Now Accepting Bitcoin and Payments via PayPal


Ryan Watkins Photography is now accepting new forms of payment for portrait sessions, commercial shoots, retouching services, and fine art prints. In addition to cash, check, and credit card payments I now accept Bitcoin and transactions via PayPal. This especial makes purchasing prints from my Nature and iPhoneography series more convenient and as well as payment for retouching services.


Ryan Watkins Photography is Still Open/Social Media and Blogging Hiatus Explained

Hi everyone!

Just to clear up any confusion Ryan Watkins Photography is still open and won’t be closing anytime soon.

My month long hiatus from blogging and social media was due to me being sick with pertussis or whooping cough. I haven’t been contagious for a quite some time and now have recovered enough to start being productive again.

Also any time I’ve referred to my slow season or off-season I’m just referring to the winter when I have less clients compared to summer and especially fall.

Lastly if you haven’t checked out the galleries on in a while they now have a new design and are now mobile friendly!

What is New at RWP? – My Mackinac Island Trip

After shooting an amazing wedding in late July I got to take a great trip to Mackinac Island with my friends Jason and Ashley. Mackinac Island is a quant island in the middle of Lake Huron where no vehicles are allowed. Mackinac Island is full of bike trails, fudge shops, and historic sites.


I took my Nikon D600, my go to professional camera body, and four lenses but never used them. All of the photographs I took where shot using by iPhone 5s and edited using VSCOcam. A few images had minor global adjustments applied in Lightroom. All of my professional work and non-iPhone personal work goes thru a lot of planning and retouching to reach the final product. With my iPhoneography I take a far different approach. The images I capture throughout my travels and daily life with my iPhone are spontaneous images of lighting and sights I find interesting. Theses images aren’t meant to be saleable but instead personal images I shoot for fun for myself.



This first image was shot on our boat ride to Mackinac Island of another boat sailing in Lake Huron. A storm was coming towards the island creating the intense clouds.




This image was also shot on our boat ride right before we got off on Mackinac Island. A thick fog was surround the island when we first arrived.




After checking into our bed and breakfast the Small Point Bed and Breakfast, which I would highly recommend staying at, we headed back to downtown. We stopped by Fort Mackinac and ate a few doughnuts under the statue of Père Jacques Marquette. We affectionately nick named this seagull Sheldon since he shooed away other birds when they got near his spot that he never left. We saw Sheldon perched on his spot several more times during out trip.



Next we grabbed a quick lunch and then hiked up to Fort Mackinac where is photo was taken. We ate a great dinner downtown and then went on the Haunts of Mackinac tour at Mission Point Hotel.



On day two we left downtown and explored the outskirts of the island more. I decided to rent a tricycle because of my lack of balance and coordination. Two wheels are to mainstream anyway.



On one of our first stops I found this patch of daisies. I decided to play with the Contrast by Hornbeck app that lets you capture high contrast black and white images on your iPhone. It also has an invert function that was used to create this image.



After triking a bit longer we stopped for a quick lunch. I went over to the beach and shot some non-inverted images of the stones using the Contrast by Hornbeck app. I loved the pattern and texture these rocks created.




Stacking rocks on the beach on Mackinac Island is popular so we decided to give it a try. Our final stacked rock formation wasn’t very impressive but we did come across this one which was. This was also shot using the Contrast by Hornbeck app and later cropped in VSCOcam.



The stacked rocks where right across the road from Arch Rock a geographical formation caused by glaciers. This was also shot using the Contrast by Hornbeck app.




Next we headed up to Mackinac Island’s highest point Fort Holmes. There isn’t actually a fort their but it does have a nice view of the island. Here is quick shot of my friends Jason and Ashley on the highest point of the island.



Later that night after dinner we went on one last walk by the water before heading back to small point. This  minimalistic shot of a few ducks near sunset was shot across from the Mission Point Hotel.



This last image was the next day shortly after returning home to Clare, Mi. I shot this down the road from my house while I went for a walk before getting caught up on retouching and other work after our trip.

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.

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.





New Video Explaining The Session Process

I just finished making this new video which explains how to set up a session and how the session process works at Ryan Watkins Photography!

The winner of the Free Couples or Engagement Session is…

Congratulations to Shaneice Schreiber and Jake Green from Clare, Mi! They’ve won a free couples portrait session with a complementary 16×20 print this Valentine’s Day!