I was thrilled to recently interview one of the most popular members of our photography network who agreed to answer some questions for our readers. Ryan is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan who brings a unique style to photojournalism.
How would you describe your photography style?
I would describe it as “naturally artistic”, leaning more towards photojournalism on life. I try to make my shots look as natural as possible with a touch of personal art in them. I love everything artistic and I hope that shows in all my photos.
How did you first get into photography?
Started out as a hobby. I was and still am an avid photography enthusiast at heart. The passion kept growing, even now! Sold some of my work along the way, which made a huge impact on my own world of photography. Now it’s a part of who I am.
What are you looking forward to purchasing next in photography?
A Leica M9! I’ve been researching and got really interested in investing in the product. I’ve never tried an ultra-compact DSLR before and that makes me want to have it more. I’m experienced in using full-frame cameras, but this one seems different, at least for me. I’m a curious person.
Did you have any formal training in photography?
No. Like I said, it started out as a hobby. Then it grew from there. My past experiences working in the creative industry have helped my skills. I also learned from other photographers, many have been very helpful to me. I just like to learn, and I practice a lot! I’m a self-taught photographer.
What is typically in your camera bag?
Everything! The camera (I always have my Nikon D700 for my daily use) and the lenses (a 50mm Nikkor lens and various wide and zoom Tamron/Sigma lenses), a flash unit, filters, remote, extra memory cards, extra batteries and a charger, white balance sheet, compact reflectors just in case I need to direct the light for the shot, dust pen, soft cloths, a blower just in case I need to dust-off on location, you name it! Even plastic sushi sets! Occasionally I also bring my trusty Gitzo tripod for travels. I’m always prepared!
Do you post-process your photos? If so please describe your process and tools.
I don’t post-process all my shots. I do post-process some of them though. Not much. I mostly do sharpening and adjust the colors in Photoshop or Lightroom if I have to. I always shoot with a non-post-process mindset. I won’t do post-processing if it isn’t really necessary.
What tips or advice do you have for other aspiring photographers?
Love what you’re doing! For me that’s the core of photography. Don’t do it because you have to, do it because you love to! And if you do, that will really show in your shots! And for starters, don’t focus on being a pro, you won’t get there that fast. Take time to learn, take time to master what you are into. Practice and practice, it will help you understand things better. Again, be passionate in doing it, otherwise all those simply won’t happen.
What has been your favorite photo location?
Cities with their people. I love all the detail, I love the various expressions on people. People are always interesting to photograph, they tell their own stories when captured through the lens. I always try to relate to what was going through someone’s mind at the moment I took the shot. Sometimes you can really tell. People are always my personal interest in photography. Try visiting Ginza area in Tokyo or Tsukiji Market at night, it is a great spot for capturing people in daily life!
What lies ahead for you? What is your next goal in photography?
I have plenty of things ahead of me. Endless list of wants. I’m currently collecting shots to publish in a photography book. Balancing photography and other works is sometimes tricky, you always need more and more time. It’s somewhat fun to manage the time sometimes when you have a clear goal. We’ll see what else I will encounter in my personal photography journey, and I’m up for the challenge. I’m moving forward with my photography and I’m not planning to turn back.
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