Clare’s 515 Gallery presents “Wonderful Life” – Miniature Exhibit

“The 515 Gallery of downtown Clare is excited to be exhibiting over 45 incredible artists in the upcoming “Wonderful Life”- Miniature Exhibit, with opening reception & silent auction sales on Saturday, December 2, 2017 from 6-8 p.m. Inspired by the famous 1940’s movie, a small town gathers together to create Christmas magic by caring for each other. These compassionate artists are bringing awareness to childhood hunger with 20% of all silent auction sales of their miniature works going to the Clare Area Backpack Project – where volunteers supply food for local at-risk school children over the weekends. During the opening reception evening, Silent Auction bids will close at 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm and 7:30 pm to correspond with the miniature artwork groupings. In addition to the original small works, there will be an opportunity to purchase LED candles to place on the gallery tree and receive a bell “every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings” -It’s a Wonderful Life. 100% of candle sales will be donated to the Backpack Project also. Please mark your calendar for the opening reception of this charity exhibit December 2nd to meet these talented artists, purchase original, affordable miniature works of art and light our tree. Help bring the caring Christmas magic to our small town! “Wonderful Life” runs during the holiday season until January 7, 2018. Gallery exhibit hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays 11-4 pm and will be closed December 23, 2017 and reopen January 3, 2018.”

Kim Kleinhardt – 515 Gallery


Headshot Day at the Energize Workspace on November 21st 2017

“Can you count the pixels of your current facebook photo on one hand? Are you in need of a new headshot for your startup or business profile? Does your whole staff need business headshots to update your look? We got you covered!

We are thrilled to be hosting one of Michigan’s best portrait photographers to provide a fun day of headshots for the Midland community. Ryan Watkins Photography will be setting up his studio equipment at Energize for the afternoon, all you need to do is bring yourself and that famous smile!

He is offering studio-quality headshots at $50, complete with professional retouching. Photos should be sent out within a week of the shoot.” Nic Von Schneider

Tuesday, November 21 at 2 PM – 6 PM

Energize Workspace

2016 West Wackerly Street, Midland, Michigan 48640

For more info visit

Win a Free Family Portrait Session with Digital Files


I will be giving away a free family portrait session to which ever family can get the most people to comment their names in the comments section of this blog post. This session includes a thumb drive with digital files with web rights for personal use and no creation fee. Additional prints or products can be purchased at the normal cost. Contest ends at 1am on August 1st 2017.

Win a Free Couples or Engagement Portrait Session with Digital Files


I will be giving away a free couples or engagement portrait session to which ever couple can get the most people to comment their names in the comments section of this blog post. This session includes a thumb drive with digital files with web rights for personal use and no creation fee. Additional prints or products can be purchased at the normal cost. Contest ends at 1am on June 1st 2017.


Final Tally as of 1:00am Thursday June 1st


Brendan and Emily 47

Brennan and Sheridan 30

Allen and Lisa 24

Bean and Rocio 15

Jeffery and Jessica 8

Alex and Rachel 6


Congrats to winners Brendan and Emily!


Meet My Second Shooter Nikki Robinson


I’m happy to announce that Nikki Robinson will now be second shooting weddings with me! She will also be available to help on portrait and commercial shoots which require a bigger production. Her bio is a as follows.

“I grew up near Clare, Michigan and went to Clare High School where I met Ryan. After high school I decided to take my interest in photography more seriously, so I started doing freelance assisting and second shooting for Ryan Watkins Photography. On shoots requiring a bigger production Ryan will hire me as his first assistant. Also Ryan will have me second shoot weddings with him as well. While Ryan gets the main images I will shoot candids from different angles giving wedding clients even more coverage during their wedding day. I also help Ryan getting lighting and group shots set up on the wedding day as well. When I’m not assisting Ryan I enjoy shooting my own nature photography.”

To have Nikki help second shoot your wedding it is a $250 charge in addition to the standard $1000 creation fee. 

Nikki’s photography can be viewed on instagram.

Sean and Melissa Wedding – Greenville, Mi

(images by Ryan Watkins and Nikki Robinson)


New 2017 Price Lists: Get More for the Same Price!

New Ideas For the New Year

During my slow season this year I’ve been flirting with all kinds of new ideas to implement at Ryan Watkins Photography. I read a book titled The E-myth Revisited in December 2016 which was recommended to me by some close friends as well as my professors in college. This book really helped me see some of the errors in my thinking about running a business. Since then I’ve been reading tons of business and marketing books as well as listening to lectures and podcasts by other professionals in my industry. I’ve also been bouncing ideas off of fellow photographer friends from my alma mater Hallmark Institute of Photography. Even though this is still my slow season I’ve been working as much if not more than my busy season because of all the changes, updates, and preparation I want to get done. I’m far from finished with all the study and implementation I want to do during my slow season but I think I have a good idea of where Ryan Watkins Photography is headed in the future.

