• Thru Their Eyes With Josh Ryan

    I recently had a chance to pick the brain of a LA's super
    Glashion(Glamor\Fashion) photographer Josh Ryan.
    You want to get better emulate the best read on to
    see how this great artist thinks.

    TheyShootin.com (TS): When did you decide to become a photographer?

    Josh Ryan (JR): Well I was married to a fairly well known model and was taking photos of her on the side as a hobby. Eventually other models and agencies started asking me to shoot them so it accidentally turned into a business. Before I knew it I quit my other profession (which is another story) and started shooting full time. But even before that I always loved taking photos and photography.

    (TS): What advice do you have for photographers just starting out?

    (JR): Well I read something that Terry Richardson said one time and it always kinda stuck with me. "Good photographers don't sit around and wait for jobs to come to them. They go out and take pictures!" So my advice is to shoot, shoot and shoot. Just because your not getting paid does not mean its for nothing!

    (TS): How long have you been a photographer?

    (JR): Since 2001. Professionally since 2004.

    (TS): Who were some of you influences in photography?

    (JR): Early on my influences were Misha, Herb Ritz, Carl Wachter, Earl Miller. Nowadays I have much respect for my friend Jarmo Pojamiemi who I consider to be one of the best lighting and poser's in the business!

    (TS): How would you describe your style?

    (JR): An edgy mix of Glamour and Fashion...Glashion?? I just made that up!

    (TS): Did you go to school to study photography?

    (JR): Never formally trained. Self taught. I used to go to photo shoots with my girlfriend and visually study at everything that the photographer was doing. When they weren't looking I would look at their camera settings. Eventually I just said to myself I could do this. I always had a creative eye for it. So I bought my first semi pro camera and light set and started experimenting. Obviously I know what I'm doing now and picked it up very quick after a lot of trial and error. But knowing what I know now and having the opportunity to work around major professionals that have 30 plus years of experience I definitely appreciate the knowledge that you get from school and assisting. Also I owe alot of credit to my photo assistant and good friend Phil Faraone. He brings allot of technical knowledge to my work.

    (TS): Whats the best part about being a photographer?

    (JR): $$$$$$$$$ Girls and Money! $$$$$$$$ LOL Kidding. Ive always been a creative person. I love that I get to go to work everyday and create something completely different from the day before. You know how they say its not work if you love what you do. I love what I do and cant see myself ever stopping!

    (TS): What was your first big break?

    (JR): Probably Playboy. Definitely Playboy. Started with them in Sept. of 2006 shooting stuff for the online division and have had a great time working with them ever since. Ive met and shot hundreds of girls and have traveled all over the country. It really got my name out there. Plus its been great training taking a girl that has never shot a photo in her life and transforming her into a glamorous model on camera. Its a great feeling to see the models reaction when she see's what she looks like with Playboy makeup, styling and lighting. Its something they will remember forever! Later on in 2007 I feel a major career bump was working with Jenna Jameson. She approached me about shooting at a trade show. She had just retired and was looking to do hi end edgy stuff. We had met off and on in earlier years but I was not shooting at that time. We finally put together a number of photo shoots over the course of a year or so and since then those photos have made their way around the internet like a virus. Eventually into TV shows, her calendar and clothing line. That really got me allot of attention. I feel very fortunate to have shot her at the time I did. She is probably the best model I have ever worked with. So much attitude and emotion in every shot. She is friend and an amazing model, I love working with her!

    (TS): What equipment do you use?

    (JR): Cannon bodies and lenses. 5D Mark 2 and occasionally and 1DS Mark 3. But most of my earlier work earlier all with a 10D, 20D and 5D. For lighting I'm currently using profoto. I do have a mobile kit with a bunch of Alien Bees that have traveled all over the word with me. Those things have been used and abused and will not die! I stand behind the Bee's! Love them. But for pro hi end everyday stuff. Profoto is the shit! There lights are so consistent!

    (TS): Besides your main camera what piece of equipment can you not be without?

    (JR): My MacBook Pro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (TS): What do you feel is the most challenging thing about photography?

    (JR): Constantly outdoing yourself. Trying to not repeat stuff that works so well. Knowing your subject and delivering a shot that is suitable and right for them. Also balancing paying jobs that are less desirable for the money vs. Stuff you really love shooting! Everyone has to eat!

    (TS): Which programs do you use to process and edit your images?

    (JR): BRIDGE. LIGHTROOM and CS3. Just got CS4

    (TS): A website and/or blog you visit often?

    (JR): Im a certified Model Mayhem, MySpace, Facebook whore!!!!!!

    (TS): What is your favorite image you have shot recently and can you describe its creation in regards to location, lighting, composition etc?

    (JR): One of my all time favorite images that Ive recently shot is of Playmate Hope Dworaczyk who is Miss April 2009 and Host of Fashion TV on E!. Amazing model that ive worked with on a number occasions. Perfect mix of 5'10 supermodel with curves! It was shot on a simple medium gray roll of backdrop paper. Everything about this particular shot came together. The dress was from a designer on Project Runway named Jorel Scott and styled by my stylist Michelle Wendel of Chic Little Devil. Makeup and hair was done by Ricardo Ferisse. The Lighting was 2 Profoto 600's. Camera right light was a beauty dish up hi pointing down. Camera Left I had a small low light shaper strip box vertically lighting the gown. Shot with a 5D Mark 2 and 24-70 Lens at ISO100 f8/125. This is full length vertical shot that is simple and stunning. I love the photo and I love working with Hope. She is an amazing model. Take a look at the photo and diagram.

    (TS): What your thoughts when creating the image and what it means to you?

    (JR): Well that depends on who and what Im shooting. Since I mostly shoot models I really try to shoot them in appropriate lighting and settings with their look and style. Some models just do not look good shot in Hi Fashion clothing. Some don't look good shot in bikinis. So i factor in 4 major component with every model. Location, wardrobe, lighting and makeup. If you can look at ur subject and visualize what you think they should be shot like. Then you are definitely on to a formula that hopefully works. Sometimes it takes 50 or 100 shots to realize that something is better. But that's all part of the creative process.

    (TS): If you could have lunch with anyone who is famous who would it be?

    (JR): David Letterman

    (TS): Where Do you see you self in five years?

    (JR): "Bigger, better, longer & uncut!" (This may have sounded funnier in my head than it reads if you don't understand it)

    (TS): Four words that describe you?

    (JR): Driven, creative, excited and optimistic!!!

    (TS): If I was a model or photographer how can I see more of Josh Ryan's work and how can I get in to with him?

    (JR): www.joshryanphoto.com
    Model Mayhem # 689419

    (TS): Thanks for the info Josh, and for taking the time to share with us.

    (JR): Thank you, I appreciate that people might even slightly be interested in how I do my work. There are allot of attitudes and over inflated ego's in this business which I feel there is no room for. If you do good work it will speak for itself. I feel very fortunate to make a living doing something that I love!

    Shout Out to All My Beyond Megapixels Readers..
    Keep Shootin...

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