New Personal Work with Amazing Model Raven Price

I love shooting personal work especially when I get to work with amazing models like Raven Price. Featured below are a handful of my favorite images from the shoot.


515 Gallery and I featured on Hallmark Institute of Photography Blog

My alma matter the Hallmark Institute of Photography just posted a great article about the 515 Gallery’s latest show which I helped organize. Check it out!

Clare, Michigan’s 515 Gallery Featuring 11 Hallmark Institute of Photography Alumni in Upcoming Show on May 31st from 6-8pm

I’m very excited about the 515 Gallery’s upcoming show! All of the featured artists are graduates of the prestigious Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, Massachusetts and are close friends of mine. The styles of photography and photographers represented are incredibly diverse! We’ll be featuring a combination of photojournalistic, commercial, conceptual, nature, editorial, fashion, and portrait photography. Featured will be artists from Seattle, Los Angles, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, India, and Japan. Also three Michigan based photographers, including myself, will be represented and present at the opening.


Photographers Being Featured


Marco Colucci 

Aniruddh Kothari 

Katilyn Schwinderson 

Emily Darrow 

Ryan Watkins 

Hiro Ochi 

Jon Cospito 

Kelly Horn 

Sienna Clough 

Colton Running 

Katie Brill 


The show will be held on May 31st from 6-8pm. The 515 Gallery is open from 11am-4pm on Saturdays. This show will be up until July 12th. The 515 Galley is located in downtown Clare next to Cops and Doughnuts.

Ryan Watkins Photography is Now Looking for 2015 Senior Reps!

I will be accepting applications to become a Ryan Watkins Photography 2015 Senior Rep until June 1st!

What is a Senior Rep?


Senior Reps get a discounted senior portrait session, free prints, and the opportunity to win prizes by referring friends to Ryan Watkins Photography in exchange for sharing their images on social media, handing out senior rep cards, and referring their friends to Ryan Watkins Photography!


What are the Benefits of becoming a 2015 Senior Rep?


You get a discounted Creation Fee of only $45 instead of the usual $149!


You get a Free Economy Collection including 5 Gift Sized Prints (anything 8×10 and smaller), Yearbook photo, 16 Wallets, and Facebook Collection or a $149 credit towards any other collections or prints.


You also get the chance to win Visa Gift Cards by referring friends to Ryan Watkins Photography

Requirements to Become a Senior Rep


You must be a 2015 Senior attending a school within 60 miles of Clare, Michigan.


Only one senior rep will be chosen from each school.


You must have a presence on these social media networks: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. After the session you’ll be required to tag yourself, share, regram, and retweet your finished images from your session.


You are also required to hand out senior rep cards, essentially business cards with your image on them, to your friends after the session.

The Referral Process


A referral is someone who books a session a senior portrait session at Ryan Watkins Photography after being recommended by you!


Each person your refer gets 16 free wallets!


You can also get prizes for the number people you refer!


1 Referral – One referral gets you a $15 Visa Gift Card!


3 Referrals – Three referrals gets you a $30 Visa Gift Card


5 Referrals – Five referrals gets you a $50 Visa Gift Card!


The Application


Lastly you must fill our this application to become eligible to become a Ryan Watkins Photography 2015 Senior Rep


Follow this link to the Ryan Watkins Photography 2015 Senior Rep Application

Send applications to


The chosen senior reps will be contacted on June 2nd and the sessions will take place during June.

Bean and Rocio Couples Portrait Session – Mount Pleasant, Mi

I had an amazing couples portrait session with Bean and Rocio in Mount Pleasant and Clare, Mi a few weeks ago. We shot a variety of natural light portraits in Island and Nelson Park in Mount Pleasant and also shot a few conceptual photos.

Bean wrote a letter to Rocio everyday that she was a away in Spain. These are the letters they wrote to each other and the bench they sat on for their first date after they were reunited in Michigan.

Bean and Rocio work at restaurants across from one another in Clare, Mi. They admitted to staring out the windows at each other during there breaks hence this shot of Bean going though the drive thru to get a glimpse of Rocio.

The complete gallery featured below.


