Portrait and Wedding Photographer catering to Tampa, Florida. Ready to travel.
Ryan Watkins Photography specializes in portrait and wedding photography catering to Tampa, Florida. Ready to travel.
Graduate from the Hallmark Institute of Photography and Highest Academic Honor recipient.
Published in several magazines including Shutterbug, Digital Photo, Outdoor Photographer, and PDNedu.
As photographers it is easy for us to get caught up in buying new gear. A lot of times it is the less sexy gear that makes the big difference. It is easy to drool over the new camera, lens, or flash, while it is other little things which make the big difference. My red roller cart is a perfect example of this.
Before buying this red roller cart, I would carry around several large bags. A big camera bag with all of my lenses and a wide variety of accessories. Plus a big lighting bag with light stands, Alienbee, and modifiers. This was a pain. Especially for shoots in new locations I was less familiar with. It got to the point in many new locations I simply shot with natural light, instead of lugging around my massive kit. In 2018 I switched up how I carried my gear and got several smaller bags. I started only bringing the gear I needed to shoots. This was a big step forward, but still not as efficient as it could be. I ended up buying this red roller cart at Shopko in September 2018. Now I will load the cart with the gear I’ll be using on location, instead of lugging around several large bags. This makes doing shoots with off camera flash much easier. I have used this cart on almost every outdoor portrait session I have done since buying it.
I had a great time photographing Tim and Tia’s beautiful wedding at Peacock Road Family Farm in Laingsburg, Michigan! The staff at Peacock Farms was incredibly easy to work with as were Tim and Tia and their families.
I read quite a bit. Not only books but also articles and blog posts. A way I’ve found to streamline this process is by using Pocket and Feedly.
I first started using Feedly to follow various blogs. You can seperate the blogs you follow by category. For example the categories I have are entrepreneurship, lifestyle, local, misc, photography, politics, style, theology, and wedding. Feedly then lets you see the latest posts from the blogs you follow.
If I find a article I want to read in Feedly I then send it to Pocket. Pocket is another iPhone app which allows you to read articles. I find the way pocket displays most articles far superior to a browser. It also lets you save the article in the Pocket app instead of having tons of browser tabs open.
I currently have tons of articles that I found in Feedly that I still need to read in Pocket. By using this method it has made it far easier for me to find and read various blogs and articles online.
I had a great time photographing James and Courtney’s beautiful wedding at the Environmental Discovery Center at the Indian Springs Metropark! I’ve worked with Courtney several times over the last few years through her swing dancing instructing. Even though several changes had to be made last minute due to weather the day went amazing!
Over the years of being a photographer, I’ve realized that it is the non-sexy parts of the job that make the biggest impact. An example of this is where I place my equipment in my bags. By strategically placing what gear goes where it makes shoots and weddings go much smoother. Instead of searching for gear, placing it in the same spot every time makes it easier to access. This also includes where I put the bags in my vehicle as well. By placing them in a way which is easier to access, it makes shoots go much smoother. I occasionally switch up where I put various gear. This depends on the assignment and seeing what worked in past shoots. Currently I have a bag full of lighting gear, a red cart for location shoots, and a large and small camera bag that I switch between depending on assignment.
I love Grand Rapids. I’m not a city person. Grand Rapids is one of the few cities I like to visit and have fun in. I briefly considered moving their, but ultimately ended up staying in Clare.
In 2018 I had a great wedding in Grand Rapids in a little Lutheran church near Calvin College. I showed up early. During the consultations we had decided to do some group shots prior to the wedding ceremony. We left plenty of time for getting ready shots as well as these group shots. Some of these images included the groom, his family, and groomsmen. We shot all of these and were about to start photographing the bride, her family, and bridesmaids. Then someone pointed out that the guys had forgot to put their boutonnieres on. Because we planned to have plenty of time prior to the ceremony for group shots, we were able to reshoot all of the guys images with boutineers on with time to spare.
I had a great time getting to photograph Justin and Alyssa Crawford’s wedding in Lake Isabella, Michigan! The wedding took place as the beautiful Little Flower Barn and the reception took place at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. The couple and their families were great to work with!
Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with tons of great and fascinating clients. I regularly get clients who don’t live locally. A few times I’ve even had clients from other countries, who spoke very little English.
The first instance of this was back in 2016. I was shooting a wedding in Farwell, Michigan. The clients had family fly in from all over. The bride had family coming in from down South as well as Detroit. The groom had family coming in from Puerto Rico. About half of the groom’s family didn’t speak much English. This made the group shots very difficult to coordinate.
Anytime I come across a difficulty during a wedding I try to find ways to solve it in the future. Since 2016 I’ve added a lengthy wedding worksheet that I go thru with clients prior to the wedding. I do this to figure out as much as possible about the wedding and clients before the wedding day. I also make a detailed list of the group shots.
In 2018 I got to work with some of the best wedding clients I’ve ever had. During early August I got to work with David and Rebecca who met while studying abroad in the Netherlands. Rebecca was from Au Gres, Michigan. David was from Germany. David’s family flew over from Germany to Michigan for the wedding. Despite the language barrier the wedding went great. We used non verbal communication, and plenty of prep work, to guarantee that the group shots, as well as other images requiring more communication, worked out great.