Kjell Ruben




From beautiful Lofoten, and have shot photos for the likes of G-eazy

1. Hey Kjell tell us a bit about yourself: who you are and where you're from?

I'm from a small town on and island in north of Norway where I grew up on a dairy farm. That made me learn that there is nothing called overtime and weekends off if you want to build a business, and to wear wool in the winter. But as I started working at the age of 10 and run the whole farm in the summer. From the age of 12 I also realised when I got older that I didn't want to work all the time and I wanted to try my best to do what I love. But I brought the work ethics to my passion and made it possible to make money out of hobbies. 


In 1999 I started a company while in highschool that made websites, with flash and Dreamweaver. 


2. Awesome. What do you do?

After the military I started with photography and that took over my whole life. I was really lucky, and still am when it comes to my career. I applied to a portrait studio as an assistant but got the job as a manager and did that for 4 years. Then I started assisting a fashion photographer that had his big break the moment I started working for him, so we both learnt a lot together for those 3 years. 

3. You were a professional photographer before you got into UI/UX design. Has your aesthetic and eye for photography over the years helped you with transitioning to UI/UX design?


I think what I brought from photography to design is taste. Good taste doesn't come natural to me, but by assisting my mentor I learnt how to look out for good photography. I try to learn from what the legends do and why and constantly apply that. I used the same approach with digital design. So if I love a design, but it turns out it's a bit tacky I try to bring it down a bit and make it a bit more classical and timeless ðŸ˜‰

4. I have to talk about your hometown and where you are originally from because it’s stunning. For you personally do you find inspiration from natural sights and the outdoors?  


I traveled around the world in 2005 and did landscape shoots throughout Australia and South East Asia, but it was only after that journey that I realised how beautiful the area I grew up in was. So I guess I did take it a bit for granted and didn't look at it for inspiration. Now I use hiking and nature for thinking. Hiking alone for 3-5 days in the summer when the sun never goes down gives you a lot of time to think and when I get back I'm really inspired to work and try out what I have thought about. 


Note: Kjell is from a place called Lofoten. Check out how stunning it.


5. What’s next for you? What do you hope to achieve or do in the next few years? 


I'm having two exhibitions in London this fall and thinking I want to do more of that instead of magazines and fashion campaigns. For design I want to make more meaningful websites and grow a team of graphic designers, copywriters and other designers. Maybe find an apartment in a cozy neighborhood somewhere in Europe just to try work and live somewhere else. 


6. Finally you are part of the Process Alumni. What led you to join the Process Masterclass? And how has the process masterclass helped you?


I don't remember how I found it, but the aesthetics of the site and the way you teach made it an easy choice. It was my first course and I still refer back and learn a lot from it. I felt the need to learn and get a strong design foundation so it felt like a natural choice. The class has helped me in every way, from design principles to marketing to pricing. I actually learned a lot about client communication that I have now brought into my photography practice as well. 

As said earlier, the community we have in design(Process slack) is not even close to photography. With the design community we are talking about pricing, helping each other out and sharing work opportunities which is amazing. It’s something we should celebrate and make even stronger. 


Thanks so much for your time Kjell.  Nguyen's note: Kjell used the Process Masterclass as an opportunity to expand his creative offering, from not only photography but also digital design. He is an immensely talented photographer light years better than I will ever be haha. 





Are you a photographer or graphic designer? Looking to get into UI/UX design?

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