Bespoke Photography Courses Now Available Via

In 2018 I started teaching photography. The more I taught the more I grew to love it. I knew in 2018 I’d have to spend time during my slow season in 2019 systematizing how I would go about teaching henceforth. I was recently approved to be a teacher on Regardless of where you live I can know offer fully bespoke photography classes to you. Simply contact me via and we can start making your customized photography class today!

Ryan Watkins Photography Now On Twitter @rywatkinsphotos

A few years ago I made a twitter account. It started off as primarily a business account. I built up a decent following including some big names in the industry. Then it got hacked. I started over from scratch. Over time the new account devolved into a personal account. Eventually it became a private anonymous account where I would almost exclusively post witty observational humour. In 2017 I eventually deleted the account entirely.

In late December 2018 I decided to start a new business twitter account. I regularly post new photos as well as links to past articles. You can now follow my business twitter account @rywatkinsphotos.

Valentine’s Day Couples or Engagement Session Giveaway

Want to win a free couples or engagement session for Valentine’s day?

Get as many of your friends and family to comment with your name in the comments of this blog post!

Please use the first and last name of the couple. Only comments on the blog post titled “Valentine’s Day Couples or Engagement Session Giveaway” published on February 4th 2019 will be counted. No comments on social media posts will be added to the tally. The tally will be updated daily.

Winners will be announced on February 14th at 10pm.

Current Tally as of February 14th 10:00pm:

Winners! Rachel Medford and Alex Crafard 18

JoAnn and Matthew Biggs 17

Kristina Bennett & Jeremy Hassen 12

Amanda Coe and Sammy Bohy 6

Alyxczia Thurlow and James Kinkead 1

What to Expect From Ryan Watkins Photography In 2019

2018 was my most profitable year in business thus far at Ryan Watkins Photography. I can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring!

The primary emphasis for Ryan Watkins Photography going forward is weddings. I already have eight weddings set up for 2019 and hope to bring in more. My second shooter Nikki Robinson will be working with me in the upcoming year.

I plan on continuing to shoot portraiture as well. This includes engagements, families, seniors, and headshots.

Engagements and couples portraits is where I plan on spending most of my time. More Headshot Days at The Energize Workspace are being planned. The next will most likely be in the spring. I will continue to offer senior portraits but I won’t market them heavily.

All pricing for portrait and wedding work will stay the same in 2019.

I removed the pet and child portrait session pages from my website due to lack of interest in these sessions. I also plan on doing less freelance retouching in 2019.

Any paying work outside of portraits and weddings falls under the category of commissioned work. I will continue to offer these services but will increase prices for shoots outside of my traditional wheel house of portraits (engagements, families, seniors, headshots) or weddings.

I plan on working on new personal work and new personal series during 2019. Updates to these projects will be posted on my blog, social media, and email newsletter.

As in years past I plan on continuing to do pro bono work with Flashes of Hope, the Mt Pleasant Craft Beer Festival, and the Clare Irish Festival in 2019.

I don’t offer boudoir, newborns, nor videography. If you are interested in these services I would recommend Miss Lily in Rosebush for both boudoir and newborns and Dan Tuma Media in Midland for videography.

My slow season is approximately November-April and my busy season is approximately May-October give or take a month of so depending on the weather. During the remainder of the slow season I plan on studying writing advertising copy and writing a year’s worth of weekly blog posts.

Starting in 2017 I have spent a lot of time networking locally especially in Midland. I hope to start some casual networking groups in Clare and Mt Pleasant in 2019.

In 2017 I started the Michigan Photography Network Facebook group. This group was created to help Michigan photographers and those connected to the industry network with one another. The group has now grown to over 900 members and have had three in person meet ups. The in person meet ups have been replaced by a monthly meet up at The Studio Shop in Williamston, Michigan. These will be continued in 2019 as well as my participation in the facebook group. I usually post twice a day in the group to links of articles, videos, or dank memes.

In 2017 I was asked to teach two workshops at the Energize Workspace in Midland, Michigan. After this people started asking me to do one on one teaching. I plan on continuing teaching in 2019 but plan on systematizing it better. Updates to these teaching projects will be posted on my blog, social media, and email newsletter.

Since 2015 I loved listening to podcasts. For almost as long I’ve flirted with the idea of starting my own photography themed podcast. In 2019 I hope to finally go thru with this idea. I also hope to start reading public domain audiobooks for LibriVox.

Check the Ryan Watkins Photography blog on Monday evenings for my latest blog posts and updates for 2019.

Had a Good Experience with RWP? Please Review Us!

