I’ve had the privilege of being able to photograph a ton of amazing subjects this year! At the start of 2016 I knew I wanted to shoot a lot more personal work this year as well as working with a lot of new models in new locations. Here are 35 of my favorite images from throughout 2016. Many of the images come from my various personal series.
I’ve been photographing birds since the beginning of my photographic career. It wasn’t until early 2016 that I was finally able to get an image of a cardinal that I was content with. This was photographed from my living room through our front picture window. This photo will be used in the 2017 Isabella – Gratiot County PhoneGuide.
I’ve photographed several moon images throughout 2016 this being one of the first on a cold winter night in February.
This photo of Sheridan was taken at the 515 Gallery in Clare, Michigan. I had rented the space and then the model I was originally trying to photograph cancelled last minute. Luckily Sheridan was able to model spur of the moment. This photo was taken with a Lensbaby to get the graduated blur effect.
In early 2016 I knew that I wanted to work with several new models at new locations this year. I had great time photographing Aleah at the Traverse City commons. The long drive was a perfect excuse to listen to some audiobooks as well.
Another great new model I got to work with this year was Saiko. The grungy backdrop of the abandoned buildings in Bay City worked as the perfect compliment to Saiko’s punk rock look.
It started to warm up earlier than usual this year so I went for some walks down the road I live on between Clare and Coleman. This iPhone image was created by adding the abstract shapes in post using the Matter iPhone app.
During some of the days that I didn’t have paying shoots during my slower season I would go to various events around Michigan. In late April I ended up at the Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival, which I didn’t realize until I got there was pretty much a bike rally. I took this photograph of “The General” for Thunder Roads Magazine.
After photographing the Vermontville maple syrup festival I headed down to Ann Arbor to photograph two amazing models, Chelsea and Courtney, for the first time. They showed me around Ann Arbor and took me to several beautiful locations including this one. Courtney and Chelsea are also incredibly talented swing dancers and I had the opportunity to photograph them several other times throughout the year.
I photographed several events in 2016 including one for The Chronicle Newspaper in Lansing where former NBA player Jay Fletcher Vincent was a speaker.
I had a great time working with the amazing couple Karla and Carlos. For their engagement session we went around Detroit to several locations that were sentimental to them.
This image is from the second shoot I got to do with Saiko; this time near my home between Clare and Coleman.
I’ve always loved photographing fireworks. I got several of the traditional firework images and then started doing things a bit more atypical. Both of these images are of fellow spectators at the Soaring Eagle Casino’s firework display.
Both of these images where from the Charlevoix Venetian Festival. The former was photographed on my way back to my car to charge my phone. The later was shot with my iPhone using the Contrast by Hornbeck App and Mextures.
I found out in early August that my alma matter, Hallmark Institute of Photography, would be closing in October 2016. I had wanted to make a trip out to New England to see the school and college friends since I graduated in 2013. I got to make one final trip to see Hallmark before it closed in late August. This was taken with my iPhone before entering Hallmark the last time before its closing.
I’ve grown fond of photographing the moon this year. This images was photographed a few days after returning back to Michigan after my trip to New England.
I got to work with Courtney, Chelsea, and several other swing dancers again in September. They found a beautiful location near Brighton, Mi where we did several shots of them swing dancing.
This is a very personal image for me. This was taken during the two year memorial for my friend Wayne who died from suicide back in 2014. These are a few of my friends sending off lanterns during the memorial.
My photographic career started with photographing nature. This year I have gotten back to my photographic roots and have started photographing more nature, landscape, and wildlife work which are now available as prints at ryanwatkinsphotography.com/shop. This image is a macro of a dying sunflower leaf in my parents garden.
I’ve been long overdue for a new self portrait. In October I finally shot a new one so it could be used in the local PhoneGuide to accompany my bio.
I spent much of October photographing the fall colors around Michigan. These are a handful of my favorite images from those almost daily trips around the state to photograph new images to sell as prints.
I had been looking forward to photographing the super moon for several weeks. The night it was out it ended up being very cloudy and the moon was obscured by clouds most of the night. I waited several hours and then finally had a clear, yet boring, image of the super moon. In post I inverted the moon image to make it a bit more interesting than the traditional full moon image.
In October I decided to start eating healthier and exercising more regularly. This was taken on the Rail Trail between Coleman and Loomis on the first day that I walked more than ten miles. This was shot with my iPhone with the Contrast by Hornbeck app and Mextures.
More birds shot out of my living room window.
I had a great time photographing Jerry and Emily’s couple’s portrait session. Jerry has been a long time friend of mine and I had gotten one of his senior portraits published in PDNedu back in 2012. This was photographed at night in downtown Clare. I used a small flash to mimic the street lights and to illuminate their faces.
Wedding proposal shoots are always more fun when followed by doing doughnuts.
My friends and I have an annual tradition of going to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra each year around the holidays. This is an iPhone image of singer Russell Allen.