Jake and Shaneice Couples Portrait Session – Grand Rapids, Michigan

I had great session with Jake and Shaneice a few weeks ago in Grand Rapids! They were the winners of my Valentine’s Day Couples Portrait Session give away and received a free session, Facebook collection, and free 16×20 print!


We got to shoot in Coit Park and downtown Grand Rapids during sunset and early evening.


Check out the full gallery below!



What Is New at RWP? – Early Spring Recap

Spring 2014 started off with some basic headshots and one light studio portraits with an old friend Jordan who is looking to start a modeling portfolio and already has a massive Instagram following @talesofsolace.


I also got a quick headshot of dad as well.



The next week I made a trip down to Mason, Ohio to visit with my friends Sean and Jess who I’d graduated with from Hallmark Institute of Photography back in June 2013. We had a great time catching up and they showed me around Cincinnati, Ohio and Newport, Kentucky where I grabbed these shots of them. They also took to me to a great restaurant Tom Chee’s, a restaurant chain specializing in grilled cheese and tomato soup, which I really hope expands to mid-Michigan eventually.



The next day I headed to Indianapolis to scout out some locations to shoot for my architecture portfolio. I spent two days exploring Indianapolis and visiting its multiple museums and war memorials. I happened upon a stunning Ansel Adams exhibit at Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. I shot several buildings which will eventually be added to my professional architecture portfolio.


April is the final month of my off-season so I made a point of doing a few fun non career related things before I get busy photographing seniors, families, and weddings.About a week later I went to Ann Arbor and got to meet up with another amazing photographer and recent recipient of the Highest Portfolio Award for the class of February 2014 from Hallmark Institute of Photography Emily Darrow. Check out her portraiture that has a beautiful vintage feel.

I’m currently planning out more personal work and can’t wait for portrait season to officially start in May!

What Is New at RWP? – Winter Recap

Here is a recap of what I was working on during the polar vortex.

I began December by helping Clare’s 515 Gallery host Help Portrait. Help Portrait is an event put on annually at multiple locations worldwide which gives free portraits to less fortunate families and individuals. I had a great time photographing local families and spending time with the amazing 515 Gallery staff! During our down time I shot some portraits of this 515 Gallery member, and amazing model, Raven, who I can’t wait to work with more in the future!

Shortly after Christmas I finally gave in and bought a smart phone; I had been using a Verizon pay as you go for years. Being a dedicated Apple user I got the new iPhone 5s. As I suspected I soon became obsessed with Instagram and iphoneography. As the polar vortex continued and our temperatures started to be consistently below zero I started spending more time inside reading and expanding my social media presence. I now have an active presence on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. The Ryan Watkins Photography Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest get a lot of neat behind the scenes photos, iphoneography, and industry news relevant to aspiring photographer and entrepreneurs that I don’t post on Facebook.

2014 rang in some new updates at RWP. Some new products like portrait books, a more affordable alterative to the portrait album, and Animoto slideshows, which I absolutely love, where introduced. Also a new pricing structure with more affordable creation fess and economy collections were announced. I also got a Square reader and started accepting credit cards!

Also in early January 2014 I announced that I’d be branching out in architecture photography.

My love of architecture started when I visited the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church in Boston back in January 2013. Since I grew up in the rural Midwest I’d never seen anything like it before. I found these structures beautiful and awe-inspiring. I photographed the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU during my spring break while I was home from my studies at the Hallmark Institute of Photography last spring. This image was featured on Hallmark’s 2014/2015 catalog back cover. This winter I had the amazing opportunity of photographing the sister churches of my church, the Church of Daniel’s Band. This is one of favorite church architecture photos so far. I’m continuing to grow my architecture portfolio with other building throughout the Midwest.

Later in January I got to spend time photographing fellow Hallmarker, Michigander, and amazing commercial photographer Kaitlyn Schwinderson and her adorable cat Sadie. Check out her stunning commercial, pet, and couple work at

I also got to work with aspiring actress Rocio for a headshot session in January as well. I can’t wait to work with her more in the future!

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In February I had a great engagement session with an amazing couple, Jason and Rachael, in Grand Rapids and Grand Haven. They recommended that we go to Grand Haven during sunset after shooting in downtown Grand Rapids. It was an amazing suggestion! We went out on Lake Michigan while it was still frozen over. Despite falling on the ice several times it was still an awesome experience with some amazing people!

