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Meet Arash Tebbi of Rugger Productions in Rancho Bernardo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Arash Tebbi.

Arash, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It was dark, gloomy, and humid in the dungeons of the UCSD library back in 2008. Instead of studying for structural biology or organic chemistry final, I came up with a concept for a funny music video, which I shot soon after. The music video went viral and a record label came across it and paid me to purchase it and to recreate it with their own artist and director. From then on, I knew I was within arm’s reach of the “American Dream” and doing something creative and exciting for the rest of my life. That spiraled into creating videos, from music videos to short films to shooting weddings, and then ultimately into the cousin of cinematography: photography. I formally started my company in January of 2009, and I’m blessed and grateful to have had such clientele, support, and opportunities.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a steep, uphill road, paved with ditches, potholes, and the occasional donkey-Kong sized barrel that must be avoided. In the beginning, starting a new venture is lonely. Few support you, and few believe you’ll make it. The criticizers are loud, seemingly always yelling through megaphones. You also get infected with the fear of not making, and even during successful months, you wonder if you’ll still have clients in the months ahead. Eventually, those fears erode once you gain the confidence in your craft, and you built that faith in yourself.

In the world of photography and filming, technology is also always changing so you have to keep up to date with what’s new, how you can utilize it, and how you can innovate so you’re not part of the herd, because what’s the point in doing what you’re doing if you’re going to remain part of the herd?

Please tell us about Rugger Productions.
Think about any video you’ve seen, or any photographic concept you’ve come across- we’ve probably done. From music videos, to aerial analysis with drones, 360 commercials, and all the way to weddings and even funerals. At this point, we’re lucky to be more selective with the type of clients we take on, but about half of our work is in the wedding world and the other half is in the commercial world, both with photography and filming.

I take pride in our team being creative innovators and in realizing we need to have supreme customer service. Not to the clichéd point where we simply say, “The customer is always right,” but in listening to the needs of the people we work with, and finding out what their expectations are before attempting to surpass them. That’s how I want to be treated. If we do the bare minimum we’ve been hired to do, then we deserve a C grade. Only if we exceed and surpass all expectations, have we succeeded in our eyes.

I think we’re known to go above and beyond, and that includes our gear. We may have been the first ones to offer live streaming in SoCal, and we were amongst the first ones to offer drone coverage back when the original DJI Phantoms came out. There’s always something new, and virtual reality seems to be the next big thing that clients are intrigued about.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When I think of the most fun times as a kid, I always go back to 4 player Goldeneye on the N64. I think everything since then has been an effort to recreate the joy that came from sitting next to your close friends and just hunting each other.

Contact Info:

Rugger Photography & Cinematography

Image Credit:
All photos taken by Arash Tebbi

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