Okay You’re Changing Some Things But Where Are You Located? 

First of all to clear up any confusion Ryan Watkins Photography is still based in and is catering to mid-Michigan. My home is in Clare, Michigan but I love to travel and regularly am working with clients on the other side of the state in cities like Grand Rapids and Detroit. I regularly run into people in Clare who think I live in New York City for some reason. I have no idea how this rumor came about but rest assured I’m still in little old Clare and am free to take care of your portrait, wedding, commercial, and fine art photography needs. I’m not living in Massachusetts, Brooklyn, Grand Rapids, a small cabin in the  Canadian Rockies, a state penitentiary, Narnia, nor any location other than Clare, Michigan. I am willing to travel and love destination shoots but my area of emphasis is Clare, Midland, and Mt Pleasant, Michigan. 

Okay So You’re Still in Clare, But What Kind of Photography Are You Doing Now? All I See Is Nature Stuff on Facebook and Instagram

As many of you who have known and followed my work since I was in high school know I have always loved nature and wildlife photography and even had several magazine publications prior to receiving my formal photographic training. During my studies at Hallmark Institute of Photography my main focus shifted to portraiture instead of nature and landscape. Since returning to Clare after receiving the Highest Academic Honor award at Hallmark in 2013 I’ve gradually started to do more and more personal work with the subjects ranging from portraiture to nature at night to photographs taken with my iPhone. In 2016 I started selling my fine art nature prints online and quit viewing my nature work as just a personal series but instead as another source of revenue for my business. 

So what types of photography do I currently do? I’m a portrait, wedding, commercial, and fine art photographer. When people ask what I shoot I reply that I’m primarily a portrait photographer, mostly because that’s where most of my revenue comes from. I still photograph senior, family, child, and pet portraits and this is the main focus of Ryan Watkins Photography. I also am starting to put more emphasis on the wedding part of Ryan Watkins Photography. I do do commercial and event photography occasionally but these jobs are few and far between mostly because there is not much need for this type of work in my area. I still offer these services because I’m one of the few games in town. Lastly, as aforementioned, I now sell fine art prints as well online and have several fine art series that are completed as well as several in progress. 

You’re A Portrait, Wedding, Commercial, and Fine Art Photographer, But What Are You Changing About Your Prices and Products?

One of the first new changes coming to RWP is I’m completely revamping my products and pricing! My creation fees for portrait sessions and weddings have remained the same but I no longer offer collections. Instead I offer all items a la carte and at a far lower price than my prior a la carte price list. After three and a half years of using, more or less, the same price list I regularly had clients who wanted things slightly different that what was offered in my collections. There was very little consistency in what clients wanted as well so I couldn’t just tweak my collections. Some wanted more small prints and no large prints where as others wanted more large prints and less small prints. So instead of offering collections with a preset list of prints and products you get you can now choose each item individually with no minimum or maximum purchase. I’m also offering new styles of save the date cards, wedding albums, portrait books, phone cases, and canvas prints. In addition to the print products I now offer thumb drives with the web sized digital files from your wedding or portrait session.
Throughout 2017 I will be posting a variety of blog posts featuring each individual product I offer including portrait books, cards, iPhone cases, luxury wood prints, luxury metal prints. luxury canvas prints, standard prints, Animoto slideshows, and thumb drives. Examples of products are available to see in person during the viewing session. A full price list for either portraits or weddings is available here.
So to explain my pricing with utmost brevity, you first pay the creation fee which covers travel, pre-session consultation, planning, session, retouching, viewing session, product creation, and delivery. Next you choose any combination of prints, books, digital files, or other products that I offer for an additional fee. 
Still have questions? Feel free to contact me


Ryan Watkins Photography Still Catering to Mid-Michigan

To clear up any confusion Ryan Watkins Photography is still very much in business and still provides fine art prints, retouching, portrait, commercial, and wedding photography services to mid-Michigan and beyond.

To stay up to date with Ryan Watkins Photography and to see my latest photos follow RWP on social media (links in the bottom left hand corer of your screen) and sign up for the Ryan Watkins Photography Newsletter.


New Personal Series On The Road Available as Prints, Canvas Wraps, and Smart Phone Cases

Back in August 2016 I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises of my life between Syracuse and Albany, New York. I wasn’t able to photograph it because I was driving. After several moments like this I’ve started bringing my old Nikon D40 camera with 18-105mm lens with me so I can shoot images out of the windshield of my car. This small series entitled On The Road features only images photographed from my car. Most have been photographed using a Nikon D40 with 18-105mm lens.

To view the entire gallery or to purchase prints and iPhone cases visit

Fine art canvas prints have been discontinued for this series.