Ryan Watkins Photography Portrait, Wedding, Commercial, and Fine Art Photography – Clare, Michigan – Ready to Travel9895789456

Ryan Watkins Photography
Photography Tips
How I Got the Shot(s): The Change of Seasons

2016 marked a return to photographing fine art nature and landscape work for me. I had loved this type of photography when I was in high school, and had even had some of the images in this genre of photography published in magazines back then. As I grew older and photography became a profession instead […]

How I Got the Shot: The Peak In Field

Way back in 2011 my parents and I made a trip out to the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and British Columbia Canada. In 2017 I revisited many of my old nature images and have done new retouching in Lightroom and Photoshop. This image was one of the few which needed no new or improved retouching […]

How I Got the Shot: The One I Don’t Like But Everyone Else Does

I think anyone who is honest with themselves can look back at things they’ve done and go “well that was stupid.” The story behind the above image is one of those. Back when I lived in Massachusetts my friends and I would regularly go to an abandoned insane asylum called the Belchertown State School. We […]

How I Got the Shot(s): Studies of Cassi Over the Years

It is always great when you can find a great reliable model to work with. My first shoot with my distant cousin Cassi was way back in high school when she hired me to photograph some images of her belly dancing in Beaverton, Michigan. After I graduated from the Hallmark Institute of Photography and moved […]

How I Got the Shot: Family and Fall Foliage

When I first got started in photography I shot primarily landscape and nature photography. When I went to the Hallmark Institute of Photography for my formal photographic training my main emphasis switched to portrait photography. In 2017 I started putting a heavier emphasis on the wedding side of my photography business. Sadly nature, wildlife, and […]

How I Got the Shot(s): Studies of Arches Over the Years

I grew up in between the two small towns of Clare and Coleman, Michigan. Both have about 4000 residents last time I checked the statistics. I’ve been used to seeing beautiful nature (trees, wildlife, etc) since my childhood. Due to living in a small town (more exactly in the woods outside a couple small towns) […]

How I Got the Shot(s): Revisiting Lake Placid with New Technology

Way back in 2010 (when I was still in high school) my parents and I made a trip to Lake Placid, New York. This beautiful mountainous region of New York is rich with a plethora of gorgeous photographic opportunities. I shot a ton while we were out there. This was several years prior to my […]

How I Got the Shot: Jerry A Study in Gesture

I read an article recently (that can be read here) that I fully agree with. The article deals with technical precision versus emotion in photography (and specifically how your clients view this). The author argues that emotion is more important (especially to clients) than technical precision in photography. When I was a student at the […]

How I Got The Shot: Bryana

  This image almost never happened. I shot this photograph while I was a student at the Hallmark Institute of Photography. I was in Phase 3 (kind of like 3rd semester) at the time. We (us students) were all stressed out with the short deadlines and high standards which needed to be met to graduate. […]

How I Got the Shot(s): Pets Over the Years

  When I was a student at the Hallmark Institute of Photography one of our assignments was to photograph a pet portrait. Prior to this I had very little experience photographing pets after this I ended up loving photographing pets. This image of Feona the golden retriever was shot for my final portfolio at Hallmark. […]

How I Got the Shot: Ian the Welder

  The title of this blog post sounds like it could be a Primus song. When I studied at the Hallmark Institute of Photography our professors Gregory Heisler and David Turner would take us once a week to different locations to teach us location lighting. We got to go to a variety of locations such […]

How I Got the Shot(s): Invasions via iPhone

I was a late adapter to the smartphone thing. I got my first iPhone in late 2013 after my burner pay as you go phone quit receiving calls and messages for an unknown reason. One thing I loved about the old burner phones is their longevity and durability. If you dropped one of those old […]

How I Got the Shot(s): Fireworks Over the Years

Over the years I’ve always tried to make a point of photographing fireworks each year around the fourth of July. I started doing this back in high school. Once you get the hang of it fireworks actually aren’t that difficult to shoot. I usually use a tripod and a long exposure when photographing fireworks. I […]

How I Got the Shot(s): The Rainy Weddings and Engagements

When I was a student at the Hallmark Institute of Photography during Phase 1 (similar to the first semester) almost every time we had a shooting assignment outside it would rain. It rained so much my class had a hard time getting used to shooting when it was sunny out. Due to this I am […]

How I Got the Shot: The Cockeyed Nuthatch and His Stardom

When I first got started in photography I photographed primarily nature (part of this was due to my location and the fact that I didn’t have a driver’s license at the time). I still love photographing nature but don’t get the opportunity to as much as I’d like. When I was a student at the […]

How I Got the Shot: The Raccoon That Started it All

A lot of people ask how I got started in photography. So much so that I wrote a few blog posts detailing my journey here. In brief I started doing photoshop contests on the now defunct worth1000.com per the recommendations of a friend for church. My photoshop entries on the site did horrible so I […]

How I Got the Shot(s): Taking it to the Street

Very little of what I shoot could be considered street photography, but I have a very high view of those who can do this style of photography well. One of the reasons I don’t shoot more street photography is due to my location. A key part of shooting street photography is being nonchalant and blending […]

5 Tips for better Winter Photography

    Winter is one of my favorite seasons for photography, especially landscapes. Here are ten quick tips for better winter photographs.   1 Bring multiple batteries. The cold sucks the life out of your battery quicker than when in warm weather. Even when your camera is not in use your cameras batteries will lose […]

The Best Lighting for Candids of Your Kids

Photography comes from the greek root words for light and drawing. Understanding lighting is one of the key aspects to getting good images. Children can be difficult to photograph because they move around so much it is difficult to get the exact lighting your want on them. To guarantee you will get great images of […]

The Lay Man Photojournalist’s Rights

  There has been a lot of talk in the news the last few years about what and where you can and can not legally photograph. I keep this paper from Petapixel describing my rights as a photographer with me at all times. It briefly describes your rights as a photographer in case someone gives you […]

Selfie Tips for Seniors

    For the last couple years selfies have been all the rage and seem to be growing in popularity. Here are a few tips for upping your selfie game.  Pay attention to lighting. Phone cameras still have a hard time in low light so being in darker rooms can cause your image to be […]

A Brief Photography Jargon Dictionary

  In the photography industry there are a lot of technical terms and slang terms that get thrown a round a lot. Here is a brief dictionary of common terms you’ll come across when talking to photographers or reading industry websites, magazines, and forums.  Technique Photography – From the Greek roots φωτός (phōtos) “light” and […]

Recommended Print Labs

The following list contains print labs I use and recommend.  White House Custom Color. White House Custom Color is my primary print lab. I use them for standard lustre prints, metal prints, canvas prints, and phone cases. They have quick turn around times and amazing customer service. They also support a ton of great charities […]

Recommended Resources for Learning About Photography 

The following list are resources I recommended for those interested in learning about photography. Also included in the list are other photography related organizations I support.  Books Gregory Heisler – 50 Portrait: Stories and Techniques from a Photographer’s Photographer <br /> Joe McNally – The Moment it Clicks <br /> John Harrington – Best Business […]