Our meeting with ruzz, the street photographer featured in the Alt Hotel Calgary East Village's Altexpo.
If you have been to the new Alt Hotel Calgary East Village, you most definitely saw ruzz’s pictures. More than 170 of them are showcased in our Altexpo, our signature feature found in every Alt Hotel across Canada. The born and raised Calgarian street photographer opens up about his art that he publishes on his blog cleverly named The Living Breathing Street.
"Street photography is a fundamentally anti-social behaviour because you are breaking all the unspoken rules that we have inside a city. You are not really supposed to look at everybody [the way I do]", explains ruzz, who has been shooting for more than 17 years. "You will be yelled at a lot, you have to have tough skin. You need to balance that against how happy people will be when they see these pictures like in the Alt Hotel Calgary East Village."
Every day when he’s in the city, you will catch ruzz taking pictures of people, but ultimately, of lights and shadows. "Whether it’s a portrait, or landscape, or street, it always seems to be about light and shadows for me, which I guess for a photographer is a pretty standard answer! However, it is a big part of my style".
What he likes to photograph in Calgary is the ever-changing skyline and downtown area. "We tend to knock off history and build new stuff all the time. Calgary is a very changing city", says ruzz. Which means that what he shot 10 years ago might already have disappeared and been replaced with something bigger, newer, shinier.
On a deeper level, what he really likes to shoot are the contrasts of cities. "It’s just amazing to me how you can put a million people in a city boundary, and they don’t just kill each other and take everything from each other, but somehow, a city works. It is a massive, complex organism and it works. When I’m, shooting, I always pay attention to how it actually works."
"There are all these stories going on in the city and I’m trying to watch them", he concluded.