We had the good fortune of connecting with Madeline Derujinsky and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Madeline, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued a creative career because didn’t want to feel like I was working my whole life, thats not to say that photography isn’t hard work, just that I enjoy myself so much though the whole process that it doesn’t exhaust me. I enjoy every moment I do my job. My love for photography began as a child, I started out with disposable cameras my grandmother used to bring as Christmas gifts. She was a cover model in the 50s and 60s and, her husband, my grandfather was a fashion photographer during the same time. Before making the switch I was a communications major, with the intent to use my major to fight for social justice, I spent two years working towards transferring to UCLA, I even got in, and then everything changed. This was largely due to meeting some incredible professors at my college, and their excitement to meet me and have me in the program. They knew of my grandfathers work, they saw potential in me. Without the likes of them I doubt that I would be where I am today, doing what I love everyday. I started up my business around the same time. I began with small clients, graduation photos, some small fashion brands, I even worked with Liza Koshy on a merchandise line awhile back. I wouldn’t give up what I do now for a regular job ever, and I feel blessed to have had so much guidance, and encouragement from everyone in my life.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a photographer, pre-covid I was doing more work with models, but due to the pandemic I’ve transitioned to doing mostly product photography. As far as how I’ve gotten to where I am today, no it was not easy. Its still not easy. Starting a business with zero knowledge of what I was doing, like how to get clients, how to use equipment I’d never used before, Learning new softwares, etc. I have spent hours upon hours of time learning to use photoshop, spending time in the darkroom, taking business classes. All while working full time at restaurants to supplement the income that my photography wasn’t covering. I have certainly learned that I can’t take on everything, boundaries are important. I’ve had to learn to say “no” when I know that I’m not capable of taking on more work. This allows me to control my schedule and give myself room to have me-time when needed.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Saturday morning would have to be Brunch at The Rose in Venice, nothing says a weekend in LA like a mimosa on the beer garden with some of Jason Neronis french toast. Afternoon, probably a hike to work off the food, I love the escondido falls trail in Malibu. and end the day in Boystown, hit up the Abby, maybe get some late night burgers and milkshakes to soak up all the alcohol. Sunday, my girlfriend (who is a chef, lucky me right) would probably be cooking up breakfast, and I would take my friend to Super Domestic Coffee in Culver City to pick up coffee and pastries to go with breakfast. We would spend the day searching for antiques and art at the Melrose trading post and maybe some thrift stores on the way home. and to end the weekend a fancy dinner at Playa Provisions in Playa Del Rey.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to shoutout Sean Blocklin owner of Blocklin Fine Print and one of my studio managers. Without him, I’m not sure if I’d know how to use any photography equipment. His instagram is @seanblocklin and his email is sean@blocklinfineprint.com

Website: https://www.derujinsky.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/derujinsky.jpeg/

Image Credits
All Images are shot and edited by Madeline Derujinsky

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.