I am giddy for this post! Excited doesn't even begin to cover it. I was brainstorming what kind of content I wanted to share with the blog in 2019 and one of the first ideas that came to mind was helping my photographer friends gain exposure.
Growing up, I always found the photography community to be a little intimidating. I always saw it as "everyone is everyone's competition". But as I've grown comfortable with my own style and talent, I've been more eager to connect with the community that shares my passion...
And so my series of photographer interviews was born!
One of the first people I knew I had to reach out to was a friend of mine from college, Ryan Wesson. This guy has worked tirelessly to shoot anything and everything as long as I have had the honor of knowing him. One of the first times we met, he saw an Indian headdress I had and asked to borrow it for a shoot -- I could see the ideas coming together in his eyes as he held it in his hands. I'll always remember that as the first glimpse I had into the world of photographers working together to build one another up and inspire unlimited creativity.
That being said, I hope you all enjoy this interview and give Ryan's work some love!
Photog Friends ft. Ryan Wesson
J: Alright Ryan, go ahead and introduce yo-self!
R: Yew! My name is Ryan Wesson, most will call me Ry. My photography name I go by ryanjwesson. My niche within photography is portrait, lifestyle, and commercial. I am based out in Phoenix, Arizona and I have been shooting for about five years now
J: I've always been curious - what led you to photography and how did you learn your skills?
R: When I was 13 I met a photographer named Manny Garcia. He had a Flickr account and I remember going through his work, and other photographers, I was completely hooked with Photo. During high school I did more filming, but it wasn't until I attended Northern Arizona University where it started to become very real as I pursued further into wanting to photograph for a living.
J: So rad! I stumbled across one of the first photographers I was deeply inspired by (Danny Santos) on Flickr as well. It's a great place to find inspiration and connect with photographers across the world! Is photography your main job or are you building up to that?
R: Photography is my main job.
J: Nice! So if you could shoot for a big name like National Geographic, Time Magazine, etc -- would you?
R: Thrasher Mag. I'd love to be apart of it! Growing up around skateboarding culture, it would be an honor to work on something that has been apart of my roots.
J: I could totally see you thriving with Thrasher Magazine! It seems like a perfect place to use your talent. Next question -- what photo are you most proud of & why?
R: This is probably one of the photos I'm most proud of.
It got published in an ASU magazine (Canyon Voices) on the front cover. To even have the opportunity be at the Wave was a surreal experience.
J: It's got to be a pretty surreal feeling to see your work on the cover of a magazine! What is the most challenging part of photography for you and how do you overcome that challenge? Or can you think of a particular session that was especially challenging? Why was it challenging and how did you overcome it?
R: The most challenging part I have personally faced in Photography is finding my style. It is easy to discourage yourself. Through my experience so far I look back and feel grateful for the clients/companies I have been able to work with and be apart of. One thing I have learned as well is make do with what you have available. Make the best of any given situation you are faced with. This can be poor lighting, no lighting, weather, equipment issues etc. Always be over prepared.
J: Yes! I've learned that lesson the hard way on a couple different shoots. Over prepared is always better than the struggle of being under prepared. Do you ever find yourself comparing your work to others?
R: Not really, I mostly find myself competing with myself to figure out how to keep developing within my style of work I have a story to tell about. It's nice to actually look at others work and appreciate new perspectives and stories told. We're all unique story tellers. Sometimes it's nice to be told new stories and appreciate the fact that we're all here living.
J: Is there a specific shoot you have in mind that you'd love to do one day or an editing technique you'd like to try out?
R: Milk dress. Look that up!
J: What editing program do you use most & why?
R: Photoshop, Lightroom, and Google Nik. I mostly am within photoshop for more serious commercial clean-up, Lightroom for minimal clean-up, google Nik to develop a little style to the imagery.
J: I bounce back and forth between Photoshop and Lightroom but haven't tried Google Nik. I've heard great things about it primarily around the fact that it's a free editing platform. I wish I'd had free editing platforms when I was starting out for sure!
To wrap this up, I want to know what advice you would give to someone who is new to photography?
R: The world is yours, man! Keep it close to your heart! Just go shoot!
Thanks again, Ryan for taking the time to share some of your work and the thoughts you have surrounding photography. I can't wait to see what else you have coming for us! Make sure to follow Ryan on Instagram @ryanjwesson and support his work in whatever way you can. & Stay tuned for more Photog Friends interviews!