I also bought a cheap Ilford Black and White Disposable 35mm film camera that I can’t wait to use! I will eventually have a series of personal work shot on this.

Lastly I spent much of the winter reading various Christian, business, and photography related books and experimenting with new beard oils from beard brands, their tree ranger beard oil is my current favorite. Even though I love the cold weather the arrival of spring is much appreciated. I can’t wait to get to out and shoot more during the remaining spring and summer months. The RWP blog will be updated much more frequently from now on and coming soon will be update on what I’ve been working on this spring.

New Video Explaining my Current Products and Pricing

Visit for my current pricing and product info. Significant changes have been made since the creation of this video.


Their is a new video up on my The Session Process page explaining my current products and pricing. New blog posts soon about what I’ve been up to during the off season.





10 Great Vacation Spots in Michigan

Have the winter blues? Planning a trip around Michigan can help lift your spirits. Here are ten great vacation destinations in Michigan that will appeal to the entire family, especially aspiring photographers and art lovers.

1. The Upper Peninsula

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or U.P. as us Michiganders call it, is an amazing destination for nature lovers and aspiring landscape photographers. This pristine, rural part of Michigan has multiple lighthouses, waterfalls, and is home to the incredibly beautiful Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Saint Ignace, Paradise, Munising, and Marquette are cites you’ll want to visit while in the U.P. You can even see the Aura Borealis, i.e. Northern Lights, over Lake Superior during the right times of the year.

2. Charlevoix

Charlevoix is a quaint town in northern Michigan which has an amazing view of Lake Michigan. Charlevoix is host to numerous small shops and art galleries. Also in Charlevoix is Castle Farms an amazing wedding destination or great subject for architecture photographers.

3. Mackinaw Island

Mackinaw Island is an island known for its fudge and carriage rides. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the Island, so all travel is done my foot, bike, or horseback. This is a great peaceful place to get away from the pace of the city with numerous locations for landscape photography or portrait sessions.

4. Leelanau Peninsula

The Leelanau Peninsula is one of the best places in northern Michigan for landscape photography or an amazing backdrop for portraiture. Located in the Leelanau Peninsula are the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore, which was voted the most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America, and the Leelanau State Park.

5. Traverse City

Traverse City is a great weekend get away during any time of year. Traverse City is the Cherry Capital of the World and hosts the annual Cherry Festival and Traverse City Film Festival. It is very close to some of the most scenic parts of Michigan. A beautiful city with tons of things to do both in the city and nearby on the Lake Michigan shoreline.

6. Clare

Clare, my hometown, is a great place for a quick stop on your way to either the northern or southern Michigan. It is located about an hour and twenty minutes north of Lansing on 127. This is home to Cops and Doughnuts, which has amazing coffee, doughnuts, and pastries, and the 515 Gallery, which showcases the work of both local and international artists and is open 11am-4pm on Saturdays. It also hosts the annual Irish Festival on Saint Patrick’s Day weekend.

7. Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth is an amazing place to stop on a weekend getaway. Almost all the buildings in Frankenmuth are reminiscent of Bavarian architecture. It is home to the world’s biggest Christmas store, Bronner’s, and the renowned restaurants Zender’s and Bavarian Inn which both amazing family style chicken dinners. Frankenmuth is a great place for both shopping and sight seeing. Bronner’s Christmas lights and the cities stunning Bavarian architecture during winter can be a gorgeous subject by itself or an even better background for portraiture.

8. Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second largest city, is home to many luxury hotels and museums. Grand Rapids is also home to “Art Prize” which attracts artists from all across the world. It showcases stunning architecture, which is an amazing backdrop for portrait sessions or very nice subjects for amateur photographers.

9. Grand Haven

Grand Haven is a small town about thirty minutes west of Grand Rapids on Lake Michigan. This has an amazing view of Lake Michigan and is highly recommended for landscape photographers. It is also one of my favorite destinations for portrait sessions.

10. Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, the home of the University of Michigan, is as put it is, “a small, friendly town with big city sophistication.” Ann Arbor is a great location to view art and museums and is one of Michigan’s most cultured cities. This is one of my favorite places in Michigan to visit especially during their annual art festival during the summer.


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