed by the quality of the prints and the material finishes as well by the reproduction of colors – which was exactly what I wanted. I absolutely trust WhiteWall, winner of the best photo lab worldwide award.

Product Recommendation: LightJet Print On Ilford Baryta Paper

The black-and-white photo print on Baryta paper. The rendering is incredible.

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