Featured in 515 Gallery’s Art Pickers Show August 25-September 23, 2016

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Some of my newest work with be featured in the 515 Gallery‘s latest show “Art Pickers” from August 25th-September 23rd 2016. The opening reception will be on Thursday August 25 from 6pm to 8pm. Exhibit hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11am-4pm. The 515 Gallery is located in downtown Clare next to Cops and Doughnuts. Stop by to see some of my latest work along with the work of other local artists.

Art Walk Central Piece Featured in Three Wishes Floral and Design Studio from August 20th to September 10th


My piece for Art Walk Central will be featured in Three Wishes Floral and Design Studio in Mount Pleasant from August 20th to September 10th. You can vote for my piece at Art Reach in downtown Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The people at Art Reach will help you in the voting process; my voting number is AWC 1.

Preparing for Your Portrait Session



To have your portrait session turn out ideal it takes preparation. This is why I do pre-session consultations with all of my clients prior to the actual session. Many things like time, location, wardrobe, etc need to be considered prior to the shoot to make sure everything runs smoothly. These are the things which are discussed during the pre-session consultation.





The first thing to determine is the time of day. Usually either morning, evening, or even night is best for portrait session. During midday the sun is very high and the light is unflattering making it unsuitable for most portrait photography. Most of my sessions start in the late afternoon and we shoot thru the sunset and even into the evening. The exact time we start the session is dependent upon the time of year.





I love to travel and have had the opportunity to photograph at many beautiful locations. Many clients like to have images taken in a variety of locations. Some clients prefer to have their portraits shot on their own private property while others prefer public parks, state parks, or other public places around cities. There are several places I regularly frequent like Dow Gardens in Midland, Mi and Island and Nelson Park in Mount Pleasant, Mi. I am willing to travel and have done shoots in Ludington, Traverse City, Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, and Detroit as well. I am also willing to have the session take place on multiple days to ensure we can get the locations during the correct lighting.





Wardrobe should be non-distracting. These are portrait sessions and not fashion shoots. Avoid clothing with large text, distracting patterns, extremely loud colors, etc. For seniors bring a variety of clothing (ie. casual and formal, light and dark) is good. For family and group portraits the clothing should be complimentary. Similar tones (ie. all cool colors or all warm colors) works well.





I encourage women to wear makeup to photo shoots. Most women prefer there makeup to be done a little more in photographs then to little. I do avoid spray tans which if done inconsistently can look very unflattering.





Being well rested is very important for a successful session. I usually encourage seniors and families to book me on less stressful days for them. Days that the kids don’t have school and parents are off from work are ideal. Getting a good night’s sleep the night before also helps you look your best.


To start planning your pre-session consultation Ryan can be contacted here.



Selling Your Unwanted Photography Gear

Since cameras and photography gear are constantly improving it is inevitable that you will eventually end up with gear that is now outdated and no longer wanted. Luckily there are several ways to sell your unwanted camera gear with ease.

B&H Photo is my preferred place to sell camera gear. They are one of the largest camera stores in the country. They buy camera gear and resell it both online and at their store in New York City. You simply fill out info on your gear and then mail your gear to them via UPS. They even cover the shipping. They buy your gear and you don’t have to wait for them to resell it to someone else for them to pay you. I recently sold a Sigma 20mm f/1.8 Lens to B&H for over $200. The entire process took a little under a month. The only downside is that because they are buying your gear to resell it you won’t get as much for your gear as if you were to sell it to someone who was going to use it. They are also not open on Jewish holidays.

Local camera stores are another option for selling used photography equipment. Unlike larger camera stores they probably won’t just buy your gear outright but instead will sell it on commission. The downside to this option is that your item can sit for a very long time without selling and the store usually takes a large cut of the final sale.

Craigslist or eBay can also be good places for selling used camera gear. The main advantage to one of these sites is that you can get higher prices because in most cases you will be selling directly to the person using the gear and not to someone who is trying to resell it for profit. If you live in an area with less people interested in photography eBay is probably the better option because it allows you to sell your gear nation wide. If you live in an area where there is a higher interest in photography equipment Craigslist is a good choice. The downside to this option is it is more work to sell. You’ll have to take photos of your gear, deal with the buyer, and take care of shipping.

Find this article helpful? Consider supporting Ryan Watkins Photography on Patreon. 

What can I do with broken photography gear? 


Cameras, lenses, and other photography gear are bound to break eventually. So what can you do with this broken gear? First you need to see how much damage has been done. Many local camera stores will give you quotes on how much it will be to repair various photography equipment. This will usually cost you a small fee of around $20 for the assessment. With cheaper cameras and lenses the cost to repair the will usually be higher than the original cost of the equipment. In these cases your broken gear can be sold to places like B&H Photo, which will resell them for parts. If the piece of equipment is worth getting fixed usually your local camera store will be able to fix it or get you in contact with someone who can.


Find this article helpful? Consider supporting Ryan Watkins Photography on Patreon. 

New Work for Facile Laundry

I’ve had a great time shooting for my friend’s new business Facile Laundry catering to Clare, Rosebush, and Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

Here is how Facile Laundry describes their business “At Facile Laundry Service laundry is our business. It’s what we do (and we do a lot of it) and we’re really good at it. So why spend the time you could use honing your own skills doing something as mundane as laundry? Let us give you the freedom to pursue your dreams. 

Hiring a professional laundry service is actually an incredibly economical idea. We’re able to get done twice as much cleaning in half the time, which means it would take you four times as long to do your laundry as it takes us! With our competitive rates, we’re saving you time and money!”

At their website they also give more information on services and pricing.

Follow Facile Laundry their various social media networks