Debra Ruby, Fine Arts Photographer

debraHave camera, will travel.
Whether strolling past neighborhood gardens in Santa Monica, trailing a herd of zebras or a cadre of lions in Kenya, or witnessing an extraordinary Alaskan sunset, my trusty camera is a normal extension of me.

A visual poet emerges.
I became a budding poetess in college at Colorado State University. Often, people would tell me they could see unusually vivid images in my poetry. Later in life, I began shooting photos to match my poetry. Today, a poem will often emerge from a photo I have taken.

Nature never fails to astound.
I find life at the center of a single rosebud, or strength in the posture of an ancient oak. Animals of all shapes and sizes, domestic or exotic, delight my senses. Stateside, my photographic journeys have taken me to the parks of Cleveland, the enchanting city of Seattle, Alaska’s brilliant skyline, and, of course, my own flower-laden California landscape. I’ve also traveled to Israel, Kenya, Japan and Europe. Krakow, Poland was one of my most memorable trips. My visual and prosaic personas collided, as my camera seemed to catch mysterious stories behind the walls of the ornate old buildings along the stately, historic streets.

Teach thyself first.
During my early school years I had to rely on tutors to help me understand what I was being taught. Perhaps I had an undiagnosed case of dyslexia, but whatever the cause, I suffered from a lack of confidence because of it. Eventually, though, I bore down in my senior year and became an “A” student. This led to my acceptance at Colorado State, then at UCLA as an English major.

Later, upon graduating from UCLA in 1993 with a BA in English, I went on to earn my teaching credential and Masters in Education from Pepperdine University. It’s not surprising that I became a teacher of “English as a Second Language.” I wanted to help students who had, like myself, struggled through school.

Finally, I grasped the fact that I chose teaching to re-experience education, this time in a more positive light. In 2000, I read a book that changed my life: Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts. It gave me the courage to leave the classroom to pursue my true loves, writing poetry and photography. I hold this quote from her book close to my heart as I continue expanding my craft and expressing my creativity.

“Because if you had confidence enough to try something, you had the courage enough to fail.” Nora Roberts