For my former clients, I would be very appreciative if you left a review of Ryan Watkins Photography on one of the following websites:



The Knot



Reviews help me bring in more clients an also help my search engine optimization rating. I have had several wedding clients find me via the knot and more reviews their would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Dispelling the Rumor Mill

Sadly one of the realities of living in a small town is that misinformation spreads like wildfire. I’ve caught wind of enough inaccurate information being spread about my business (or myself personally) that I think it is necessary to address the issues. I assume that most of these have been spread due to honest misunderstandings and only a few have potentially started with malicious intent. I was voted the “most chill” by my classmates at the Hallmark Institute of Photography so this post comes with some reluctance, but I think things have gotten to a point that several issues need to be addressed.

Rumor 1: I Live in (insert anywhere but Clare, Michigan). Fact: I live in Clare, Michigan.

One of the most common things I hear is that I live somewhere I don’t. To clear up any confusion I live in Clare, Michigan and have most of my life (excluding when I lived in Greenfield, Massachusetts when I was in college). I was considering moving to Grand Rapids for a period of time but that plan never worked out. Since graduating from college I have always lived in Clare, Michigan. Many have misunderstood and thought I currently live in Western Michigan or that I live somewhere on the east coast (I get Boston and Brooklynn a lot for some reason) but neither of these are correct. I do in fact still live in Clare, Michigan.

Rumor 2: I don’t give clients photos from their session. Fact: Clients receive a private gallery with the images from their session within a week of their shoot.

A more recent (and what seems to be more malicious rumor) is that I don’t give clients the photos from their session. I have never once NOT given clients the photos from their session. In 2017 I did change up how my session process works. In the past I have used different models that more heavily emphasized print sales before digital files became more popular but at no time I have refused to give clients photos. I now give clients a link with a private gallery with the photos from their session within a week of the shoot. Clients can either order prints from this gallery or get their prints made elsewhere using the digital files I’ve given them. The other rumors stated in the post all seem like honest (and sometimes humorous mistakes) but this one is one of the few which comes across as intentionally malicious and is the main reason for me writing this post.

Rumor 3: My second shooter and I are a couple. Fact: We are friends and work together.

This third one I actually think is kind of funny. I have had several people not read the About the Ryan Watkins Photography Team page very closely and assume that my second shooter Nikki and I were married or at least a couple. In fact we are not. We’re just friends and work together. We are both currently single.  

Rumor 4: The girl in the large print at Art Reach is my daughter. Fact: I don’t currently have any children.

This is another rumor that when I caught wind of it made me chuckle. There was some misunderstanding after a piece I created for Art Reach was put on display. The piece is a large composite print with the main subject being a little girl (the granddaughter of the client who commissioned the piece). There was a misunderstanding and several people thought that photo was of my daughter (which is problematic since I don’t have a daughter).

Back to a more serious note. The somewhat silly misunderstandings don’t bother me but the (ones that at least seem) intentionally malicious do. Over the years I’ve gotten to work with a ton of great people but every now and then your come across some dishonest folks. I see no need to discuss the particulars in detail. If I did I’d just be falling into the same gossipy slander I’m ridiculing them for. One of the most important things I’ve learnt running my own business is the importance of working with the right people. I’m incredibly thankful for the honest people I’ve been able to work with and am more discerning now to avoid working with the dishonest. As I’ve stated before I was voted “most chill” by my peers at the Hallmark Institute of Photography but at some point you do need to put your foot down. If you are prone to making threats, spreading slander, or constantly asking for money/favors this will get you banned from all of my personal and professional pages. I have experiences will all of the aforementioned. If these descriptions fit you I’d recommend going to Lifetouch instead of wasting my time (and reputation).


P.S. After revising this post I think I just coined a phrase for the greatest insult a photographer could tell someone. “Go to Lifetouch.”


New Headshot and Business Portrait Pricing and Offerings

One of the things I’ve learned from being in business since 2011 is the importance of working with the right clients. Many of my best clients have been fellow business owners and entrepreneurs.

I now offer a wider variety of options of headshots and business portraiture. I offer a $25 Basic Headshot which includes one high res retouched photo which will be delivered within 24 hours of the shoot. I also offer a $100 Standard Headshot which includes multiple images, clothing changes, locations, and backgrounds with a one week turn around time. Lastly I offer a $300 Bespoke Business Portraits which includes fully customized portraits and commercial images for your website, social media, and other advertising needs with a one week turn around time.

$25 Basic Headshot

Single image. 24 hour turn around time. Examples:

$100 Standard Headshot

Multiple images, clothing changes, locations, and backgrounds. One week turn around time. Examples:

$300 Bespoke Business Portraits

Fully customized portrait and commercial photos for your website, social media, and other advertising needs. One week turn around time. Examples:

One On One Teaching Now Available


After teaching a photography workshop at the Energize Workspace in March 2018 I’ve had several inquiries about doing one on one teaching. I now offer one on one teaching classes for $20 an hour plus compensation of travel. The first introductory class via Skype/Facetime is included for free. Topics can be on anything photography, retouching, workflow, or business related. Off camera flash is a commonly requested topic.